Don't Tell Millennial Women What To Do

Although it’s not breaking news that Snapchat is on the rise as a social media force among younger Millennial women, it’s helpful to step back and understand why it has gained popularity so rapidly against Facebook, which remains the dominant channel of choice.

“[Snapchat]'s a place where they can really be free," says Rachel Parkin, a Harvard Ph.D. in Business Economics who is SVP, strategy & insights at CafeMedia. In comparison, "Facebook is really a much more curated and polished version of who they are and where they are comfortable, with anybody from their friends to their grandmother to their boss seeing them.”

As far as numbers go, 73% of women 18-25 use Facebook daily while 40% are on Snapchat, according to this week’s reveal from a CafeMedia online survey of more than 3,000 Millennial women conducted last December. Of women 26-34, 79% use Facebook but only 15% are on Snapchat. Combine both age groups and 43% use YouTube daily, 41% Instagram, 27% Pinterest and 24% Twitter.

Another revealing takeaway is that Millennial moms “are driving the conversation online.” Thirty-four percent of them post something daily on social, vs. 22% of Millennials without children.

“I think that really changes the image of who today’s Millennial moms are,” Parkin says, while also citing the finding that 49% of moms have tattoos vs. 29% of those without kids. And advertisers need to make sure that they adjust their mindsets accordingly.

“It brings new meaning to the notion of ‘mommy and me,’" Parkin says, “because she is both ‘mommy’ and she is ‘me.’ She is a great mom who loves her kid but she does not want to loses sight of who she is as a person and a woman.”

CafeMedia undertook the survey after it changed its name from CafeMom last September as it was in different stages of launching two properties aimed at a more diverse female Millennial audience: the “mobile-first” Revelist and Vivala, which targets Latinas. Most of the latter are third-gen, bilingual speakers who “overwhelmingly” prefer English media, Parkin says.

CafeMedia dubbed the study “The Kaleidoscope Generation” because “there are so many different layers to Millennial women that the picture shifts every way you look at it,” Parkin says.

But there are also some commonalities among the 37 million women in the cohort, too. The chief among them, paradoxically, is that they “live life on their own terms,” with 84% asserting that “aren’t afraid to chart a different course from their friends.” An equal percentage say they “get excited when something is new and different.” And only 35% — travel marketers take note — “prefer to spend money on something material over an experience.”

That strong sense of individuality and discernment extends to Millennial women’s relationships with brands. The overwhelming reaction to most brands was “indifference.” Only eight out of the 174 brands mentioned to them elicited a “love it” from more than a third of the respondents. Amazon, Google and Netflix were the top three.

Some other findings of note:

  • More than half of Millennial women never look at a print publication, and only 20% spend more than an hour a week reading a newspaper or magazine.
  • More Millennial women subscribe to streaming services (67%) than cable or satellite (60%), and 21% said they’d cut the cord within six months.
  • “It’s all about instant access” and “being on demand,” which explains why Amazon, Google and Netflix are “loved."
  • Authenticity is key.

The worst mistake you can make in communicating with a Millennial woman, Parkin says, it “to try to tell her what to do.”

“She will reject it. She wants to figure it out in her own way, on her own terms. She wants sources where she can quickly gather lots of opinions, including bad reviews, which actually tell her something,” Parkin says.

Tell stories. Provide ideas from a first-person perspective. Do short videos about what works. And what doesn’t. And what doesn’t work, to be sure, are “black box” solutions, “faceless articles” and, no doubt, the one-tagline-fits-all advertising that becomes less and less relevant with each passing post, snap, share, pin and tweet.

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1 comment about "Don't Tell Millennial Women What To Do ".
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  1. John Motavalli from Freelance, August 5, 2016 at 12:22 p.m.

    Interesting.