In case you haven’t noticed, young people have a voice these days and it’s being heard loud and clear. That’s a big change for me who grew up in a time where young writers were told we had to experience something before we’d have anything to write about.
But if you want to capture the hearts of young people with your business services or products, there are a few things you should implement now.
Young people desire instantaneous feedback and conversation on their terms. Chatbots can help you achieve that without tying up phone lines or having long conversations at your business. They can answer all sorts of questions at any time of the day. And best of all, people generally enjoy their interactions with them. With voice commands, and technology like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, many people are already using this for everything from homework to ordering products.
2. Facebook Messaging
Okay, so this is still largely one-sided communication. People must message you first before you can message them as a business. However, you should encourage the use of this technology because most young people prefer this type of communication to picking up the phone.
Texts have a 98-99% open rate of messages as opposed to 20-30% for emails (and that’s being generous). If you want to appeal to young people, get out your phone and start reaching them in a medium they love. Get onto their cell phones; get into their lives.
Okay. To be honest, this one’s lost on me but it’s wildly popular with people under 35. It appears everyone loves those geo-filters. I guess we all secretly want to be puppies or unicorns. But seriously, if one of your target demographics is the market under 35, you need to be here. This platform is rapidly becoming more important to their daily Internet habit than Facebook. As of the 4th quarter in 2017, there were 187 million daily users of Snapchat, up 30 million in one year. Snapchat still has a ways to go to meet Facebook’s 1.4 billion daily users but it’s growing quickly.
5. Taking Pictures Every Day
This generation loves pics. Share some of your own every day on social media, especially Instagram. Share your business, your employees, your products or services. If you have foot traffic at your business, consider creating photo ops like an oversized beach chair or something that will draw a crowd.
6. Young Professionals Group
Another way to appeal to your local youth is to check with your chamber to find out if they have a young professionals group. If so, you could sponsor an event, speak before them, join a mentor program, or get involved with them in other ways. You can run ideas past them to see what they think. Getting to know young people in your community is also a much more solid indicator of what they want than just going by stereotypes or broader research.
Speaking of running ideas past them, young people love to be valued and there’s no better way to do that than to ask their opinions on your offerings. You can run contests for naming rights or a new service or item. You can ask them to vote on one of three flavors you’re considering selling. You can crowdsource the new wall color. Give them options. Wait for feedback and find ways to incorporate their ideas into your business.
If you want to reach the younger generation and make your marketing and offerings more appealing to them, you need to embrace the technology and social media platforms that they use. Who knows. Maybe you’ll even like the way you look as a unicorn.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.