While millennials may get a bad rep for being entitled or spoiled, it should come as no surprise that they are the most educated and tech savvy generation in U.S history who, as of 2015, has now entered the workforce. There are many things that set millennials apart from the generations before them the first among them being that most millennials are open-minded, independent free thinkers who can not only creative in their approaches to solving problems but are also very knowledgeable about the latest in technological innovation including social media. Millennials are defined as the demographic cohort that succeeded Generation X being born between the early 80’s to 2000’s, therefore they are typically between the ages of 12 and 37. They are a generation that values a strong work-life balance and being ethical as we’re seeing now that people are starting to become more socially conscious of issues taking place in our world. Despite some people labeling millennials as being lazy and high maintenance, many of them are very hardworking and believe in being fairly rewarded for their efforts. Here are a few things that you as a business owner should know if you want to attract millennials to your business whether as employees or customers.

Social Media
It is a fact that most social media users are teens and young adults so given the popularity of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram your business has the potential to reach out to more young people if you started using some of these platforms for your marketing strategy for free. Social media gives you the access to reach millions of potential new customers whom you can interact with daily plus it is the perfect platform to advertise any deals or promotions you may have. Since social media have a big influence in the online experience of its users, many popular franchises and retail chains have been very successful in implementing it into their marketing campaigns leaving competitors who have not made the switch behind in terms of relevance. It is important that to know that many people who surf the web are drawn to detailed, well-crafted web pages so you’re going to have to be very active in posting, producing ads and staying engaged with your customers so that they’ll visit your business’s Facebook or Twitter page more often. The more your social media page stands out the more traffic your business will attract.

Understanding their lifestyle
Millennials live a relatively different lifestyle than the generations before them. Considering that many of them can shop for the products they want online, millennials are becoming accustomed to being able to buy almost anything they want without leaving the comforts of their bed. Aside from this, millennials are also more active online and on their phones often sharing experiences, thoughts, and feelings they have through social network websites like Tumblr. Selfies with hashtags are very a popular activity many users use to share their lives with others and your business could take some cues from them by having people use their products and write funny, catchy or otherwise creative hashtags on their pictures to share with others. Having them write or video their experiences with your product can create a large following for your business especially through the mobile photo sharing app Instagram or on YouTube.

Mobile apps
If you noticed, there are a lot of people who have their attention glued to their phones so if billboard ads and flyers were your first idea on how to advertise your business then you need to rethink your marketing strategy. Mobile apps make it easier for people to do important transactions such as paying bills, shopping for items and lots of other stuff that was not possible for phones to do 15 years ago. You should consider making a mobile app for your business that’s easy to navigate through and visually pleasing because bland content is one sure way of your customers losing interest in your business easily. Make sure if you have a website that it is mobile friendly and responsive as well. Presence in on other major mobile apps must be a priority too because sites like Yahoo, Google My Business and Yelp are widely used.

Ethical leadership
Some people like to shop at places that share the same values as theirs and with the world becoming more aware of social issues, millennials are putting more attention on issues that may affect them personally namely the ethical treatment of employees by their employers. This is something that cannot obviously be seen in your advertisements and personal social media website but your employees social media accounts, in particular, can share every dirty detail about your business to the public and if you attempt to hide it by forcing them to close their remove anything from their accounts, it will only work to make you even more unpopular with people. If you’re a large company like Amazon, bad press probably wouldn’t worry you (especially considering how their workers are treated) but if you’re a small business owner, how you treat your employees could have a big impact on your business in many ways. Being fair and respectful to your employees is one of the best ways to show your consumers that you share the same values as they do.

Keep it straight to the point
Many people including the author of this article can say that when it comes to the surfing the web or watching TV, we have a short attention spans. One second we may be watching a funny YouTube video and the next we’re reading an article on a topic that’s totally different so if you really want to grab our attention, offer something new and exciting about your products or services that will keep us interested in them and if you’re short on ideas you can always find a few on websites like this one here. A marketing campaign for a cause is one way you can help keep us from losing our attention span to your business.

Reviews are the best way people can know about the quality of your product or services. Reviews are very important to millennials as in one study conducted by BrightLocal, an SEO website, found that 97% of people between the ages of 18-34  read reviews to make decisions about where they may want to buy their products from. Another study conducted by Facebook has revealed similar results which could only mean that if you want to attract more millennials to your business you have to focus on maintaining a positive relationship with your customers and respond quickly to any issues or dissatisfied customer your business may have.

Millennials are not an easy group of people to work with depending on how you interact with them but if you could adapt your ways to their interest you would be taking advantage of a large influential market segment that could help your business achieve success.  Attracting them is not all that difficult but the approach to it is different from those that were used before because we’re now living in an age where technology has allowed people to do so much more with their devices such as sharing information, stories and experiences which has never been more convenient. Keep in mind that millennials are a misunderstood generation and all that’s required of you is to understand them by knowing what they like, what they do and getting more involved with their daily lives so that they can appeal to your business and what it can offer them and what they could offer you.

study from BrightLocal
survey of 1,000 US millennials