07 Jul Six Tips for Connecting with Millennials

By Miran Saric, Inceptia Marketing Intern and Graduate Student

When it comes to communicating with the millennial generation, you may be flooded with an abundance of communication channels that could simultaneously set you up for misunderstanding.

Because many millennials are at a key point in their lives—college and post-college years—it is critical to reach out to them in order to assist them in a period where many important financial decisions need to be made. Millennials themselves are often misunderstood and viewed as an age group that’s difficult to connect and communicate with, but by taking the right steps to contact them you can develop a healthy and successful relationship.

Here are some suggestions to effectively reach millennials and start discussions on their finances and student loans.

Don’t water down your message. Due to the instant messaging and 140-character-limit age we live in, one might be tempted to scale down their message to the bare minimum in order to grab millennials’ attention. However, this is an ambitious and intelligent generation that appreciates intelligent discourse. As the Pew Research millennial study states, “Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history, a trend driven largely by the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy, but most likely accelerated in recent years by the millions of 20-somethings enrolling in graduate schools, colleges or community colleges in part because they can’t find a job.” This is why discussions with them must be of intelligent nature.

Embrace social media. Reports vary in stats, but the majority state that at least 90 percent of millennials use social media and well over 50 percent use smartphones. This is a rich environment for fostering dialog that allows for two-way conversation and an opportunity to engage with your organization. Not only can you start a conversation, but by posting links and flexible content you give millennials the opportunity to further share your posts and increase your following and exposure.

Reach out at all hours of the day. Millennials are plugged-in 24/7 thanks to mobile technology and social media. If you have any updates, reminders and information to share, then schedule them on social media at all hours without any hesitation. However, be prepared to respond in a reasonable amount of time to keep the conversation going.

Don’t overload this age group with information. You’re not the only one who has social media available to them 24/7, so be aware that millennials’ attention spans will be put to the test. If you feel that you’re posting too much information, target individuals who need the most attention and instant message them. Nearly every social media platform allows for individual, private messages, so use them to your advantage.

Interactive media is a must. Rather than telling millennials about the grace period process, for example, show them what to do through a short video. Include infographics as often as possible and photo sharing sites such as Instagram are booming in popularity. The best thing about interactive and rich content is that it’s usually inexpensive to create and is easily shareable.

Remember millennials are career and future-oriented. When reaching out to them, seek to aid them, show them how your program or services cannot only help them in the immediate sense but also how it can set them up for future successes. Focus on the gratification aspect of your relationship and what you can do for them.

When reaching out to millennials to discuss finances and financial educations, do not be afraid to use all methods available. Millennials are receptive to communication as long as you employ their preferred methods and in a manner in which they’ll appreciate. For more research on this generation, visit the Pew Research Millennial Generation research center. It’s slightly dated but still provides excellent data on this generation.