June 3, 2014

The millennial demographic has been changing the way businesses market in general.

This demographic is so important to understand since they are considered America’s next big shoppers and are over 86 million people strong. Although the exact ages vary depending on where you look, this group is typically comprised of those born from anywhere in the late 1970s to early ‘80s, to around 2001. They typically don’t have religious ties, they are not likely to be married and they have liberal views toward current social topics.

These demographics, for marketers and businesses, are all very different from the baby boomers who brands have been tailoring their marketing to for many years. Millenials are larger by size and have more money to spend than their predecessors, and are now the new dream target demographic.

Millenials, if at all, barely remember life without the Internet and they certainly don’t go a day without it. They are the reason that businesses are on Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and, thanks to smart phones and tablets, they are constantly connected to them. Recently, marketers have figured out that millenials place a tremendous amount of weight on peer reviews over any other source of opinion, including professionals.

This means that a millennial will trust their friend’s dog food recommendation over a veterinarian’s recommendation. This is very powerful information.

So now the question is how do you target this demographic.

As a retailer or brand, you have to make sure you are in their “space” at all times, however, you can’t be overwhelming. If you are looking to get started at targeting this demographic, make sure you at least have a Facebook page and be sure that you are actively posting and responding to your fans. You will want to post meaningful content that allows people to engage with your business.

For example, a store could ask what treat their pet likes the best or why they like to give their pet a treat. These types of posts will stir up responses and discussions.

Be sure to post the recommended three times a week, and also be sure to ask for people to like your page. You can do this by periodically posting offers on Facebook and advertising them to your customers while they are in store. Why not pick the fan favorite of your weekly polls and put them on sale?

Facebook also offers some great advertising options. They recently did a nice job tweaking their advertising platform and have now given advertisers, including small businesses, the ability to target specific demographics. If you have some advertising dollars in your budget, I definitely suggest spending a good amount of them here.

When it comes to the other social sites, I would suggest getting involved with as many as you can. Not all of them require you to pay, they all have something different to offer, and they’re all beneficial to small businesses.

Jessica Farina-Morris

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