Social media involves various websites and applications (apps) which are easily available in the electronic gadgets like tabs, smartphones, laptops, computers etc for public use. Starting from sharing contents to creating different types of contents has become the main basis of using any social media platform. Social media websites have made information quickly accessible and available to everyone. The outreach of social media has a global impact touching all the nooks and corners of the human world. Some of the most popular and trending websites include facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. The other platforms offering services are Youtube, Whatsapp, pinterest, quora and others. The popularity of social media cannot be described without acknowledging these websites and apps. Communication and connectivity skills found a new form expression with these platforms. These platforms have users belonging to all the age groups from across the world but for the millennial generation operating social media accounts is more like a cultural life or a way of life. Undoubtedly the use of social media is more trending among the millennials.
Social Media usage among Millennials
IDG Research Group conducted a study regarding the interest of millennials in the tech industry and found amazing results. 75% of the respondents said they prefer news, 59% search for information about travel and 62% millennials are interested in food. Though the results may vary according to sample size, time period, place, etc but it is true that social media covers a very important part in the life of the millennial generation. The involvement and use of various websites and apps have impacted both the social and personal lives of the generation. Many of the millennials also admitted that social media is very much time consuming. But there are also a bunch of news and information seekers who believe that social media is the only way to serve their quick purposes for gathering informing and remain updated regarding current affairs. Interestingly, Facebook dominates the area of social media for sharing and seeking news content more than uploading pictures or posting statuses.
The Impact of Trending and Popular Apps
As mentioned earlier, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc are amongst the most popular apps. A person especially a youth without having account in one of these apps is now unthinkable. While Facebook offers news and different types of interesting contents, WhatsApp has become more like a regular option of texting. With the upgraded version of both the apps now social life has become more expressive. Earlier Skype was only popular for making video calls but now telecommunication services have been installed in Facebook and WhatsApp as well. Twitter remains a source of sharing information and interacting with the world by “tweeting” short messages. Instagram acts more like a personal digital diary with a collection of pictures and videos posted in an account. It has attractive features like boomerang videos, creative filters which are very much fashionable for the millennials. The upgraded version of Instagram also has facilities of video calling. Youtube is a platform of unlimited videos of songs, dance, tutorials, crafts, documentaries, short films, movies and lots more. Some of the young artists (also known as Youtubers) have become popular among the internet using their skills. Many of them also run their own channels on Youtube.
Most of the millennials are of the view that these social media platforms bring them closer to different opinions and perspectives. According to one of the interesting findings of American Press Institute millennials believe that they are exposed to different opinions and they are very much eager to investigate those views. While some are of the view that the opinions on social media match their own personal opinions (12%), some others found that they mostly differ to the opinions being presented on the social media platforms (16%). A majority (70%) of the millennial population finds that there is a combination of both similar and different opinions.
Personal opinions regarding life choices play an important part in a person’s life. In addition to this context, it should also be mentioned that many people especially the youth finds social media as a platform to share their views and perspectives freely. In reality, shy and introvert individuals do not always find it easy to share their opinions with everyone but social media platforms allow them to overcome the embarrassment and express themselves without hesitation. Hence the people who often feel dejected and neglected find it very comfortable.
Attracting Millennial Customers via Social Media
One of the most important aspects of social media is carrying out marketing activities and attracting millennial customers for various brands from all over the world. The brands and company representatives find this kind of usage of social media very marketable to rich most of the reliable customers. Millennials are at the top of this list of customers. According to Forbes, social media acts as a major influencer in the purchasing decisions of millennials. A report by RETAIL DIVE stated that 72% millennials bought fashion and beauty products seeing ads or posts on Instagram. Recommendations from friends and other acquaintances also act as one of the major roles for buying certain products. Millennials can build trust or mistrust based on the feedbacks shared by their peers. Without much probing they often rely on their friends for examining quality and further verification on products. Purchasing behavior of millennials is now largely determined by social media ads and posts. This involves not only Facebook posts, Youtube ads, Instagram posts, specific links shared via WhatsApp etc. Some of entrepreneurs also find it easy to attract customers by running business accounts on different social media sites. Most of the business accounts deal in accessories, cosmetics, beauty and fashion products, clothes, etc. Customization of specific products like earrings, neckpieces, dress materials, gifts items are also available. For these entrepreneurs millennial generation mainly girls remain a major target group. For boys, branded watches, shoes, phones and other electronic gadgets occupy the prime areas of interest.
The Dos and Don’ts
Undoubtedly, social media has creative global links and millennials find it easily accessible to connect themselves with the wider world. But sometimes providing too much information about oneself on social media handles can breach privacy. For avoiding such circumstances, its important to limit the virtual circle and keep it close with trustworthy contacts. It was found that nowadays millennials concentrate more on controlling their privacy settings as compared to the past. Another very interest finding of American Press Institute suggest that millennials’ behavior regarding the usage of social media changed with time. Some of them removed their previously shared pictures or information that either appeared awkward or immature to them. Therefore while sharing or posting any content one should also be aware of its subject matter so that it doesn’t harm one’s own or someone else’s dignity.