Go where they go; know what they know.
By Lauren Giannini
Sponsored by CU24
You can’t ignore the Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, Millennials make up the largest generation, more than 80 million people. This is certainly a large enough group to play a critical role in the future of the credit union movement.
What does it take to attract and keep these key members of our society as part of our community? Well, as with every other market segment, you’ve got to play on their level. If you’ve ever spent time with any Millennial friends, you’ve surely noticed a common, recurring theme: They are connected, whether it’s via a smartphone, tablet, or laptop or–maybe soon–a watch.
Millennials are rarely seen with their heads behind a newspaper. They have mastered and prefer having their lives at their fingertips: texting for communication, Uber for transportation, Pandora for music, Urbanspoon for restaurants, Googling for information. Heads down, fingers flying, they’re connected.
So, you think you’ve figured it out and the answer is Facebook? Then you’re behind in this game. You’ve got to go beyond. Tech-savvy as they are, Millennials are using multiple social media platforms for not only networking and communication, but also for keeping up with current affairs, shopping and entertainment.
To connect with this generation, you’ve got to relate to their lifestyle through a range of social media, and do your best to keep up with the changes. This crowd is online 24/7, comparing products and services and craving convenience and functionality. Engaging with members and relationship-building is more appealing to the Millennial mind than having products pushed to them.
Millennials look for confirmation by reading reviews written by their peers on social media. They trust these reviews far more than paid advertisements; they connect better with people than they do with logos. Interacting with Millennials on social media will give you insight into their lifestyles and preferences, and enable you to build the trust and establish the authenticity that they relate to online.
Social media is most important for reaching Millennials because they perceive these channels as more tailored to users, allowing them to control what they want to see and receive. Millennials also are visual in their use of media. Consider the still-growing trend to interact and upload pictures on such social media platforms as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.
This generation is beginning to enter key life milestones: buying a car, getting married, purchasing a home. Credit unions can be the source of expertise and service they need and are looking for. But to engage them, you’ll have to meet them where they live. Get connected.
Lauren Giannini is marketing coordinator for CU24.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge until June 5. It only takes a moment to impact a young leader.
CUES offers a $99 Next Gen membership.