Growing your company organically these days means focusing on and engaging with the largest generation to be joining the workforce in half a century: millennials.
Millennials are different to say the least, driven by intense self-awareness and regular access to a seemingly infinite source of information. They have for the most part grown up in a digital world, using social media platforms to communicate with peers and engage with their favorite people and companies.
It should be no secret then that this is where your company needs to be. Launching a social media strategy alone, however, is a losing strategy.
One company, indaHash, has been enabling large and medium sized brands to reach millions of millennial influencers through its unique digital platform that encourages and facilitates engagement between companies and consumers. And while this engagement comes as a cost, the strategies are simple and easily replicated by entrepreneurs with only ambition and enthusiasm.
Barbara Soltysinska, co-founder of indaHash, shares her top tips for entrepreneurs looking to build a fan base consisting of the next generation of spenders.
Set Your Brand's Foundation
Building a strong brand is the first important step to building a loyal community of customers and is important in creating a sense of identity crucial for any successful engagement. It also helps your company and team to focus on the mission and target audience.
Need help identifying your brand? Soltysinska recommends that brands identify with one of twelve archetypes described by psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung. By doing so, brands can connect at an unconscious level with an audience that shares the same traits.
Know (and spoil) Your Target Customers
Once identified, companies need to become experts about their target market. Doing so assures that the content you build and share will hit on their unique characteristics.
For instance, it is important to know that users aged 18 to 29 in the US respond to original and unique content, while also enjoying spontaneity. A strategy using live videos, online discussions, and question and answer sessions is a great way to keep content fresh.
You also need to know where to reach them. According to Statista data from February, while Twitter (47 percent) and Snapchat (45 percent) are popular, most 18 to 29 year-old users are on Facebook (86 percent), Instagram (58 percent) and YouTube (71 percent).
Engage, engage, engage.
For this age group, engagement is key to building loyalty. This means your company needs to be proactive -- not just reactive -- in engagement. Initiate interactions, follow and like other's social profiles, and comment and share likes -- as often as possible.
Also, never fight with anyone on social media. Instead, use conflict as an opportunity to "co-work" with them, leveraging their feedback to build trust and transparency.
Authenticity is Queen
Soltysinska's data shows the impact of traditional celebrities and social media "digital-stars" is increasingly limited with content engagement rates around one percent.
Working with mid-tier influencers and power users, however, are proving to provide much more impact when it comes to brand engagement and awareness, with performance rates as high as five to 12 percent.
According to the indaHash Influencer Report, mid-tier influencers have much better engagement rates (approximately 11 percent) than the most known digital-stars and celebrities. This is thanks to the real connection and high coverage of interaction between mid-tier influencers and their followers.
Also, mid-tier influencers can be an efficient way for brands to have potential consumers visit their profiles. When a brand is tagged in a mid-tier influencer post, their followers will be more inclined to check out that brand's social page.
And Content is King (but only if it moves)
Regularly creating content is a challenge for companies, but not if companies embrace video -- both scripted and spontaneous -- as a legitimate way of engaging with their audience. From the campaigns conducted through indaHash, companies are experiencing high engagement rates with videos, up to 56 times higher than regular channels.
Also, video is the future, with some predictions estimating that 80 percent of internet content will be video by 2019. YouTube leads, but both Facebook (Facebook Watch) and LinkedIn (LinkedIn Video) have launched video services to compete in the online video space for your attention.
In my person experience, I often hear entrepreneurs describe their marketing strategy as having an "online presence." To reach, capture and keep millennials and their growing purchasing power -- estimated to be $65 billion by itself and upward of $1 trillion in total influenced spending -- entrepreneurs need to do much, much more.
What do you think? What tips do you have for engaging with Millennials? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.