Reeling in Millennials with Social Media
July 28, 2016
Society today seems to be centered around one generation, Millennials. Because of the internet, Millennials have more power than any generation before them. Without ever leaving the house, they can dictate trends, consume media, make their voice heard around the world, and even create media. Whether or not Millennials are actually making a difference, society thinks they have the capability to and thus they are the demographic everyone wants to reach. And the way to reach this generation? Social media.
In 2014, Experian Marketing Services reported that 74% of Millennial smartphone users engage in social networking in a typical week. With that many Millennials using social networking, it seems obvious that’s the best way to reach them. However, they are not engaging with just anyone on social media. People, brands, and companies can be unfollowed on any platform with the click of a button. So how do you make sure that you continue to reach consumers on these platforms?
Getting the Most Out of Social Media
Social Media Today has cited three ways in which you might be wasting your social media time:
1. You don’t need to be on every social media platform.
2. Don’t link your accounts.
3. You don’t need to tweet to be on Twitter.
However, these are simply jumping off points. Social media platforms pop up quicker than you can join them, so while you don’t need to be on all of them, it is beneficial to be on more than one. Every platform caters to a different niche and is designed to share information, pictures, or data in a certain way. Among the most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you were only going to choose a few platforms to be on, these would be the ones.
Facebook is best used for a longer post, as details can be added and commenters can easily communicate with the person who posts and each other. Twitter is great for giving moment-by-moment updates of an event, or trying to promote the popularity of an idea. While hashtags have made their way to other platforms, they still work the best on Twitter. Instagram is best used when showing is better than telling; the biggest mistake that companies and brands make here is uploading the same picture again and again. Followers want fresh ideas and images. YouTube is best for videos but more than that, it can allow for a “face to face” interaction even though it has been previously recorded.
While Social Media Today says not to link your accounts, I think that is making too broad of a statement. Yes, you do not want all your social media accounts to be identical, but they can lead a follower from one account to another. Give them a teaser on Twitter with a full blog on Facebook. Or post a picture on Instagram but also link it to Twitter, allowing more viewers to see it. Everything does not need to be on every account but some things can certainly be on more than one.
Lastly, you don’t need to tweet to be on Twitter. I believe this is more of a guideline for followers on Twitter than those who wish to be followed. If you never post an original thought, why do your followers need to follow you? But also pay attention to what others are posting because retweets can be just as effective as tweets.
Putting This to Work
You may be thinking, “I already know how social media works … I want to know how it can work for me!” As I said before, use the platforms to their advantages. As a radio station, let your personalities interact on social media WHILE on-air. Personalities can bring up a topic and let fans tweet their thoughts. You can post “behind-the-mic” pictures and videos to Instagram and YouTube. Especially if you have a guest on the show, hype them on Facebook and Twitter, then post pictures or videos of them actually being on the show. Post upcoming contests and events on Twitter with more details linked to Facebook.
And finally, remember social media is not a one and done deal. Just as you can’t record your morning show one time and air it every day, you also cannot post one time on social media and expect anyone to stick around. Consistency and interactions with your fans are the keys. Radio was a social medium before the term even existed; radio personalities have had relationships with their listeners long before any other traditional media. And now, radio personalities have a way to continue those connections throughout the day by means of other social media options. Take advantage of social media and make it work for you!
-Annie Bukowski, Research Assistant