As we all know – because websites and general media are telling us constantly – teens and millennials are generations that not only use social media and digital technologies all the time, but they’re also reliant on them.
The millennial generation (and the teens that are becoming part of a new strain of this generation) would not be won over by TV shows, for example, that have been a popular part of the history of British popular culture. One that comes straight to mind is Fawlty Towers.
Although this sounds a bit crazy, the reality is that this was a TV programme centred around the idea that a dingy hotel in Torquay, with terrible staff and horrible owners somehow managed to stay open and receive guests. This idea is inconceivable to the millennial market who has grown up in a world of Tripadvisor reviews, Twitter feeds and Facebook and Instagram posts.
These days, for a hotel, or any other business really, to exist it needs to win the approval of its audience, who all have access to smartphones that are capable of writing reviews or snapping pictures that can help to make or break their success.
But how do millennials actually feel about the platforms that they use? Do they enjoy logging every single moment of their day? Are they able to go somewhere without first checking out its social media presence and then documenting a blow-by-blow review of their experience once they’re there?
Much belief rests on the fact that millennials actually enjoy spending all their time on various different social media platforms and that it somehow enriches their life.
But is it stressful maintaining profiles across so many different social media outlets? After all there are so many different ones to keep up with now: some of these include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook Chat (because it has a separate app) and Whatsapp.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but even with these we can see that there are at least nine different outlets on which the millennial can post information or talk to people.
Having all of these keeping busy and full of people to talk to, is something that a person in this age group will doubtless enjoy, because it gives off the impression that they are well-liked.
However, although it’s a great thing that there are so many ways to talk to people and feel connected to your friends, it can be tiring to keep up with so many different types of communication and the fact is that there isn’t always things to say. In this way we can assume that relationships are based on a basis of quantity rather than quality.
Ypulse did a survey over 1,000 13 to 33-year-olds (the teenage and millennial age group) and asked them to rank how they felt about the above social media channels.
The descriptive categories included addictive, boring, popular, entertaining, fun, creative, annoying, false and mean, among others.
The response was that a lot of people felt that these things were addictive, however the way they were enjoyed outside of this was wide ranging. From this we can see that although everyone agrees that these platforms are addictive, they’re not necessarily enjoyed by each person who uses them, and that they’re used in different ways.
People are different and will use social media in different ways
The Content Strategist, as part of Contently.com said that although it can be tempting to think that every millennial who uses social media does indeed use it in the same way. In reality, this isn’t the case.
Not every millennial will be keen on using every #Emoji under the sun in everything they post, which is why they aren’t going to want to respond to a post from someone else who does use these things.
This is an important thing for businesses to remember, and reaching out to a youth culture has always been a tentative thing for company’s to do en masse for years – even before the digital technology revolution happened.
A hotel, for example, will want to have a strong social media presence if it wants to reach a millennial audience but it will also need to consider the subsections of that audience.
A professional millennial working in a digital industry will not necessarily be interested in a fluff piece that is sent out on Snapchat. They might instead prefer to read about a hotel’s updates on Tripadvisor, or through the hotel’s website. Further to this, if a hotel is strongly geared towards business travellers, as many of the M by Montcalm collection hotels are, then it could be worthwhile for that hotel to invest time into a more corporate profile on LinkedIn.
Not all millennials use social media at the same times
It’s true some of this group of people are keen on using social media channels consistently throughout the day, but not all are.
A survey by venture capital firm Battery Ventures and market-research company Ipsos that spoke to over 1,000 people between 20 and 35 found that 27 per cent of this group used Facebook less than once a week.
Similarly, results showed that 11 per cent of these people didn’t have an account in the first place and that 54 per cent didn’t have Snapchat and 39 per cent aren’t on Twitter.
As a hotel, you need to think about which section of the market you’re aiming your business towards and spend your time, money and energy on that audience, rather than creating a profile for every social media channel under the sun and diluting your message.
However, one thing that’s true is that as digital technology is becoming evermore prevalent in people’s lives, they’re becoming more anxious about being left out of information or activities.
This is known as fear of missing out, or FOMO – don’t underestimate it. FOMO can be an incredibly powerful thing for getting your message out to your targeted millennial audience.
FOMO means that millennials are spending more time on the internet and on things like social media to keep abreast of information. This is regardless of whether they’re interested in what’s happening or not. Sometimes they won’t even care about what they’re reading, but as scrolling through social media is becoming more habitual, particularly when people are left on their own, FOMO continues to be a driver for reading about updates of just about anything.
People are now starting to hate feeling like they’re missing out on something, and quite often it can feel like a race to share a piece of information before someone else tells you about it. This can be anything from breaking political news, to a viral video of someone being covered in ice water. If you see these kinds of trends and they’re relevant to your business and the people you’re trying to reach, it’s recommended that as a lifestyle business, you should get involved in the conversation – lest you suffer from FOMO yourself!
One thing that you do absolutely need is a Facebook profile, even though it’s been around for as long as it has, this is the one social network that isn’t going anywhere. People have been trying to push Facebook off of its throne for years, but the millennial audience is hooked to its ever-adaptable platform, and so too should your business.