Let’s face it, “old school” is just an outdated term that’s been replaced by “vintage” in an effort to sound trendy; it’s not a sufficient enough argument to continue to use your old business tactics if you want to reach the millennial audience. However, that is not to say that your business tactics can’t be revamped and with the help of this article, you can do just that! Here are 5 tips on how to get millennials interested in your business, no matter what your business is:
Use Social Media to Keep Up
As intimidating, disheartening, or unappealing as that may sound, social media is literally the king of successful marketing. Direct messages (or DM’s) have replaced cold-calling and hashtags have replaced rolodexes. If you want to expand your brand and reach out to the younger generation, you have to be willing to create that Facebook page and start tweeting away on Twitter!
But Don’t Try TOO Hard
Using social media as an outlet to stay up to date on the latest news, events, and trends going on in our world can be a great asset to your business, especially when it comes to promotional use. But if you catch yourself quoting daily “Kardashianisms” or staying #lit on Instagram, it may be time for you to dial it down a notch. One thing you don’t want your business to come across as is desperate, and we can see right through the “trying-to-be-hip” grandparent companies of the world, don’t become one of them.
Think Outside of the Box
The millennial generation is one of the most creative and intellectual generations to date (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a part of it). We are constantly thinking of different ways to approach things in art, music, even science! If you want a millennial to tap into your business, you have to do the same thing! Think about your brand. What message are you striving to convey? In what ways can you convey this message? Now think of three more ways. Now five, 10, you get the gist. Be creative in your brainstorming! Don’t be a square, our world is round for a reason!
Start A Conversation
If you truly want your business to flourish, you have to listen to what the people have to say. Start a campaign around a particular topic your business supports, or sponsor a panel discussing a certain value your business upholds (i.e. wildlife extinction awareness for an animal organization, a panel discussing life as a missionary for a faith-based non-profit, etc.). Events like these not only help your young customers see what you stand for, but how they can contribute to what your business is doing.
When it comes to social media however, starting a conversation must be done wisely. This tip must be used with caution! It is not for the loose-lipped, nor for the close-minded. Posting articles regarding topics involving what your business does can be a great way to inform your audience about how what’s happening in the world correlates with your business. However, having a “foot-in-mouth” situation has led to the destruction of many brands because of their lack of conversation etiquette. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Always speak for the business, not as the person running the social media account for the business: in situations like these, personal opinions are best kept separate from professional opinions.
– Always speak from a neutral tone: your goal is to gain customers, not lose them. You never know how many customers an opinionated statement could make you lose.
– Never argue in the comments: it never fails, you will always have a troll (a modern-day devil’s advocate, if you will) who will intentionally try to bicker. In fact, the more followers you gain, the more trolls will appear. Rather than going back-and-forth, you can either choose to ignore them, or use the simple short-and-sweet tactic (i.e. “We here at _____ believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Have a great rest of your day!”). The majority of the time, the first option is more likely, however, when you begin interacting with your consumers (BONUS TIP!), the latter option may have to be used from time to time.
Have Fun and Let Them Know You’re Having Fun!
“But Essence, work should NEVER be mixed with play!” I know, I know. I’m not telling you to go out here and slack off, but I am encouraging you to keep some sort of a lively environment and emit that liveliness through your marketing. If you want someone to buy from you, some sort of level of trust has to be created. Millennials aren’t used to the everyday wearing of stuffy suits and kitten heels (unless they’re from Forever 21). So if that’s all they can relate your business with, they aren’t going to be interested. Show them what you can offer that will help them, but in a relatable way. Make them look pass the pinstripes and pearls!
We millennials value the entrepreneurial spirit and supporting businesses just as much, if not more, than the next person. However, it takes a lot more than door-to-door selling to get us interested these days. Use these tips7 you didn’t even know you needed and watch your business go from weak to #OnFleek!