Just as marketers have finally gotten the hang of the social media thing, two important segments of their audience are starting to bail on them. With the exceptions of Snapchat and Instagram, millennials and Gen Z are moving away from the major social media platforms.
According to The Social Habit 2019 Study from Edison Research, US social media users aged 12-34 displayed these trends between 2017 and 2019:
- A drop of 17 percentage points in Facebook use, from 79% to 62%
- Twitter use decreased by 7 percentage points, from 36% to 29%
- Pinterest use was down 5 percentage points, from 36% to 31%
- Decreased LinkedIn use by 2 percentage points, from 23% to 21%
- Unchanged use in Snapchat, stable at 62%
- Instagram was the only social media platform to show increased use during the time period – up 2 percentage points, from 64% to 66%.
So how do marketers engage with these groups if they’re using social media less?
- Forget traditional sales pitches and ads. Millennials and Gen Z are unpredictable during their buyer journeys. They don’t like cold sales pitches and they ignore conventional ads. They want companies to engage with them in an authentic manner.
- Mobile engagement. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, be prepared to lose customers, especially younger ones. Research has shown that two-thirds of customers visiting a mobile site are more likely to make a purchase when that site is optimized for mobile. In addition, if a site is non-responsive to mobile access, 61% of visitors will leave the site.
- Be authentic. Values such as transparency, authenticity, honesty and character are important to millennials and Gen X when choosing brands to support. One report found that two-thirds of millennials believe that “being true to their values and beliefs” makes a person or brand rise above others.
- Build trust and loyalty by always answering questions at every touchpoint. This takes a thorough, detailed content plan in order to link your content to the intent of your users in a consistent manner.
- Remember that younger people like email, too. Email may be “old school,” but it’s still an effective method to reach your audience, even millennials. A study from ClickZ found that almost three-fourths (73%) of millennials and over two-thirds (68%) of Gen Z prefer to hear from brands via email.
What strategies does your organization use to reach millennials and Gen Z?