Increasing Affinity Of Online Communities Amongst Millennials

Millennials find that creating content that is easily consumed, including short videos, graphics, and the like are easy ways to build engagement and resonate with the generation

In our current environment, when people are connected digitally more than ever before, everything must be instant and extremely engaging. With the increased popularity in online interactions and communities, the generational gaps among Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millenials are slowly closing with almost everyone becoming active social media users.

One point of similarity among the vast differences between the groups is their short attention span, especially as it relates to digital content. This has led to the rise of video content popularity. Online communities have begun to leverage the power of videos to drive engagement on their platforms.

This along with many other trends of internet usage among Millennials can be representative of the generation as a whole. Millennials are usually described by other generations as lazy and lacking motivation especially when it comes to the work environment. This, however, is debatable.

Millennials And The Internet

Since Millennials have grown up in the digital age, they are years ahead of their preceding generation, Generation X, when it comes to behaviour on social media and the web. Millennials penetrate the social media market with 84% of the generation considered active users. For the most part, the generation is extremely comfortable finding and receiving information on the internet.

Throughout their education, they have completed countless research projects and have relied on online tools to garner information. For that reason, it is even more important for them to be able to have information at their fingertips. It is not laziness that drives them, but the demand to have information readily available and in small easily consumable pieces.

Millennials are often misunderstood as their priorities and mannerisms are much different than their predecessors. This can be attributed to their ability to seek out information and use online channels to simplify daily tasks. Social media is one way that they have been able to connect. This type of interaction is a major deviation from picking up the phone and calling people or other methods of communication that other generations are used to. The generation is constantly looking for the path of least resistance, not because they are lazy, but because they know there is an easier, simpler solution to do something efficiently. This is extremely true when you consider how they engage in online communities.

Ways To Resonate With Millennials On Social Media To Build Engagement

Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials alike all use social media and have begun to rely on it as a daily form of communication with acquaintances, a source of news, and so much more. It is for this reason that companies have begun to see the value of social media advertising and have very quickly pivoted to engaging with consumers directly on these platforms.

Brands, especially, have seen the successes of interacting with Millennials on social media. They find that creating content that is easily consumed, including short videos, graphics, and the like are easy ways to build engagement and resonate with the generation. These online interactions are quickly becoming the new norm that younger people expect from brands that permeate their daily lives.

Although all the groups share an interest in videos, when it comes to Millennials, it is specifically short shareable video content, usually less than 60 seconds that gets the most attention. As it pertains to advertising, the attention span is even lower at about six seconds of video that will hold Millennials’ interest. With the increased interest in videos and animated content, online platforms are using this as their secret ingredient for engaging the Millennial age demographic in their online communities.

Since people of all ages have begun to do most of their shopping and decision making in conjunction with social media, social media influencers have become increasingly important. In a world where people rely on reviews and recommendations, influencers possess the power to impact and influence Millennial buyers. It is through these shared interests, hobbies, and passions that influencers can connect with their followers and generate a mini-community environment, where opinions are valued and ultimately drive purchasing decisions. All of these interactions revolve around one key concept - Relatability. Content must be interesting, compelling, and most importantly relevant to Millennials.

Because the generation has grown up with the internet, another major factor is trust. Young adults have seen time and time again: data leaks, personal information being sold, and many other online schemes. For this reason, any online community that Millennials are a part of need to be safe, secure, and for the most part trustworthy. This comes naturally for brands that consumers have a relationship with as they can cultivate a community of both thought leaders and consumers.

Most importantly to garner a relevant and highly engaged community, it is essential for the Millennial demographic that brands understand that they value experiences. Most of Millennials’ decisions are driven by either an experience they have previously had, an experience that someone else has had, or an experience that they wish to have in the future. They focus on reviews and others’ experiences with products and services, while also focusing on experiences that they want to have in the future. For this reason, other attributes such as price are less important if the reward is a great or meaningful experience. Millennials, thus, are

more likely than any other generation to benefit from a thriving and engaged online community.

Summing It All Up

Millennials have been falsely stereotyped as lazy and heavily reliant on technology; however, this very much is not the case. Instead, they expect things to be easily accessible and always look for the most direct path from one point to the other. Not because of laziness, but because in the age of technology they understand that there is usually an easier way to solve a problem or find specific information.

For brands, this has created an interesting shift in marketing and advertising strategies, leading to the growth of engaged communities. In order to cultivate these communities, they must rely on short, consumable content that is relevant and relatable. This leads to higher rates of engagement, especially within a group of Millennials who have similar interests and passions. Once this affinity has been created within online communities, Millennials are very likely to become brand loyal and integrate the product or service directly into their lifestyle.

The author is Rebecca Garfinkel, Marketing and Social Lead, ChekMarc 

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