For more than fifteen years social media has helped us connect with long lost friends (and of course secret crushes). But it took some time for businesses to catch up and crack the code on how to spark a connection with their audience, past a follow or a like. We hear a lot (too much in fact) about being authentic, so how the heck do we do it as brands?
And let’s be honest here, to appeal, engage and maintain customers through different platforms is harder than it looks. Especially if the audience you want to reach is young, tech-savvy, and have been raised during the social network boom.
So we need a different approach, but what should we actually do? Quite simple, use authentic content. Now look, I do apologise for whipping out the most cliche keyword in content history within three paragraphs – but proof is in the pudding here.
And like a true marketer’s dream, we’ve listed different tips and tricks to increase your authentic content game – for all of the millennial and Gen Z momentum. So get inspired, loosen up a bit, and roll with the times’ kiddo.
This should be the starting point of your hopefully long B2C relationship. Make sure that whatever it is that you put out there in the form of messages, eDMs, comments, or copy (directed to your audience) has been adapted to sound personalised. This means writing their name while addressing them, mentioning stuff based on interests or bringing up that picture of their dogs. Make sure they feel acknowledged and that your interaction is meaningful.
This is key because a simple “Hi Katie” instead of a traditional “Hello” can break the ice between you and the consumer. Making your brand more real, making them returning customers, and maybe brand advocates.
Cut The Robot Talk
Platforms like Twitter give us a channel to increase our communication with customers. The truth is, the traditional formal business tone of voice just doesn’t vibe with this generational group. To succeed, you’ll have to adopt a sound that relates to your niche market.
The focus will be different for every business, but the overall message is to perhaps be more casual, friendlier and relatable. I’m not saying you need to whip out the stans and yeets, but rather just more conversational convo that doesn’t feel corporate. Get your best banter game out, react, like, use images and gifs too when responding.
We’ve mentioned this before, but millennials and Gen Z are masters at identifying fake news. Cancel culture is the perfect example of what can happen if you’re not careful with what you put out there.
Instead of focusing on how to promote and benefit from them, switch the focus, find how to nurture your audience. Really concentrate on this one. Ask yourself, what value are you providing? Is it in the form of humour through memes, or maybe horoscopes, or perhaps mindful educational posts? The more sincere and less Catch-22 your profiles look/sound the more chances you’ll have to gain their following, respect, and trust.
Snapchat’s legacy will forever be in their real time 24hr photos or videos. Now, we can’t help but record bits of our daily life, so we get our phones out while cooking, studying, and sometimes even in the toilet (don’t lie).
The beauty of the “behind the scenes” posts comes from the sense of authenticity they bring to our online personas. For brands, this means the opportunity to showcase a different facet of the company.
To achieve this, forget about those polished marketing campaigns. We’re talking about phone recorded, semi-decent lighting, and a slightly edited story post. Showcase a moment, and invite your followers to see how daily life is. Let them discover this new side of the brand that they might like – unplanned and very human moments are gold.
Let Users Take The Wheel
One of the perks of social is that you can easily create more visibility by re-using user-generated content. A sweet example of this is when Apple pushed their hashtag #shotoniphone – which invites users to share their best shots using an iPhone for a chance to be featured on their profile.
This side of authentic marketing involves letting go of the wheels and trusting your audience. Having an actual strategy where you highlight millennials and Gen Z interacting with your brand involves no costs and increases the brand’s loyalty. It’s also a way for them to organically spread word of mouth to their followers, who might share some of their same interests and will result in new conversions for you. Ultimately all of us youngens love our 15 seconds of fame, you can believe that.