MTV was Facebook’s No. 1 fastest-growing brand last year. As we experienced this meteoric rise in social media, we were also madly studying our audience to understand their movements and behavior in the social space, or what we came to call their “digilife.”
The study that emerged from that work turned over a plethora of fresh insights into what makes this generation tick (or should I say what makes this generation click).
The insights lead, we believe, to some provocative questions for the marketers attempting to connect with this elusive crowd in its native tongue and on its digital home turf.
Here are some findings from our study, posed as a few key questions that marketers might want to consider as they strategize about how to connect to the latest version of consumers.
Does your brand follow the rules of digital etiquette?
Millennials are no different than any other generation in that they’re trying to work out how to look and be cool when they’re hanging out with their friends. The difference, of course, is that so much of this behavior is being navigated in a completely new, digital world. Extraordinarily nuanced codes and informal rules of behavior are emerging in social media. Overshare and you’re hidden in the feed (de-friending being so overly confrontational and all). Respond too fast and too frequently and you’re overeager and deeply uncool. In our “Millennials, Decoded” study, half of smartphone-toting millennials said they were “very concerned” that if they responded too quickly, they’d “look like they had nothing better to do.”
Can my brand proxy for my audience?
One of the more surprising findings of the study is that if you’re too personally controversial you run the risk of garnering negative attention in the social media space. Only about one-third of respondents feel that, for example, politics (36%) and religion (35%) are appropriate for public posting online. What we observed many of the millennials doing, however, was being controversial by proxy. They rip and re-purpose content (show clips, stand-up, music videos, ads) and let that do the talking (and take the risks) for them. Over half (54%) posted video clips or articles they agreed with, “instead of posting my opinion as a status update.”
Do you know your consumer and your brand well enough to be able to create content in the overlap that could serve this proxy role? Virality, we believe, is connected to this proxy role.
Read on @AdAge