Five Ways to Tailor Your Social Media Event Marketing to Millenials

Five Ways to Tailor Your Social Media Event Marketing to Millenials

You can just see the Baby Boomers and, to a lesser extent, Gen-Xers having a collective panic attack as the headlines roll in: MILLENIALS POISED TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD. While the media initially pegged millenials (defined as the generation born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s), as a bunch of narcissists with Peter Pan syndrome, studies show that with the rebounding economy, this group of 20- and early 30-something are just as industrious as their predecessors, if not quite as well-off. What that means for the world of event promotion is that your marketing needs to be on point, because let’s get real: millenials have a lot competing not only for their attention, but their time and money as well. We all know it comes down to social media, but other than creating a hashtag and assigning someone to spam Twitter all day, what does that mean? Here are five tips for successfully marketing your event in the brave new world of Generation Y consumers.

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Create Bite-Sized Content

It’s sad but true – millenials have the attention spans of goldfish. What that means for social media promotion is that it has to be brief and sharp; think of your posts like fighter pilots: they need to get in, hit the target, and get out. This not only means that your audience will take the time to click, but it makes the content easier to view on smartphones and more likely to be shared. So what qualifies as bite-sized? Try anything with images: infographs, exclusive pictures, memes, videos, etc. Remember, not every post has to be specifically about your event. Users above all appreciate good content, and will connect the good sentiment that generates back to you.

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Enlist Savvy Social Media Managers

For the love of cupcakes, make sure whoever’s implementing your social media campaign is familiar with the ways of that particular platform. Every post should be tailored to that specific network. After all, there’s nothing that spells “narc” like a fuddy-duddy company that won’t stop spamming your feed with stuff you couldn’t care less about.
Not only will users turn away from your content, they’ll take a diminished view of you as a company and of your event.

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Strive for Authenticity over Gloss

Perhaps more than any other generation, millenials –a group that’s grown up on adblock and Tivo – are inured to the effects of advertising. Blame technology (or Mad Men) all you want, but the point is that big-budget ad campaigns aren’t going to get you very far when pushing your event. Instead, save your budget to engage key influencers who are likely to have both access to and sway over your target audience. Whatever you do, don’t try and pull a fast one – influencers will instantly lose their cred the moment you force them to ring a false note on your behalf. Let it happen organically, whether that means engaging influencers with a legitimate interest in the event, or allowing them to promote in a winking, ironic way that acknowledges the transactional nature of your sponsorship.


Make Partners of Your Audience

This is another one you’ve probably heard a bunch: millenials like to be involved. On the organization side, that could mean anything from brainstorming advertising campaigns to crowdsourcing ideas for products and events. Get your target audience engaged from the get-go by allowing them to be part of the planning process, whether that means getting them to vote on the playlist, launching an instagram contest or incentivizing a branded hashtag campaign. The bottom line is when you integrate user generated content into your social media promotion and even the details of your event, your audience is more likely to 1) have a stake in the event and 2) to share social media posts about it.


Make Use of Peer Pressure

Not like in the bad way that DARE told us to avoid – use it in a good way! Millenials are a highly social group who value opportunities to collaborate and network – not to mention the good opinions of their peers. Capitalize on this desire to be part of a group by connecting your event with a positive message or value that will be meaningful to your target audience. Not only will this cause your event to be seen in a more positive light, it will give your audience another reason to get involved: their own desire for a better a world (or at the worst, their desire to make their peers think they care about a better world).

David Sonntag
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