Generation Y & Social Media

Gen Y Characteristics

There’s a reason why Generation Y are dubbed ‘digital natives’ and their use of social media is definitely a major part of that reason.

For a Gen Y’er, losing their phone or computer is a bigger deal than losing their car, with 65% saying losing their phone or computer would have a bigger impact on them than the loss of their mode of transport!

Gen Y is a generation like no other; for starters it’s the largest generation of them all and with access to huge social networks their vast connections allow them to have a voice that is louder, and more impactful, than any previous generation.

The Millennial child is an over-sharer by nature, surrounded by technology that ensures easy access to their next conversation, and they are more likely to have that conversation online than in person.

More often than not, generation y use their smartphone to access social media, in fact 90% use their smartphone to check their social media accounts before they even set foot out of bed in the morning!

Gen Y certainly aren’t shy about discussing brands online and their comments won’t always be positive – if they have an issue they won’t hold back on social media. These comments are eternal as well as easily accessed and can quickly affect your brand reputation if they aren’t handled correctly.

So, in short, thanks to Generation Y, your company has an online presence, whether you like it or not!

Many companies are still making the mistake of not getting involved in online conversations about their brand, and what’s worse is that even brands with an online presence are still ignoring 70% of customer complaints that reach them via social media! To Generation Y this is the equivalent of hanging up on a customer who calls the customer service phone line – how many brands would do that?

Marketers must sit up and pay attention to the way in which Generation Y buy as, along with their powerful voice, they also pack a pretty hefty purchasing power punch! So, how can you catch the attention of an audience with a notoriously short attention span? First things first – ‘traditional’ marketing just doesn’t cut it with Gen Y, especially if it’s forced upon them – they consume what they want, when they want. Television, print ads and billboards are far too ‘in-your-face’ for the gen y consumer – they would rather use their favourite tools (their smartphone, blogs, websites, reviews) to discover your brand or product.

However, don’t be fooled – -it is not enough to merely have a social media presence, brands need to make themselves useful to their customers by providing them with information, support, and the ever popular ‘incentive’ – a competition goes a long way.

So, Generation Y and social media go hand-in-hand and if you’re a brand you’d better start planning your social media strategy, fast!

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