How To Get Their Attention
It is the most-connected generation by far, using text messages more than actual phone calls and instant messaging over talking to you in person. When communicating with anyone, it's really important that you understand the receiver's preference. Understanding the tools that Gen Yers use to communicate with each other is the key for forming those relationships and tapping their networks.
Gen Y was groomed from birth with technology, and its members seek to get a lot of satisfaction from work. They aren't interested in just a day job; they want meaning in their lives. Talking the Gen Y lingo might help you connect with them, but what they really care about is attention and respect. Most Gen Yers are needy and require a lot of mentorship from older generations. With short attention spans, you better be able to send more messages to them in 140 characters or less (think Twitter) and it better be eye catching and compelling.
If you want to market to Gen Y, then create profiles on social networks that its members are already participating with and engage them directly. These social networks can include the leading sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as niche sites and video-sharing sites like YouTube.
Here are some tips to engage members of Gen Y:
- Listen to them carefully and analyze their behavior.
- Ask them how they want to be contacted before sending out a mass mailing or poking them on Facebook.
- Be creative with your marketing because that's the only way you will attract them to your product or company.
- Reward them with incentives and they'll come knocking on your door because they were raised to feel special by their parents.
- Develop content they can share because they are already active online and have their own channels of distribution.
- Recruit them to help you with your marketing to other Gen Yers.
Companies and marketers that can understand this generation will see enormous opportunities now and in the future. Gen Y is bound to take over the entire workforce, so your best bet is to learn how it operates, tap its expertise and station yourself where it is already "hanging out."
Use your best judgment when reaching out to them because any mishaps will result in a negative spiral of bad press online. You cannot avoid Gen Yers because they are everywhere and changing our business world. The smartest thing you can do is engage them honestly, transparently and authentically.