Monumental Millennials Part 2: Dos and Don’ts of Connecting with Youth on Social Media

Last week we talked about what social media platforms are best to engage the Millennial generation, or those between the ages of 10 and 30. This week we’re going to take a look at a few dos and don’ts of connecting with youth and up-and-coming young professionals.

Building interest and loyalty among youth and young adults is extremely important for non-profits and associations. Believe us, that’s no exaggerations. To prove it, let’s break down a few facts about the Millennial generation and how they communicate.

Millennials make up more than a quarter of the population of Canada. They are commonly considered the most socially aware generation ever. About 75% of Canadians between 15 and 30 donate to causes with an average yearly contribution of more than $150 per person, according to StatsCan. Young donors will likely continue to donate throughout their lives, meaning that fostering a relationship and loyalty is important.

There are about 165,000 non-profits and charities in Canada, according to Imagine Canada. With so many options, organizations need a way to reach young donors and volunteers. To reach them, you need to speak their language. Social media is increasingly becoming the language of today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders.

So, understanding how to connect with Millennials on social media is pretty important.

Here are a couple dos and don’ts that will help your organization connect with the youth of today and the influence-makers of the present and future.

  • Don’t use email as a primary way to connect with youth. Email has been surpassed as the main way to communicate with Millennials. One organization found only about 10% of students opened its emails about initiatives and news.
  • Do use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to connect personally with youth interested in giving or volunteering and to promote events and initiatives. A whopping 83% of 18 to 29-year-old adults are active on social media in 2013, according to a Pew Research study.
  • Don’t compromise your organization’s identity. Engaging with youth doesn’t mean talking in slang or dumbing down your message. Youth are drawn to your organization for a reason, stick with it!
  • Do make sure your website, app and social media platforms are mobile-friendly. A lot of social media activity comes via smart phone.
  • Don’t link your social media sites together. For example, do not set your Facebook posts to be automatically tweeted out. Repetition makes your organization forgettable to youth looking for creativity and originality in a crowded market.
  • Do experiment with different platforms. Millennials don’t stick to just one and finding the site or combination of sites that fits your organization best may require a bit of trial and error.
  • Don’t be one-dimensional. Youth are drawn to social media platforms because they offer words, pictures, videos and much more. Incorporate all of these into your social media strategy and have some fun with them.
  • Do make it easy for youth to engage. Make sure links to your social media accounts are front and center on the website and vice-versa. Searching and scrolling can turn people off your organization.

There’s no one tried and tested formula to engage Millennials, but by using the tips above, your organization can come closer to building long-lasting relationships with youth and young adults and establish itself as a leader in the industry.

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