Written by Malynda Resh
Millennials are making their mark rapidly and in aggressive ways. We are the most diverse — and productive — generation in U.S. history. We love collaborating with others. We’re discontent with the way things have always been done. We relentlessly search after truth, torturing ourselves with the questions, What if? and Why not? Since we are the first generation to grow up in a digitally-saturated world, we have been sold to more than any other generation. (Yes, we see right through you salesman and hey friend, we’re over it).
So, how does your company communicate effectively in a language in which tech-savvy, busy-bees can clearly understand? Here are 5 tips from my “oh, so ambitious” millennial brain.
1. Engage Us
Give us a good reason to take a moment out of our busy days. Get the conversation going and ask us questions; give us something we’re excited to share with our friends. For example, mental floss creates e-postcards to share on facebook. There’s no link. No sales pitch. Will Pearson, president and co-founder of mental_floss says, “Most of our posts are focused on giving them (our fans) meaningful content that they want to share, which builds their trust and loyalty.”
Long-term engagement = long-term sales and profitability #nobrainer
2. Make it smart
Present your information in a fast-paced, goal-oriented way. Speak to us intelligently. No need to dumb it down, or we will view you as condescending and dismiss you as culturally irrelevant. Please keep in mind that we don’t keep information to ourselves. We are over-sharers and want to influence everyone’s thinking. Give us something interesting to talk about.
3. Be funny
Hello buzzfeed, imgur, youtube! You crack us up and make us happy. Unlike Gen Xers, millennials aren’t rebellious. We love goofy, honest, and socially confident brands. We gravitate towards authentic humor and quirky personalities. So loosen up that tie and throw on some flip-flops, my friend!
4. Be someone to believe in
We’ve been sold to more than any generation. We’ve smelled false promises and unethical ads since we were 5 years old. We’ve been burned over and over again. And yes, we will blow up social media to broadcast our distaste of your company’s twitter screw-up. Now, we step carefully. We’re searching for a company with integrity, community, and openness. Promote what you believe in with truthfulness and we will follow you to the moon and back.
Older generation, you are our role models and mentors. We want to follow you. Talk is cheap. If you promise us something, make sure you follow through.
5. Make it human
Just talk to people like people. Treat everything, from print to media, like an everyday conversation. A “real” connection motivates loyalty and trust.