NEW YORK – Millennials may be the tech-savviest generation yet, spending more time surfing the web and on social media than they do watching TV, listening to radio, or reading newspapers, but they still use and value traditional media, according to Ypulse, a leading authority on youth behaviour and culture.
In fact, when students were shopping for back-to-school (BTS) items, they most preferred to hear about deals or specials via regular mail, email, TV, and newspaper ads rather than via Facebook pages or ads, text alerts, or Twitter messages.
“Just because students say they prefer learning about shopping deals through the mail doesn’t mean that social media and new media isn’t a valuable avenue for retailers,” says Melanie Shreffler, Ypulse editor-in-chief. “It is more likely that the ways in which marketers have used new media so far don’t resonate with Millennials.”
The primary function of social media is communication, not shopping, which means millennials aren’t necessarily going on such sites to look for ads to aid in their purchase decisions.
Still, they expect brands to be on social media. Two thirds say a brand being on social media shows it cares about their generation, and 56% think social media is a great way to find out what’s new with brands they like. That may be why 64% have “liked” a brand on Facebook, following an average of 10 brands or companies.
“Students clearly use social media to connect with brands, but they don’t want to be bombarded by sales and deal information,” says Shreffler. “When their news feed has more advertising than conversation, they get turned off. Millennials are on social media to connect and have fun, and advertisers should remember that when talking to them in that space.”
Minor adjustments, such as phrasing an ad as a conversation instead of an announcement, make a big difference in how they are received. But brands can also talk to millennials too much. The most common reasons they decide to “un-like” brands online are:
- The brand sends too many messages (59%)
- Stopped liking the brand or store (14%)
- Wanted their social network to be more personal/for friends (12%)
- Not enough sales or promotion offers (10%).
Youth Pulse Inc is a leading authority on teens, collegians and young adults for marketing, brand, and media professionals, providing news, commentary, events, research and strategy.