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Marketing to millennials - selfies, hashtags and retweets

Millennials are self-centred. They love selfies, and hashtags, and sharing all their life moments online. And as they reach their prime working and spending years, brands are now faced with a huge opportunity to appeal to this consumer market...
Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials grew up during a time of rapid technological change that has created a generation of digitally savvy consumers. The digital world has shaped their opinions, helped them build relationships and form their identities. Hyper aware of 'likes', 'retweets' and 'follows', social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have given a voice to an entire generation of consumers.

While today's self-absorbed consumers are all about 'me, me, me', we're not just talking about their photo album of selfies on their Facebook or Instagram account. When it comes to brands, consumers want to know "what's in it for them"? Whether it's a brand that caters for the lower LSMs, or a more premium brand targeting the upper end of the market, we've seen social media pages receive the most engagement when followers have the opportunity to receive something.

©nito500 via 123RF

Your brand may be highly relatable to your target audience, it may be seen as 'cool' because it's aspirational, or it may just fulfil a need, but ultimately that's not what gets consumers engaging with your brand. They need an opportunity to be recognised, validated, feel famous, or be the winner of that competition you're hosting. If you want to tap into this market, you need to play on their terms.

Recent years have seen several brands run campaigns that have successfully resonated with the millennial generation. Campaigns such as the 'no make-up selfie' and the 'ice bucket challenge', to raise awareness and money for cancer research and ALS respectively, gained traction amongst millennials largely because it gave them an opportunity to post a selfie that could be 'liked' or a video that their Facebook friends could watch. Although these are both worthy causes to raise awareness around and donate to, and no doubt the prospect of doing so encouraged the public to participate in these campaigns, it was also a chance for participants not only give towards the cause, but to literally be seen and recognised for it.

Another great example of the point I'm making here is Coca-Cola's 'share a Coke' campaign. Originally launched in Australia in 2011, it quickly spread to more than seventy countries due to its popularity. The success of the campaign lies in the opportunity it gave consumers to express themselves and share it with someone else. Having their name on a Coke bottle made consumers 'famous' through one of the world's most iconic brands.

The point is, successfully targeting the millennial generation is all about giving. Giving them their fifteen seconds of fame, giving them another opportunity to gain a 'like' or 'retweet, or giving them a chance to win something. The marketer that can tap into their desire to be recognised, has a successful campaign on their hands.

About Michele Warbreck

Michele Warbreck is an Account Manager at digital marketing agency, Flume. Michele holds a BBA in Brand Building and Management from Vega (2011-2013) and joined the Flume team in 2014. Flume started in 2013 with a single minded focus: to bring business to their client's business, and they do this by creating brand awareness, building brand reputation and making sure that the funnel and mechanism is optimised for results.
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'Mathabana Kotelo
Great article Michelle. Us millenials are certainly the me-generation and th e need for self gratification and acknowledgement by other is what drives our purchasing decisions.
Posted on 11 Aug 2015 08:55