Imagine two twenty somethings walk into a bar, both are wearing jeans, a plain tee, converse and toting iPhones. Although they may look exactly alike, one lives with their mom and the other makes six figures a year. Affluent Millennials, while hard to distinguish with the naked eye, account for 11.8 million of the people living in the United States who have an annual income that exceeds $100,000.
According to Unity Marketing, over the next five years Millennials will become the largest luxury consumer market in the U.S. Unlike other demographics, affluent Millennials are not impressed by money and status symbols because, according to the Harrison Group, 34% were raised by wealthy parents. A fancy Porsche won’t catch their eye because that’s the car they were driving when they were 16 years old.
It’s true that although this demographic isn’t swayed with traditional marketing methods, there is one thing you can count on when it comes to influencing the purchasing decision of a Gen Y’er: Social Media. The Luxury Institute reports that 6 out 10 Millennials rely on user generated content when making a purchase decision. This means that if your brand has no social media presence, it might as well not exist.
What then, can a company do in order to make sure that they are reaching this important demographic through social media?
If there’s one thing Millennials love, it’s a good story. Companies such as Whole Foods and Armani have been taking advantage of this fact through implementing creative and engaging Instagram campaigns that call for user generated content in return for the chance to win free merchandise. Millennials already love using Instagram, so offering free stuff in return is a smart way of ensuring that your brand gets noticed despite whether you are a small, local business or a well-known household brand.
Making an emotional appeal on a social media outlet is another way of engaging affluent Millennial consumers. Rather than keep up with the Joneses, Millennials want to invites the Joneses over to their house to party, take a group picture, and post it on Facebook. It’s this type of user engagement that will attract younger generation spenders to your brand or product.
A great example of this concept is Coca Cola’s Facebook page. The description says “The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today”. This type of Facebook Page is begging to be engaged by requiring user generated content in order to exist. The most important aspect of user generated ad campaigns is that they rely on real people which make them seem more trustworthy in the eyes of the Milliennial consumer. The less an ad feels like an ad, the more likely we are to respond positively to it.