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What Your Company is Doing Wrong on Social Media, As Written by a Millennial

Like many others in their early twenties, I spend a lot of time on social media. Everything I need is there, right?

A lot of it is. I can find nearly any brand, company, information, person, tip, recipe, or pair of shoes I want.

If I am considering a new restaurant, I find myself scrolling through their Instagram and judging the Insta-worthiness of their dishes, subconsciously equating that with their level of customer commitment.

Using social media, the information I need is just a few clicks away.

When I was looking for a new hair salon, I scoured the Facebook pages of different salons all around town, making mental notes of which ones were active, which ones had pixelated logos, which ones had cringe-worthy grammatical mistakes, and which ones didn’t even have a list of services on their About section (pro tip: have a list of services on your About section!!!!!!!!!). I understand it may be unfair to assume that if a salon has a pixely logo and poor grammar, it means they use rusty shears and will botch my haircut, but hey, I’m just being honest.

So, let me take you on a tour of the millennial buying brain. As millennials makeup 25% of the population and have about $600 billion in purchasing power each year, this read may have some serious ROI for you. You’ll learn what your business is doing wrong on social media, why you’re doing it, why it’s wrong, and how to fix it.

You’re Using the Wrong Platform

Every company is different in terms of which social media platforms will work best for them, but it’s important to keep in mind the trends showing the platforms millennials use most often and engage best with.

Facebook usage from millennials is declining. Social media has proven to be a chronic source of unhappiness for regular users, meaning many are choosing to unplug. The first to go in this process of unplugging? Facebook, the platform that millennials’ parents love to use.

So while Facebook is an integral part of a company’s ability to stay afloat and thrive, it certainly shouldn’t be your only social media platform. A study by Sprout Social found that while Facebook was by and far Generation X’s and Baby Boomer’s favorite platform, millennials’ favorites were pretty evenly split between Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, with Youtube coming in closely behind, followed by Twitter, Pinterest, then Google Plus.

Obviously your marketing team can’t be absolutely everywhere all the time, so try out each platform to see what ones best engage your audience. In the end, the key is to make sure you’re on at least a few different platforms, because so are millennials.

You Post Way Too Often or Not Enough

I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve said “see ya!” to on Instagram and Twitter because their incessant posts overtook my news feed, annoying me to the point of hitting that dreaded unfollow button.

Customer disengagement is not unique to post-happy brands, however; companies that don’t post enough are often hit with the cold-shoulder treatment, too.

If a company’s Facebook page hasn’t been posted on in even two months, we immediately assume they’ve gone out of business. It sounds kind of ludicrous since maybe this company is just caught up in other things, but in a social media-obsessed world, putting Facebook on the back burner is a surefire way to get burned.

There are a variety of factors that go into finding the perfect recipe for how often your specific company should post. Marketing pro Neil Patel compiles research about it in this article.

No matter what frequency you determine is right for your brand, it’s important to note that there’s a range that engages most millennials best.

  • Instagram: 5-8 pictures per week.
  • Twitter: 3- 10 tweets per day.
  • Facebook: 1-2 times per day.

Remember that with Facebook’s new algorithm, your followers will get shown the posts that Facebook deems most relevant to the user, so the content of your posts plays a huge role here. Quality over quantity has always been a key player in social media strategy, but now even Facebook’s code can smell a low-quality post from a mile away.

You’re, Well… Boring.

In a world of social media accounts that are clever, funny, thought-provoking, and unique, it is crucial that you don’t let this one slip: your brand needs a voice.

Take Innocent Drinks for example. They are a producer of healthy fruit drinks and donate ten percent of profits to charity. While their brand is pretty awesome, would you honestly want to follow them on Twitter if they only posted things like “New flavor hitting stores soon!” and “Did you know our smoothies are 30 fewer calories than the leading brand?” ? Probably not. Instead, their tweets are funny and relatable, helping them to grow their follower number to over 283K. Here are a couple examples of their brand’s tweets:

“‘Smoothies help me sleep better.’ -wise, definitely-not-fictional, anonymous person”

“Things the UK is going to be hotter than today:  Spain, Lava, The Sun, The pan that holds sizzling fajitas you get in restaurant”

“Weather update: clammy. Great day to be a mollusk.”

“Weather update: better.”

Their Twitter is obviously managed by someone with a great sense of humor, which is a great way to attract and interact with an audience of millennials. 

Many millennials use social media as a way to unwind and get their fix of Internet insight. If your social media is able to consistently provide them with useful content, whether its purpose is to inform, give a laugh, inspire, or whatever else aligns with your company’s mission, your followers will be much more likely to actually engage with your content, your brand, and ultimately, whatever you’re selling.

Whether you’re a funny fruit drink company or a nonprofit seeking social justice, your brand voice needs to allow your customers to engage and interact with you. Bottom line is, make sure your company’s social media doesn’t sound like you hired a robot to manage it.

While there is a whole slew of other social media marketing techniques that can amp up your company’s online presence, we’ll dive into those later. As millennials spend over six hours a week on social media, it’s imperative that your brand caters to them, because if you don’t, someone else will.  

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