balloon_by_nishad2m8Hi world, Millennial here.

Whether you think of Millennials as the optimistic future or merely the “me generation,” the fact remains that Generation Y is coming into its own and now holds a heck of a lot of purchasing power. The question is, of course, how to connect with this plugged-in bunch of young adults?

As your honorary Gen-Y guide for the next five minutes or so, I’d like to share some insight on social media marketing for millennials.

#1. Tech is an extension of communication.

Millennials grew up in an era where technology is constantly available. The Internet has always existed to us, and we’re used to being in constant connection with the latest news, from what our friends are feeling in a given moment to the crazy arrest that just happened on the other side of the country. Our phones tend to be less of a tool and more of a natural extension of communication. If you’ve ever seen a Millennial forget his or her phone at home, you have probably witnessed the quiet (or not-so-quiet) panic that ensues.

Social media application: Since social media is a communication channel, it’s necessary to pay close attention to the frequency of your content. How much encourages engagement, and how much encourages unfollows?

#2. We like to express ourselves.

This is, admittedly, where the “me” in “me generation” comes from. Millennials grew up being told we could be whatever we want to be. With such an emphasis on self-expression, we naturally gravitate toward mediums that allow us to explore our identities and craft our online images.

Social media application: Facebook is still important, especially among college students who don’t see their friends every day. However, younger Millennials who still have face-to-face interaction on a daily basis are less inclined toward Facebook, opting instead to use more creative platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram. Make sure to research where your target demographic is socializing.

#3. Social media reflects life.

It doesn’t define it. We love the Internet, it’s true. But it’s a communication outlet, not the end-all. Just like you, we want to share what’s happening in our lives beyond the digital space.

Social media application: Give us beautiful things to photograph and interesting events to interact with in the real world. Open discussions that have life application, topics that we could feasibly tell our friends about over lunch.

#4. We’re efficient.

We’re completely comfortable with multi-tasking and jumping around the Internet until we find what we consider valuable. While this means we can handle a lot of information efficiently, it also means we are not inclined to spend a moment longer than necessary on a given page.

Social media application: Keep posts short, sweet, and worthwhile. Clever one-liners tend to do well.

#5 We trust our peers over centralized authority.

Blame it on all those group projects in school. We are used to collaboration and participation in both daily life and online. Millennials tend to trust humans experiences over mere specifications and centralized information. If a friends tells us a product is good, we’re more likely to try out said product over a leading competitor.

Social media application: Social proof is extremely important. Offer product reviews and pay close attention to how your content is shared. Speak to us in a natural voice instead of marketing jargon so we know that you’re a human too.

How should marketers interact with Generation Y? Share your thoughts below!