Marketing to Millennials in the Age of Social Media

Attracting the millennial market is becoming increasingly important for the success of products, brands, and services. As millennials, currently in their mid-teens to mid-thirties, gain spending power in the consumer marketplace, their influence will progressively extend to influence other generations, making the emerging marketing techniques associated with the millennial generation increasingly important to a company’s success. The marketing and advertising strategies that thrived among past generations of consumers do not have the same influence among millennials, as millennial consumers are more likely to respond to campaigns that align with the channels they gravitate towards, social media and other online platforms, rather than the traditional marketing methods of television and print. This online approach is essential to the successful marketing of a company’s product, brand, or service to millennials, who find the majority of their media content through some level of interaction with the content online.


The Power of Social Platforms

Millennials have grown up in a world that is significantly more digitally and technologically connected than it was for any previous generation. As a result of this, millennials spend a considerable amount of their daily time consuming media online and this media is largely driven by content created by themselves and by their peers, through the use of social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, and Snapchat. It is important for content to reach consumers in the places and methods in which they are already engaging; in the digital age, that place is online. Because of this, social media and its numerous potential angles are an essential location for marketing to millennials.



In the digital age, millennials construct their online image through the brands they interact with. They utilize brands to express themselves and their values online and then, in turn, invest in the brands that best reflect their image. Millennials seek out specific companies and products that display the image they wish to convey for themselves. As consumers, the millennial generation wants the world to know what they love and marketers can use this fact to a company’s advantage. If a consumer loves a company or a product, there is a strong possibility that, as a millennial, they will voluntarily promote the product on their social media platforms and, as a result, encourage other consumers to invest in the company or product.


Influence of Other Consumers

Unlike older generations who place trust in television and print advertisements, millennials are more likely to trust peer recommendations for insight into what products they should invest in. Authenticity is particularly valuable to millennial consumers and this authenticity is often found through peer social media accounts. The use of the term “peer” is broad; it pertains to both personal friends, strangers, and famous personalities that a consumer believes are trustworthy. User-generated content, from friends’ posts about a product, to comments and testimonials on a company’s website, to video reviews of products, are a component of advertising with an ever-increasing influence on consumer investment. Millennials invest in products, brands, and services based on the authentic connection they build with a company through the trust they place in consumer and celebrity opinions surrounding a product.


Consumer-Company Connections

Millennials expect, and often want, to engage with brands on their social media platforms. As consumers, millennials are more likely to invest in a brand they have directly engaged with online. Because millennial consumers trust the opinions of their friends, marketing campaigns that fashion themselves in a way that encourages millennials to become friends with the company have greater appeal to younger generations. Companies that maintain an online presence that is friendly, authentic, sociable, and humble encourage consumer loyalty. For millennials, this level of authenticity and is often achieved through direct interactions between consumers and a company online.



When engaging with companies online, millennials want their investment to be an experience, not simply a purchase. Marketing campaigns that allow millennials to become an active participant in the promotion of a product, service, or brand are valued by the millennial generation. This can be achieved through promotional contests and collaborative projects, among other options. Millennials are more likely to invest in products when they feel that they, as a consumer, have contributed to a brand’s success.


Finding the channels where millennials have a presence is vital to a company’s successful promotion of their product, brand, or service. This presence is no longer most prominent within television and print channels, but is online. Millennials find the majority of the media they consume through online social channels and are more inclined to pay attention to marketing content found on those channels. While there are a variety of ways to market to consumers, it is clear that the most successful millennial marketing campaigns are concentrated within social media platforms, where the future of marketing is shifting overall.

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