Last week, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Dan Gray, Office Operations Manager of the West Market Area for Ford Motor Company. He stated that he attended a Brand Innovations Conference with a focus on Millennial Marketing, which spurred a conversation. How do millennials want to be marketed to? How can you reach Gen Y when it comes to consumer marketing and social media strategy?
We discussed many options and strategies, however what they all had in common was to have a human element. Millennials want to be engaged and to have the ability to connect with someone who is real. They like authenticity and someone who they can relate to. Visuals, such as graphics and video, pertain to millennials (or the millennial mindset) because there is a personal value to each.
Adding in from my past, I explained that I was previously employed as the marketing/social media manager for a corporate restaurant. For the social media strategy, rather than just using the stock photos of employees or models, I managed shifts with a camera in my pocket to take live shots of the employees to post on social media. Sometimes I brought in props as well, asking myself, “what can the audience relate to?”
Of course, each corporate chain is different in allowing photos taken to be posted to franchised stores’ social media. However, we saw a large increase in reach, likes, and consumer engagement across our social media platforms. Why? Because consumers want to be able to relate. They want to see their favorite waitress featured on the site, rather than someone who they may never meet. They want that “hometown feeling”.
We captured reactions of teams winning on video and waitresses hard at work while still having fun. Those were true feelings and moments people could relate to. The same goes for the millennial mindset. Building something that they can connect and relate to strengthens the marketing.
In relation, how many times do you get an automated message, rather than a live voice on the phone? It frustrates just about everyone. Why would you want to reflect an automated message online? Be able to relate, be authentic, and be human.
What is one thing about the millennial mindset that brands could learn from?
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