Putting the Social Back in Social Media: Engaging the Younger Audiences in Your Social Media Strategy
Five hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. This is the amount of time the average millennial spends on social media. The word “spends” is significant here. Why? Because there is a huge difference between scrolling through your various social media platforms mindlessly while eating lunch at your desk and actually engaging with a post. The real success of your social media strategy can be measured by your average engagement. Yes, if you are posting consistently on social media, your posts are probably being seen, but are people liking and commenting on them? Engagement is key in converting leads to actual buyers. Here are some strategies you can use to get the younger buying audience interested in your company’s offerings.
Personalize your brand’s message
The good news is that millennials are a large and diverse group of individuals born between the years of 1981-2000. They come from diverse backgrounds and have different lifestyles, but they are all obsessed with social media, and they are in fact engaging – in personalized posts. And these same millennials that crave personalization are the decision-makers your company is looking to reach. A survey conducted by technology company Spiceworks found that millennial B2B buyers preferred to purchase from companies that worked to establish a relationship with them. Here are some ways you can personalize your brand’s message in a fun and exciting way.
Tell your story with a video
Videos are all over social media these days for a reason – people are watching them. Sixty percent of millennials prefer to watch a video than read marketing content. Use this medium to tell the story of your company or showcase a new product. Don’t be afraid to pull on the emotional heartstrings either. B2B purchases are, ultimately, emotional, and you need to earn the decision-maker’s trust and stand out amongst the competition. This strategy is actually best accomplished by highlighting your brand’s values rather than an actual product or service you offer. Financial services company State Street used this tactic to create a successful marketing campaign that went viral with a video promoting their stance on gender equality. It’s also important that your message is short, sweet and to the point. In a recent video marketing survey, videos that were less than two minutes long saw the most engagement from millennials.
Engage with them first
Researching your target audience beforehand is a crucial and necessary step to ensure the success of your social media strategy. Follow your audience on social platforms, and don’t be afraid to reach out by commenting on a post or sending a personalized message. Facebook and LinkedIn are the most widely used social media platforms for B2B companies, but don’t overlook Instagram and Facebook. Ninety-five percent of millennials follow brands on social media, and on Facebook you can upload lead lists to put your message in front of a specific target audience. Knowing your audience before your company announces a new product or posts a new promotional video enables you to engage with them beforehand. You can even take it an extra step by having a sales rep reach out directly. If a sales rep sends a personalized message to your leads personally on LinkedIn or Facebook, it can help humanize your brand and allows the potential buyer to have a specific point of contact.
Promote your brand using an influencer
It’s not enough to just put your message on social media and hope that it gets seen by the right decision-makers. These days, you have to pay to play, and you need to make sure you are investing your money wisely. With millennials spending an average of five hours a day on social media, your brand must find a creative way to target them, and using an influencer is an excellent strategy. Content promoted by an industry influencer has a return on investment 11 times higher than a traditional paid advertisement. In fact, millennials are so inundated with ads, that 85 percent of them do not trust traditional advertisement. On the contrary, 57 percent of millennials said they would be open to viewing sponsored content from an influencer they trust. Again, B2B purchasing is all about trust, so if you can find a trusted influencer in your industry, they are going to lend some credibility to your message.
Reaching the younger audience isn’t so tricky as long as you have a strong understanding of your target audience before crafting your social media strategy. B2B millennials buyers want to feel special, and if your company takes the extra time to tailor your message to them, you will see an increase in social media engagement and an increase in brand awareness and sales.