Using Social to Humanize Marketing #socialmedia


Millennials, considered by many a lost generation, are more than just entitled, lazy slackers riddled with student loan debt and no job prospects. We currently represent over $200 billion in annual buying power.  Just a few years into our careers, the battle for our customer loyalty and future earnings from our generation begins now, and without the right strategy the lost ones will be the businesses who didn’t capture a group of 86 million consumers.

The millennial generation is demanding a more personal humanized approach from marketers, where ads are tailored specifically to a need we have at the moment. We need to have a reason to not read reviews, compare prices, and hold out for a better offer. Social media when done correctly is a direct way into reaching my generation and recent findings from Adobe show that marketers and the social networks are finding the right keys to improving this relatively new form of marketing.

The Social Intelligence Report released by Adobe shows that consumers are responding well to personal, targeted ads with click-through-rates that have nearly tripled year-over-year. Marketers are learning to optimize for consumers better by shifting from cost-per-click (CPC) model to a cost-per-thousand (CPM) model to take advantage the high CTR rates. CPM rates are up 120% year-over-year and CPC rates are down 40% year-over-year.


In 2013, the major social networks got serious about making their platforms more marketing friendly.  Facebook led with the new Timeline user interface, the introduction of Graph Search and improved audience targeting capabilities. Twitter also beefed up their targeting capabilities while acquiring Vine and MoPub to increase their video and mobile capabilities, respectively. Most recently, Pinterest announced that it will be using promoted pins in the future to help retailers get products directly to consumers.

With millennials you need to reach them on many different touch points and create no barriers to purchasing. The recent social network improvements have created ways for marketers to achieve this.  Prior to purchasing my HDTV I looked at product reviews on Twitter, got ideas of the best brand on Facebook, researched those brands, and ultimately engaged with targeted Ad on Facebook that showed the TV I wanted and an enticing offer to purchase. I clicked on the Ad, entered my information and the TV was in my living room within the week. I even reached out to the company on Twitter with an installation question that was promptly answered.

A strategy for these 3 platforms will ensure a successful social strategy this holiday season.

Revenue per visit on Twitter is up 300%, Pinterest is up 150%

Consumers will spend $2.27 billion dollars on Cyber Monday this holiday season according to a recent prediction by Adobe Digital Index, with a record number of sales being referred by social networks. Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook have all shown growth in referring revenue to retail sites with Twitter growing the fastest up 300% year-over-year. A strategy for these 3 platforms will ensure a successful social strategy this holiday season.

Twitter, which was already a major source of refer­ral traf­fic for media com­pa­nies, has improved its share of traf­fic to retail­ers by 2.5 times. It provides a great platform for releasing information for online deals to consumers as they become available and creating an opportunity for them to engage directly with your brand with questions, complaints, and even praise. Look at create an influencer base who can be spokespeople for your brand on Twitter and give you direct access to messaging to millions of people.

Pinterest is currently referring more traffic to retail sites than Twitter, YouTube, and Redidt combined. It is the newest form of a catalog where branded company pages showcase the products in a way that produces high engagement and sharing from its consumers.

Facebook is still the giant in the room and engagement with brands with up 115% year-over-year. Targeted ads are proving to be viable with ROI up 58% year-over-year, but you can expect to pay a premium, cost for these ads go up 42% during the holiday season.




Making millennials a retailer’s best friend

Social media provides a great outlet to connect directly with fans of your brand and to reach millennials on an individual basis. An Adobe Digital Index study shows that 40% of revenue is coming from your loyal fan base which is only 8% of website traffic. A loyal fan that is marketed to on a personal level through social channels, will become a strong repeat customer and will lead to more loyal fans.

Marketers would be wise to expand offerings in social channels while heading into the critical shopping season.

With 96% of millennials engaged on at least one social network, marketers would be wise to expand offerings in social channels while heading into the critical shopping season. Targeted ads, customer service monitoring, social media “fan” discounts, and holiday deal pages are all examples of social media tools that marketers can use to ensure that they connect with their fans and turn a reluctant hipster millennial into a lifelong loyal consumer.

Follow the digital index team on Twitter @adobeindex for more news on social media.

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Image credit- cienpies / 123RF Stock Photo


Joe Martin has a BS in Finance and a MBA in Strategy and Marketing from the University of Utah. He has worked more than seven years in consumer data analysis, corporate strategy, and digital marketing,. Joe is currently working as a Marketing Analytics Manager for the Adobe Digital Index team where findings from his work have been published in Mashable, TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and other business and marketing related outlets. Follow Joe on Twitter @joeDmarti for more digital marketing trends and insights.

  • Calling Millennials lazy is a cop out by people/marketers who don’t understand that the way people consume content and communicate has changed over the past 20 years.

  • Joe, this is not just one hell of a primer on social selling this holiday season (and beyond); it’s also an inspiring call to action to brands who are savvy enough to want to engage with our youngest consumers the consumers’ terms, rather than Madison Avenue’s.

    It is truly SOCIAL (media), a much more human way of doing business. Bravo for driving that lesson home!

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