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Brands Must Engage in New Ways to Reach Millennials

by on February 3, 2012

Being a millennial myself, I already know I rely on social media daily. It’s the way millennials have learned to communicate, socialize and explore the world around them. I’m constantly on, accessible and sharing the latest updates with my friends, family and often times strangers. If I’m looking for a new restaurant in the neighborhood, I automatically pull up Yelp or Foursquare’s Explore feature. Shopping online? I likely follow your brand on Twitter or Facebook and before making a purchase I read reviews on your product, how it fits, works and its quality. Upset that my flight is late? Oh you better believe I’ve already tweeted about it.

A recent survey done by Bazaarvoice, only cements these facts about millennials and how they relate to their world and therefore interact with companies and brands. Bazaarvoice writes, “the bottom line is, millennials shop and interact with brands differently. As they start to control spending, their habits will inevitably change the way businesses sell – and with it, the way all consumers buy.”

One of the most stunning facts from the recent survey is that when trying to learn about a brand, product or service, 51% of millennials trust user-generated content significantly more than any other form of information, including brand messaging, news articles and advertisements. Perhaps even more surprising is that millennials say they trust advice from strangers more than recommendations from friends and family (49%).

In addition, the study found that 42% of millennials share their brand experiences (positive or negative) across their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) compared to only 17% of boomers.

This study leaves no doubt that brands need to continue to utilize social media to engage with the millennial generation. By embracing social media, reacting in real time and adopting a policy of authentic transparency, brands will earn respect and trust from millennials. Even more so, brands need to inspire their advocates and superfans to create user-generated content to influence millennials about their products.

Bazaarvoice millennials final2 Brands Must Engage in New Ways to Reach Millennials

February 3, 2012