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Moving at the speed of Millennials

By Alyson Gausby
Wednesday, 22 February 2017

If you were born in the 80s, 90s, or 00s, you’re part of a group that’s often accused of ‘ruining everything’. Millennials are, by far, the most discussed demographic of the 21st century… but they aren’t nearly as self-absorbed as you may think.

Canadian Millennials want to know what’s happening, what’s new, what’s interesting. They want to be part of a conversation. They don’t want to be left out. This is also a highly influential audience that is open to engaging with brands on Twitter, making them a marketer’s best friend.

Millennials make up a large portion of our audience – we reach half of 18 to 35 year olds in Canada – and we’ve found that out platform plays an important role in their lives. In February 2017, we published original research that delves into how this key group uses Twitter, how that compares to other platforms, and what it means for brands.

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We debuted this research at FFWD Advertising & Marketing Week Canada (@adweekcdn) in Toronto and have been sharing key findings with many of Canada’s best known brands.

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What did we find? Lots of opportunities for brands to help bring Millennials closer to the culture they care about:

  1. #interests: Millennials have a wide range of interests on social that brands can tap into, including entertainment, news, and hobbies. They’re more interested in a variety of topics than generations before or after, particularly film and TV, retail, food and cooking, technology, and fitness.
  2. #topics: They Tweet about a lot of different things, most often to voice their social/political opinions, current events, what’s happening on TV, celebrity news and everyday life
  3. #brandlove: Nearly half of Millennials use Twitter to interact with brands (higher than users of any other platform). They’re actively seeking out brands who can help them feel connected to what’s happening and can feed their need for information. The primary reason Millennials follow brands is for product information and news updates, so use Twitter to drop new stuff.
  4. #trending: Two-thirds of Canadian Millennials use our platform to find out what’s trending – more so than any other platform. Be prepared, look at the calendar and see what you can plan for. Find a unique way to connect and get your audience involved. Brands can be a part of trending and breakout moments by starting a conversation, trend, or movement.
  5. #events: Twitter is the #1 platform for following and engaging in conversations about live or televised events. We’re seeing a growing trend of bringing people together and closer to the action at key events, whether that’s in person or on screen – at the Oscars, the Stanley Cup, or Osheaga. Live video on Twitter both increases engagement for multi-screeners and expands reach to cord cutters. The key is adding value to the experience, giving Millennials something they can’t get anywhere else, like backstage access or exclusive content.
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Our research also provided insights around the role social media, and Twitter specifically, plays in the purchase journey:

  1. #discovery: Two-thirds of Canadian Millennials on Twitter say social media helps them discover new products – that’s on par with those who look to their friends and websites for help. In fact, half say they look to brands on social media to find new stuff.
  2. #decisions: Social media is almost as widely used for decision making as friends and websites are and is on par with family. Plus, Twitter users are twice as likely as users of other platforms to say brands on social media influence their decisions.
  3. #action: Nearly three-quarters of Canadian Millennials have taken an action because of ad as they saw on Twitter. The top drivers of purchases were brands/people they followed, deals, links, and photos.

As a generation of influencers, Millennials mean an awful lot to your bottom line. This audience wants to be a part of what’s happening and marketers need to engage in ways that tap into that desire. Be present, be relevant, and insert yourself into a conversation (it’s happening anyway!) or start a new one. Find Millennials where they live, interact with them on their terms, and help bring them closer to the things they care about.

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@AlysonGausby

Alyson Gausby

‎@AlysonGausby‎

Head of Research, Twitter Canada