Business: How To Woo Millennials To Your Small Business
Millennials have gotten some bad press over the years, particularly in relation to business matters. But don’t let it fool you. These are high-value customers you absolutely want to attract to your business.
The first thing to understand about millennials is that most of them aren’t kids anymore. They’re full-grown adults. While there’s no official start date for the millennial generation, Pew Research defines them as anyone between 19 and 35 as of this year.
These are people who are well underway with all the trappings of adult life. By their late twenties, many people have gotten married, even started a family. They might have seen a few promotions at work, too. Some of them will be in mid or possibly even upper management.
All those things make millennials a group any small business would love to attract. So here’s a few tips for doing just that:
1) Be mobile-friendly.
If you remember only one thing from this article, remember this: Millennials are mobile users. They are so heavily mobile-centric that one in five of them accesses the internet exclusively through mobile.
This means your website has to be mobile-friendly. But you also need to be present on the major mobile apps and websites millennials use. Think Yelp and Google Maps, Google My Business and other mobile/local sites.
2) You gotta be on Facebook.
Millennials expect businesses to be on Facebook. Even local businesses – even tiny businesses. If you’ve got anything more than a food truck, you should have a Facebook page.
In a survey of 1,000 US millennials aged 18-29, Facebook came in as the most useful social media platform for researching small business products or services.
3) Get reviews.
That same survey surfaced a critical selling point for millennials: Reviews. Reviews are more important than any other piece of information for this group. Millennials rely on them heavily when they’re deciding whether or not to use a business.
This isn’t just true on Facebook, either. A study from BrightLocal found that 97% of 18-34-year-olds read online reviews to judge a local business.
Not sure how to apply this? Partner with local non-profits to get the word out about your company. Events are particularly good, as they generate social media content and attention.
Partnering with a good cause makes you look good in front of your existing customers. Plus it gets you in front of new customers (the fans of the non-profit). And –of course – you’ll also be doing good in your community, which has its own rewards.
6) Millennials like businesses that are good to their employees.
This might not make it into your marketing (though showcasing your employees should), but be aware that millennials are watching how you treat your employees. Being good to your employees will cause millennials to view your business more favorably.
7) Use email.
For awhile, there was a perception that email was too “old-school” for millennials. But research has shown that just isn’t so. Here’s the results of just one of the many studies done. It shows that millennial men and women prefer email messages over any other type of marketing communication when they’re on the go:
That preference for email gives you a nice edge as a small business owner. Why? Because in our 2016 WASP State of Small Business Report, we discovered that most small businesses use email marketing.
What it all means
Attracting millennials really isn’t all that hard, once you’ve got the right mindset. In fact, in many ways, millennials are predisposed to favor local businesses.
So be true to your small business pedigree. Enhance it by partnering with other local businesses and causes, and by being good to your employees. Then share what you’re doing on social media and your website.
This assumes, of course, that you’ve got a website and it’s mobile-friendly. All the channels millennials like to communicate through need to be open if you want to reach these valuable customers.