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How to Engage Millennials Using Instagram

Zach Benson

6 tips on how to successfully woo this large, often untapped customer base.

If you are looking to increase your revenue and potential customer base but you are not factoring the millennial market into your approach, then you are doing your business a great disservice.

Millennials are using Instagram more than any other platform. Recent research shows that 60 percent of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18 and 29, with 42 percent of those users visiting the site at least once per day. In fact, some studies find that millennials interact more on social media than they do in real life. With that many eyeballs, you simply cannot ignore this often untapped customer base.

Yes, millennials can be tough to crack, but following these tips can increase your odds.

Millenials are passionate.

If you think that you are just going to cast a wide net with your advertising campaign and assume millennials will be pulled in, think again. If you want to attract millennials, you need to be passionate about what you are advertising, whether it is fashion, fitness, makeup, travel or luxury. If you don’t believe in your content, neither will they.

Once you start gaining traction, narrow your focus further. For example, if you own a restaurant, what kind of food does your establishment offer? Do you offer great desserts? Fine dining? It’s better to begin with the end in mind. Start wide and narrow your focus so you gain followers that are interested in your general niche before finding true fans that are super interested in your super niche.

Pair your posts with captivating captions that pique viewers’ interest and encourage them to respond. These can include call-to-action captions that ask your audience to vote, check out your product or share with a friend.

When you are passionate about a specific subject, then you are essentially an expert on that topic, and followers tend to flock to the leaders of their perspective interests.

Create captivating videos.

Eye-catching, high-resolution images usually catch the attention of millennials, but videos are the current trend. The trick is to make a big impression in the first 7 seconds. Keep their attention for that long, and they will usually stick with you until the end. Then, keep the videos coming, and your audience could stick around for the long haul.

When it comes to videos, avoid stale, infomercial-type demonstrations, because millennials prefer to see your brand unfold. They like to look at how employees interact behind the scenes. They also want to see the product being used in ways that appeal to them, and they enjoy witnessing the creative process behind the creation of your product.

Millennials particularly enjoy Instagram Stories, which are short videos that are only available for 24 hours. The time limit of these videos make it easier for you to streamline your message, and you can keep their attention longer by adding unique filters and hashtag stickers. You might consider using live videos to tease new products, run contests and post live Q&A sessions with your employees.

Encourage user-generated content.

Millennials can be less trusting of faceless corporations, and they also like to be part of the action. For both of these reasons, it is recommended that you encourage user-created content.

Try to get your followers to take part in the action by creating a testimonial section on your website. Or you could create a contest where you encourage followers to submit an image or an idea while including a catchy hashtag that you provide just for the purpose of the contest.

Some of the more famous user-generated contests include one by Dunkin’ Donuts during Halloween season, where users were encouraged to decorate their cups in the hope of winning a gift card. There was also a popular contest run by the Four Seasons hotel chain that asked followers around the world to snap pictures of specific landmarks to potentially win a prize.

There are many benefits to getting your followers involved with your content marketing. One advantage is that it lessens the amount of content you have to create yourself, but more importantly, millennials tend to trust user-generated content 50 percent more than they do other forms of media.

Young people have always cared about the next big thing, but the millennial generation takes their love of trending topics to a new level. They love to talk about what they like, and they aren’t shy about dismissing what they don’t like.

Try to add trending topics into your Instagram content, and give yourself a real chance of reaching millennials. There are many ways to incorporate these trends. You can add your opinion on a topic in your advertising, or you can engage your audience by asking questions about a current trend. There is even the option of turning a hot topic into a meme.

The key is to be engaging without going over the line. You’re best to stay away from trending political or controversial topics, because you could eliminate half of your audience with one post. If you even get an inkling that a potential post may be seen as offensive, avoid it.

Use the right tools.

The ability to attract and keep the attention of millennials can be difficult if you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone as there are many tools in existence that can help to take out some of the guesswork.

One of the most comprehensive tools is Infinicore, which takes your company’s information and aids in promoting organic growth, attracting engagement, assisting in selecting the most inviting hashtags and helps you to fine-tune your marketing strategy.

Millennials demand to be engaged and keeping the content flowing on your business’ Instagram page is the only way that they will keep you on their radar. You want to be posting at least once a day, and with online tools including and Grum, you can easily stay on top of your posting schedule by creating content ahead of time then setting it on a schedule while you focus on running your business.

Once you have some experience posting your content, take a step back so you can analyze the efficiency of your posts and make sure that they are making the desired impact. Instagram data analysis tools, including Owlmetrics and Iconosquare analyze the performance of your posts to ensure that you are hitting your targets while also giving insights on how to continue hitting said targets in the future.

Get them where they live.

The fact is, millennials spend a good majority of their time online, and they use social media. What they see there aids their decision-making process. Get your business in front of their faces with carefully crafted and engaging content, and you could see striking results.

Image Credit: Work Apart/Shutterstock
Zach Benson
Community Member
Zach Benson is the CEO and founder of Assistagram an innovative Instagram management agency specialising in growth of accounts and creating Instagram campaigns that reach millions. As a full-time entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, social-media trainer for international brands such as The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and ViceRoy, he encourages others to reach their full potential through the arts and social media. He uses his successful social media presence and impressive network of followers to travel around the world teaching others how to grow their Instagram accounts. Zach is also an award-winning dancer and was a finalist on FOX TV's popular show 'So You Think You Can Dance'. He combines his passion for teaching, entrepreneurship, dance and travel to mentor people all over the world and help them grow, dance and improve their companies.