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Tapping the millennial market

Markets, Trend Watch | October 1, 2014 | By:

Follow these tips to reach millennial clients.

Have you ever wondered why we’re always being told how important social media is to businesses? It isn’t just because people go online to shop. Online is simply where people are—especially millennials (people born in the 1980s and 90s), many of whom are now planning weddings. By focusing a large chunk of your marketing efforts in this area, you’re hanging out your digital sign for people to find you and your business. And while it’s true that you organically reach people in your city and in your network, you will never have the potential to reach as many prospects as you will by increasing your digital footprint.

The millennial prospect is a key niche audience for tent and event services, and can easily be engaged through social media. The key to closing the sale with these tech savvy and on-the-go prospects is to engage with them in a helpful and authentic way.

A social media trifecta

So what is the best way to get started in reaching those millennial prospects and letting them know that you’ve hung your digital sign up for business? First step, join the platforms where they are for your business. Whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ or LinkedIn, you want your business to show up where they’re spending their online time. Don’t feel, however, that your business needs to be on every platform. It’s better to start small and build an engaged audience than to spread yourself too thin. A good rule of thumb is to choose three platforms—a social media “trifecta.” Commit to three and use them make your brand known.

A mobile-friendly message

Almost everyone has a smartphone in hand, a portable computer in their pocket or an iPad in their purse. If you want to reach the millennial prospect, the message you’re sending must be mobile-friendly. This generational prospect is tech-savvy, time sensitive and known to leave a website if it’s not mobile optimized. From your
website to your blog, be sure the message you are sending out is fully mobile optimized.

Go visual

As the world changes, so does how prospects consume information and how they make decisions about the products and services they choose. The rising stars in social media platforms for special events businesses are those driven by visual content—photography and video. The platform leaders that should be part of your social media trifecta are Pinterest and Instagram. Both make it easy to build brand awareness. By using quality photos and videos these platforms have potential to bring a special events business a wider audience that’s looking for what your company offers.

Pinterest is a sweet spot for special event and wedding service businesses. Through this platform you have the ability to create and customize albums for your prospects to “pin” from. Pinterest appeals to many millennial prospects (especially millennial brides) because it allows them to individually become the creator of their own curated content. By creating a business Pinterest page you will draw prospects in and then lead them back to your website through pinned imagery. This social media platform promotes collaboration and allows for a direct visual dialogue between you and potential clients.

Event service businesses create some of the most interesting product and service content in the social media world. Showing that work off is made easy by creating an Instagram account for your business. This platform is an increasingly popular online photo- and video-sharing social network that provides you the opportunity to share visuals in a mobile-friendly way. You can make photos look instantly more professional through editing options and filters, and also include a description or message.

All-important hashtags

Once you’ve made the decision to add Pinterest or Instagram to your social media trifecta, be sure that you’re using hashtags (aka “#”) in your messaging. Hashtags allow prospects to filter posts on a variety of platforms by interest. They’re used for finding information, from basic to what’s trending. By using hashtags that are specific to your event business you will put your content in front of users interested in those searched topics. A few examples of popular special event hashtags are #Tents, #Linens, #WeddingPlanning, #WeddingWednesday and #Brides. Choose topics that prospects will associate with your brand and follow. Hashtags are most commonly used on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ for special events business. There’s no denying, the hashtag is one powerful symbol in the social world.

Remember that social media is called “social” for a reason. Don’t be shy. Jump in and start building relationships with the millennial buyer. By taking these few simple steps you will turn wasted time on social media into focused time—leading to real sales dollars for your business.

By Kelly Treadway, founder of EventCurious, Atlanta, Ga., @eventcurious.

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