The media is buzzing about Millennials, and for good reason. Loosely defined as people born between 1982 and 2000, Millennials make up more than 25% of the US population and number more than 83 million. This makes Millennials a larger and more influential group of consumers than even the Baby Boomers, who comprise approximately 75 million consumers. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, which makes them prime potential customers for a wide variety of products and services. Here’s how you can effectively target Millennials and turn them into customers for your small business.
1) Embrace your smallness
Millennials are loyal to brands that they feel are authentic. They’re also more likely to seek out small businesses and locally made products. Millennials like to know how and where products are produced (so much so that this preference has been widely parodied). They also love businesses that help support a cause.
These are all characteristics that small businesses can use to their advantage. Highlighting aspects of the origin or production of your products can help Millennials connect with your business. Be active locally, and support local causes and events. Partnering with a local non-profit or community group can help your business get in front of community-minded Millennials. Embracing your smallness and becoming an active part of your local community can help you connect with Millennial customers.
2) Be mobile-friendly
Millennials are mobile. They browse the internet, post on social media, and research products and services all from mobile devices. In 2015, Comscore noted that more than 20% of Millennials are “mobile-only,” foregoing desktop computers entirely when they go online.
In order to reach these consumers, there are several strategies small businesses can implement. For one, you need to be visible on the internet. Websites should be designed to work well on mobile devices, and your business should also consider social media and review sites.
Having Wi-Fi available in your store can also help attract Millennial customers. An open network will encourage users to stay longer, and it also allows them to check in on social media sites and post photos from your location, both of which are free marketing for your business.
Millennials are very comfortable communicating with mobile devices. With a small business phone service, you can take advantage of Business SMS to communicate directly with customers from your business telephone number. Millennials also love a good deal, and a well-timed offer to a customer is a great way to get repeat business with a simple text message.
3) Engage on social media
Social media is a great way to connect with Millennial customers. Take advantage of the opportunity to really communicate with people on those platforms. Responding to questions or concerns on social media makes your business accessible and engaged. If you have an active Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat account, promote them in your store. Encourage customers to follow your business on social media, and use that audience to preview new products or services, or to promote special deals. An active social media presence will encourage Millennials to connect with your business and drive traffic into your store.
Ultimately, connecting with Millennials isn’t any more difficult than attracting any of your other customers. Investing the time to connect with this group of more than 80 million consumers can pay off for any small business.
Originally published Jan 31, 2017, updated Aug 12, 2020