3 Questions to Ask When Talking to Millennials on Social Media
by Sierra Sangetti-Daniels
Social media is a World Wide Web of freedom, and perhaps, that’s what so appealing to Millennials. There is no one there to tell us what we can and cannot post. We swipe to unlock our iPhones and seconds later our opinions (no matter how absurd) will be shared across the world. To Millennials, there is nothing better than knowing people are listening to us. With little to no guidelines on what’s appropriate and the ability to have #nofilter, we have endless possibilities on social media. But, as a brand, all of this freedom may leave room for misinterpretation. And although misinterpretation between person to person on social media is fairly simple to solve, misinterpretation between person to business is not. According to the Professional Branding for Maximum Performance survey, it takes five good impressions to redeem a brand from one bad one… yikes!
Tim Siedell says it best, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Plus a social media overreaction,” so to avoid a dramatic response to frequently made mix-ups ask these three questions when talking to Millennials on social media:
1. Is the message obvious?
One of the great things about social media is it gives your brand a chance to connect with your audience on a more personal level. On social media, conversations can be expanded past conference room chatter and I absolutely believe you should take full advantage of that. But don’t let all of the friendly chaos blur your marketing vision. Ensure your message is being delivered in the most clear manner possible. Just because your team which is composed of baby boomers claims to be on the same page with your campaign objectives, doesn’t necessarily mean we Millennials will be on board.
Millennials are extremely open minded individuals with a love for public expression. This creative expression allows us to interpret things in a different fashion than those of Generation X. So, as a brand, be sure the designated denotation of your message will be received, because being crystal clear about what exactly your brand stands for is exactly what we, millennials, want– take it from Budlight.
2. Is the message accurate?
If you’re in the business of passing valuable content on to your audience, then in my opinion, you’re doing something right! But, the only thing worse than your Facebook friend updating their status about something they obviously never Googled is your favorite brand publishing inaccurate messages. Millennials live on social media and social media never sleeps so it’s pretty commonplace to find out when a brand has published false information. We’re all about transparency and we’ll call any brand out if their messaging is inaccurate. The truth is, Millennials don’t need your brand to get the information they are looking for. We have iPhones, iPads and MacBook’s of our own for that. But one thing we don’t have is time. So as romantic as it sounds, we- millennials, are trusting you-brands to search the internet and give us valuable content… and damn right, we expect that content to be 100% accurate. Because in the 21st century, if you can’t trust your favorite brand or publication to give you the right answers, then seriously, who can you trust?
To avoid making a huge mistake like our salad dressing “kings” Wish-Bone and sending out over 8,000 blue cheese dressing containers labeled as ranch to your consumers– double, triple fact-check everything you put out on behalf of your brand. I promise, it won’t hurt.
3. Does the message relate to my target audience?
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. “You can’t please everyone.” But, as a brand, you need to be able to please your target audience. Different demographics have different opinions, respectably. So, if you post something that offends your target audience, it’s likely they won’t be thrilled, and just as Taylor Swift did with Apple, your audience will call you out publicly! Like I said, we have no filter on social media. Talking to Millennials means you have to listen and get to know us… ensure your messaging is relatable.
Talking to Millennials is not like talking to a wall. We’re present, [somewhat] attentive, and we’re awaiting the next brand slip-up. With that said, it’s better to be safe than sorry– before clicking tweet, post, or share, remember to take precautionary actions by ensuring your brand message is obvious, therefore eliminating room for misinterpretation and creating space for a crystal clear brand identification, and don’t forget: accuracy safeguards your brands reputation, so fact check everything. Finally, be sure to get to know your audience inside and out.