Commentary

Social: It's #Personal - What Millennials Want Brands To Know About Social Advertising

Social marketing is getting increasingly important to brands. In fact, according to "2016 State of Social Business" by Ed Terpening and Aubrey Littleton, ad budgets increased by 73% last year and are expected to grow even more in 2017. As brands look to make social a bigger part of their efforts, they need to ensure that they’re using it in the most effective way. So, what do they need to know? We asked the first generation to actually come of age with social. Here’s how to be successful in social, according to millennials.

Be personal

Social is getting ever more personal. Consumers can easily feel violated by pushy social advertising if is not targeted to them in the right space and the right time. 

  • “You are in my personal space now.” 
  • “I use Facebook to check up on family, friends, and news. It’s not always the right time for ads.” 
  • “I follow stories on Snapchat and use it to communicate with my friends. I’m there for my friends, not brands.”
  • “I notice when a brand is talking specifically to me and I pay attention.” 

Be relevant and targeted 

Advertisers need to be mindful of each platform and tailor native content for each. 

  • “You don’t want automate your content to be mass distributed, it doesn’t work anymore.” 
  • “I want to see something that is relevant for Instagram in Instagram. Don’t try to treat me the same way you do on Facebook.”
  • “What’s in it for me? Pay attention to how I use each social channel and add to the experience.” 
  • “Don’t be pushy. If it’s not relevant you can’t force it.”

Be smart/interesting/entertaining 

The best way to cut through the clutter is still to show people something they’ve never seen before. If you can do that, they’ll remember you and want to share your content.

  • “Create something that I can share that will make me seem smart, funny or interesting.”
  • “Be witty or show me something cool.”
  • “If I share your content, I am more likely to consider it later when it is an advertisement.” 

Be integrated across all channels  

Brands need to look cohesive. Traditional advertising needs to align with social and vice versa. Internal brand and digital teams need to be working together more than ever to reach awareness and revenue goals.

  • “If an ad is unique or funny enough I’ll click just to see how the rest of the experience might be. If the ad is good, hopefully the rest of the brand is, too.”
  • “Know your brand voice and tone and be mindful of how it translates into digital and social.”

If you are trying to advertise on social, remember: you are in someone’s personal space. Be mindful of how they are utilizing each channel and how you can best fit into to that behavior and their personal space. Nobody like a door-knocking solicitor coming to their house and disrupting them during dinner. So, don’t be a solicitor: create native, interesting, thoughtful, targeted content. Utilize video and each channel’s content in an interesting, smart way to be a part of the discovery, research, and purchasing process. Millennials have lived in this world all their life and they move fast. If you want to stay relevant, you’ll have to keep up.

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