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Trends: Millennials and social media

by Deanna Sandmann on 19 April 2014

There are now 72 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34.1 Why should marketers and brands care? Millennials have become the largest generation with the greatest combined purchasing power ($2.45 trillion worldwide by 20151) in history. By next year, Millennials will account for 36% of the U.S. workforce and by 2025 they will account for 75% of the global workplace.2

So how can marketers reach this highly influential age group? Not through traditional marketing…


The connected generation

Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the digital era and therefore have lead the way in adopting new platforms such as mobile technology and social media. They have the highest penetration of Internet usage with 93% of Millennials using the Internet.3 They are the largest users of social media with 91% of Millennials currently active on Facebook6, and over half of Twitter’s user base in this age group.5

Millennials spend more time online than any other age group. In fact they spent an average of 96 hours (four full days) online during the month of November, far above the average usage rates for 35-54 year-olds and 55 and older.6

Millennials are active on more social channels than other age groups, with a higher penetration rate on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Snapchat than previous generations. LinkedIn is the one channel that Millennials are less active on than previous generations.6

Despite thoughts to the contrary, Millennials still spend a majority of their time on Facebook with Facebook consuming 76% of total minutes among the selected leading social networks.6


Purchasing behavior

Millennials are more likely than other generations to make purchases online and 41% say that they have made a purchase using their smartphones.7 Millennials follow brands on social, with 63% reporting they stay up to date with brands through social networks.8

When researching purchases online, Millennials look for word-of-mouth recommendations and user-generation content (UGC) to help them with their purchase decision and 46% say they “count on social media” for help with their decision.9 Of Millennials, 84% reported that UGC on company websites has at least some influence on what they buy, compared to 70% of Boomers. In fact, without consumer input, often they will not purchase.10

Below is a graph of the top purchases that Millennials will not complete without user-generated content.

Millennials are also more likely than Baby Boomers to trust the opinion of strangers when it comes to consumer reviews and social media, 51% compared to just 34% of Baby Boomers. Millennials are also 3x more likely than Baby Boomers to turn to social channels for opinions about products to buy. 10


Millennials as influencers

Millennials aren’t just researching and reading about consumer opinions online; they are participating in the conversation. 71% of Millennials share opinions about brands because they feel other consumers value those opinions, and 64% of Millennials feel that companies should offer more ways to share their opinions online in the future.10

When it comes to sharing their opinions on social, Millennials are more influential than previous generations. The Millennial generation’s median friend count on Facebook is 250, significantly higher than that of older age groups.4


Loyalty among Millennials

The Millennial generation is loyal but brands need to work for it. The majority of Millennials report having the same level of brand loyalty as their parents, but 77% say they use a different set of criteria in selecting brands to be loyal to, and 78% say brands have to work harder to earn their brand loyalty than they did to earn their parents’ loyalty.11

The keys to building brand loyalty among Millennials are a willingness to change based on consumer opinion, open dialogue through social channels, and becoming a more consumer focused versus brand focused brand.

The bottom line is brands no longer control the messaging; it belongs to their consumers and influencers. Millennials are becoming an extremely influential and connected generation that brands cannot afford to ignore.



1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kim-garst/marketing-to-millennials_b_3951404.html

2. http://business.time.com/2011/12/21/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-9-to-5-workday/

3. http://millennialmarketing.com/2013/04/how-do-millennials-behave-on-social-mobile-and-the-web/

4. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/

5. http://www.emarketer.com/Articles/Print.aspx?R=1009748


7. http://danschawbel.com/blog/74-of-the-most-interesting-facts-about-the-millennial-generation/

8. http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/63-of-young-americans-stay-updated-on-brands-and-products-via-socnets-26635/

9. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10722718.htm


11. http://www.adroitdigital.com/about/research/download/8/

Point of view: Social media speed-dating for brands

by Camilla White on 18 April 2014

Ticking off my news year’s resolution of ‘learning new things’ and also my desperate attempt to find a boyfriend – I recently attended Billetto’s Dating in LDN seminar.

Heading off straight from the office, I must have had my brand hat still on.…


3D printing is just the latest piece of groundbreaking tech to become affordable for the masses. Step up, digital artists.

A new generation of designers is simultaneously using old tools and new media, from traditional pencil sketching to specialist digital apps.…


There’s an interesting paradigm occurring at the moment within our always-connected world. More and more of us are paying attention to what we reveal through their online identities and what is done with the information we give out, as we strive to retain some privacy in our very public lives.…


Facebook tweaks News Feed algorithm

Facebook is making changes again, as they begin testing out additional new tweaks to the news feed algorithm. However, these tweaks will be seen as more of a fix than anything else as it aims to filter and remove posts that are “like-baiting” and contain “spammy links.” According to Facebook’s blog post about the changes, spammy posts are those that actively encourage users to Like, comment, or share content with their friends.…


As part of our effort to keep you informed on everything social here at 1000heads, we’ll be sharing the top social media trends and statistics each week. This week’s roundup includes stats on social media’s role in television shows, adoption of smart TVs, news consumption online, Instagram monthly mobile users and the future of social media’s role in digital marketing.…


A cheeky band is set to make nearly $20,000 from Spotify for an album consisting purely of silence.

Vulfpeck, who describe themselves as a “half-Jewish German-American rhythm section”, have begun a tongue in cheek campaign to cheat Spotify. The project started with a YouTube video outlining the premise to their fan-base; effectively, you play the album over and over whilst you sleep.…


Stay ahead: Clipcam and FightMe

by Sam March on 08 April 2014

The last year has been huge for social video. But with YouTube, Vine and Instagram dominating the scene, it can be difficult for newcomers to carve themselves a spot in the market  - and even harder for brands to decide which of the multitude of new video apps to focus on.…


LinkedIn publishes requests from NSA

As of 2011, LinkedIn starting publishing transparency reports to give users an understanding of requests for information it has received from the Government, and most recently, requests from the NSA. According to the latest report, the professional social network received 75 requests for information from 110 different users between July and December of 2013.…