Gen Y Really Does LIKE Your Brand -- You Can Bet Your 2011 Budget On It

As 2010 winds down, two telling pieces of news broke last week that highlight the influence Generation Y had on the social media explosion of 2010: Mark Zuckerberg was named Time magazines's Person of the Year and L2, a think tank that focuses on digital innovation, released a study that dives into the media consumption of the affluent members of Gen Y.

There has already been an enormous amount of reporting and analysis on Zuckerberg's latest accolade, so I won't belabor the various and often conflicting story angles. What's mind blowing is seeing the creator of Facebook -- a member of Gen Y who has completely upended the ad industry -- on the cover of Time. And the findings in the L2 study, though not as earth shattering so much as confirming what most of us already know, contain some surprising stats worth factoring in when planning your 2011 marketing strategy and budget allocation.

The link between these two stories? Facebook, of course.

The Gen Y study focuses on media consumption and, in most of the research, ties this consumption back to Facebook. Eighty-one percent of the affluent Gen Y audience uses Facebook multiple times a day. What is even more enticing about this generation and their Facebook usage is their affinity towards brands and eagerness to "like" them.



Over three-quarters of the respondents "like" a brand and one-quarter of them have developed a "brand crush" through Facebook. Who wouldn't want their target audience to have a crush on their brand, and could you ask for anything more from your marketing dollars? The lesson here is to get your brand "liked" on Facebook and spend your money and your time doing it. But how?

That is where some of the additional statistics found in this research become very compelling, specifically regarding the consumption of the various media. Second to social or Facebook usage is Gen Y's devotion to reading blogs.

"If baby boomers are the TV generation, then Gen Y is the blog generation," the study reported. What's beautiful about blogs is they too are designed to be social in that they typically encourage comments or interaction. What this means for you is that as you are allocating your 2011 marketing dollars in an effort to boost your "likes" on Facebook, blogs should be at the top of the list. We find the most successful campaigns that run on our site encourage some type of social interaction or engagement.

This aligns with all that we know about Gen Y and is reinforced in this research -- Gen Y likes to share their opinion and showcase themselves and their views. The blog world is not about the authoritative voice of traditional media but more of an inclusive platform that prompts discussions and allows people to give their opinion. Use blogs to start the conversation and ensure that there is a mechanism for them to "like" your brand.

Something else that emerged in this research worth noting is the massive growth of video and mobile. For us in the marketing world, this isn't news. However, what struck me as interesting is the combination of the two: of those who responded, one in eight reported watching a video on a mobile device in the past 24 hours -- an impressive number that I imagine will only grow in 2011.

The message: dedicate money toward emerging platforms such as video and mobile. Take time to understand the consumption of these products and partner with publishers who can develop unique solutions combining these assets. Then, of course, make sure you can "like" your brand via mobile device or video.

Twenty ten was an eye-opening year for all of us in the marketing world. As social media rose, we gained knowledge and understanding of the space -- and learned how to work both within it and outside of it. But of all that stood out, perhaps what was most meaningful was the naming of Mark Zuckerberg as the Person of the Year and renewed understanding that "like" on Facebook now holds more weight than any click-through.

2 comments about "Gen Y Really Does LIKE Your Brand -- You Can Bet Your 2011 Budget On It ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, December 24, 2010 at 5:29 p.m.

    I wish to give a caveat here:

    1] Time spent per day on Facebook per User is down to 43mins from 55mins in April based on 540mil users. A 22% drop. If what I am hearing about 600mil accounts then its down over 30% to 38mins.

    2] Number of photos uploaded each month per active user is down 26% from 7.5 to 5.5. (also using 540mil users).

    3] Number of people checking in each day at least once is down 18%.

    Also Fan Pages seriously are getting below 0.03% for major brand pages in terms of engagement.

    If I was a big brand I would focus more on traditional forms of Marketing. Except one place Facebook excels! Facebook Ads! Those are the one thing I have seen that works. Open Graph? Yawn. Places/Deals? ZZZZZ Fan Pages? You can get the 'Like' but nothing else. BTW the average user only 'Likes' 4 pages a month.

    What does this all mean. Gen-Y is on Facebook to communicate with friends and family, not engage with Brands. Bad business model that is starting to be exposed. Going to be a rough year for the Huckster. I mean Zuckster.

  2. Jennifer Balyint from UD On Campus, January 3, 2011 at 5:26 p.m.

    We've spoken with many college students about fan pages, engaging online, and "likes" alike - it comes down to offering incentives and delivering a fresh message. One brand ambassador for us mentioned, "businesses need to offer incentives to join a fan page, and continue to do so so people frequently visit the page. I can be lazy and stubborn so I need a push to go out my my way to do something."

    College students are eager to spend money on items they deem as important, but are less likely to spend money to "try something out."

    Facebook is a great compliment to a college marketing campaign, but peer-to-peer sampling and in-person promotional events have an incredibly positive effect when turning college students into customers.

    Jennifer @ UD On Campus

Next story loading loading..