Marketers in a variety of industries are trying to figure out how to engage with millennials. To older generations they can sometimes seem a little odd. Constantly attached to at least one device, tweeting during TV programs and taking selfies in the street.

Some merchants can be hesitant about engaging with them, let alone attempting to obtain their loyalty. But make no mistake – this is the most important generation to try to attract to your business. They’re influential now and their influence will only increase in the coming years. Understanding how to engage with millennials and how to get their loyalty is critical.

But to do so you have to play by their rules.

Communicating with millennials on their terms

The fact that millennials are constantly switching from consuming one form of media to another can mistakenly be interpreted as an inherent lack of loyalty. That they can’t stick to one thing. As a generation, they have grown up with technology like smartphones and tablets. Their habits have evolved along with the functionality of these devices. For them, it’s perfectly normal to consume vast quantities of media across different channels during one 20 minute commute. But this has nothing to do with their loyalty to brands. Rather it’s just their “normal.”

Don’t be fooled – millennials can be loyal customers.

In a study undertaken in 2015 by Elite Daily, 6 in 10 millennials surveyed said they were brand loyal. The key is to be visible in the spaces that millennials operate. Namely on social media. And by visible, this means communicating with them on their terms – not by flashing a banner advert in front of their face. In the same study by Elite Daily, only 1% of those surveyed said that a compelling advert would make them trust a brand more.

Millennials also have a strong preference for transparency.  Complicated loyalty programs where it is unclear how to earn rewards, or rules are frequently changing, may even lead this generation to become vocal against it.  But they do appreciate value and personalization. So promoting your loyalty program to them is well worth the effort if your point currency has real value and your system enables a 1:1 dialog.

Trust is key to learning how to engage with millennials

Authenticity is crucial in understanding how to engage with millennials. Trust has to be earned, and they trust their peers more than any brand, which is why customer advocacy is so powerful. So the answer is to try to have authentic interactions with millennials on social media. If they can relate with you in a space where they feel comfortable, they are more likely to see your messages as authentic. This is the best way to attract them to your brand and such interactions can result in loyalty.

This might seem like hard work, and it certainly does require more effort to ensure you have a presence on social media. But the rewards will be worth it. A lot of your competitors will not be attempting to engage with millennials on social media. Those that don’t do so in the coming months and years will almost certainly be left behind.

If anything, social media has increased consumers’ expectations of brands. And millennials are particularly demanding. A good example is that many people now expect brands to give something back to society and not just think about making a profit.

At Currency Alliance, we believe that preparing for constant change is now a business requirement. Putting the customer at the center of your thinking is crucial. By learning how to engage with millennials on social media, you can increase their engagement with your brand. Giving them something – without asking for anything in return, and helping them achieve their goals will benefit your brand in the long term.

If you would like to talk further, have any comments, or would like information about how our loyalty enablement capabilities can help you target millennials, please get in touch.