So here’s the thing: You know all that money you’ve poured into Facebook advertising? It could be time to quit financing Zuckerberg’s hoodie and craft beer collections. Facebook is kind of...not cool anymore—at least with a certain generation known as the millennials. (And methinks Zuck will manage just fine.)
It’s not a total ghost town yet, but it’s actually becoming more popular with nonmillennials (Hi, Mom!). The real future of social media for millennials is in YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and other video and micro platforms. The youngest millennials—those ages 18 to 24—are spending more and more of their time on these playgrounds.
Here’s what the kids are into these days:
1. Poof! Be gone
Younger millennials are all about what’s known as “disappearing media”—platforms such as Snapchat that allow users to send images or videos that live for a few seconds to a day and then are automatically erased. (It's not just for sexting anymore, promise.) Why would they be into this? It's perceived as more authentic. When you don't fear something will live online forever, you can be a little edgier or try something that might end up embarrassing. It will, after all, be here today and gone tomorrow.
Thirty percent of younger millennials are on Snapchat every day, compared with 19 percent of older millennials (ages 25 to 34), according to a recent Fluent survey. To stand out on Snapchat, focus on being casual and relatable. You’ll only have a few seconds to make an impact, so consider creating content that provides a brief behind-the-scenes view of your business, passing the Snapchat account around to a different employee every week, or using creative promotions that Snapchat a code word customers can use to claim a special discount or gift.
2. Live-vlog it
Another social media cool kid, and one with an excellent conversion record, is video. Within this medium, live video blogs (aka vlogs) are especially popular among young millennials. During a live vlog on platforms like UStream, 24liveblog or, for gamers, Twitch, your audience can interact with you via chat as you present on your topic of choice. Live vlogs are most successful as an offshoot of a YouTube campaign, where you already have followers who may be interested in tuning in to hear from a unique guest, or about a new product or development at your company.
Also on the rise are native live video tools in apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms allow for live streaming video of events, Q&A's, behind-the-scenes peeks, and more.
3. It’s all about the image
Instagram has more than 300 million users, and at least 50 percent of them are millennials. How can you make your brand a part of your target market’s Insta feed? Encourage them to join in with their own snaps of your product, tagged with a branded hashtag.
One Instagram superstar? Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. The shop and online retailer posts photos of its own delicious concoctions (waffles a la mode, anyone?), but its legions of fans really help the brand shine: There are more than 23,000 Instagram posts tagged with #jenisicecream; and well over 20,000 of those are candid photos of sundaes, scoops, ice cream shop selfies, and other Jeni’s images from happy ice cream eaters. Put a sign up in your shop encouraging fans to document their enjoyment, and spread their images widely with your branded hashtag.
Long story short—and short, these days, is best—keep an eye on the horizon beyond Facebook. More and more young consumers are drifting toward temporary media, video, and photos. Stay on top of the tech they’re driven to, and join them in their world.
Ready to get more millennial buy-in than a Brooklyn bodega? Check out our new e-book for more tips and insights.