The term “millennials” was coined to label the current generation of people who have grown up not knowing what life is like without a computer, devices, and internet connections. Many millennials have had social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter available to them for most of their teen and adult lives.
This group is important to marketers because they are the medium and long-term future for marketers. For the brand marketing approach, that is extremely important. So tomorrow’s top brands will be defined today, for this segment.
=== What Millennials think
In April 2010, Harris surveyed people ages 18 to 55 about their use of social media and their privacy concerns. In this survey, Harris found that millennials (age group 18-34) and their slightly older peers (35-44) were very smart when it came to both social media and privacy.
Of millennials, 85% understand and take seriously the fact that their engagement on social media means giving up some privacy. Despite this, 44% of them use social media to give negative comments about specific brands or companies and products. However, with this intensive use of social networks comes a cynical perspective towards them.
51% of them said they cannot trust a website or social media company at least part of the time and 19% said most of the time. 28% said they could never trust a social media company with their data. 89% of young women in the survey said they would never put anything on Facebook that they didn’t want their parents to see.
This is interesting, since that same group is the most active in most social media activities.
Many of the respondents are actively monitoring their own footprints online, eliminating or distancing themselves from those things that they believe will affect the perception that others have of them.
=== What does this mean for marketing
Those involved in social media marketing should understand that while anyone in this age group who befriends you or chooses to “like” your product is probably paying you a huge compliment, it should be taken with a grain of salt. . Because these millennials are well connected, it is very likely that they are fickle with their choices and change that “like” to a negative message across the network.
This inconsistency means that marketing to this group must be consistent and reliable. The product and the brand must remain intact. It also means that you must keep your privacy at the forefront and not abuse or misuse your information.
Although most marketers stick to the “must have list” mantra, they may not have an important point regarding that list. Not only should you have a list, but you also need to care about the people on the list and carefully protect their trust and perception of your brand.
Making a habit of keeping those on your lists as happy as possible is a lot easier than trying damage control when one of them gets upset and several thousand people find out through them.