#Leaders Listen Up: #Millennials Share what Gets their Attention on Social Media

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Social media continues to capture time and attention. Here are some of the stats revealing how much people participate in social media; where they spend their time; what they like to do and how often.

  • There are approximately 6,000 tweets shared every second on Twitter. If you were to break the numbers down, there would be about 350,000 tweets sent per minute and approximately 500 million tweets per day. Can you imagine? That’s about 200 billion tweets per year, according to Internet Live Stats.
  • In November of 2018, the Hootsuite Blog stated that over 200 million people participated in Facebook Groups and there were about 150 million people who took advantage of Facebook Stories. 
  • In August of 2018, 99 Firms reported that Instagram supports approximately 100 million images and videos each day.
  • According to MerchDope, in June of 2019, there were approximately 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
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The social media numbers continue to grow. At the same time, people are still watching network and cable television, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. They’re listening to the radio and tuning into podcasts. They’re also reading online publications, blogs and curating stories through news apps.
With all of the media available at your fingertips, if you wanted to get the attention of your customers and constituents, how would you show up and what would you share?

Let’s take a closer look at Millennials. They’re a growing population capturing approximately 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2020. With tremendous purchasing power, they are highly sought as a group when it comes to attracting and keeping their social media attention. But, what does this take?

I’ve been speaking with Millennials for the last six months, conducting one-on-one interviews as a part of my FEEL First before you communicate, Millennial passion project. Here’s what Millennial respondents told me about how business professionals and their “Leaders*” should communicate to get their attention.

  • Take a stand on the issue; if there’s something happening in the world or a particular country, let me know how you feel.
  • Advocate for something and show me you think beyond canned messages.  
  • Have more passion for the cause; leaders should always have a voice and right now it doesn’t feel authentic or connected.  
  • Watch out for the negative and outrageous; it gets more attention but it’s not positive or helpful. 
  • Understand me and my realm; be relatable to my world and what I experience on a daily basis. 
  • Give your unique take on something; whether you’re my supervisors or a public figure from one of the brands I like.
  • Use images that evoke memories and emotions and that show they understand who I am; through this understanding, you can present powerful words and photos.
  • Share personal community stories; go into the communities and get to know the social activists and well-known people who can create change.
  • Listen first … really listen; it’s hard to determine if leaders actually listen because retweeting is a form of listening but it appears everyone is just trying to get their content out and this is noise.
  • Communicate without remorse, and with a lot of bias and without supporting evidence; you’ll get attention but not my approval or loyalty.
  • Harness a particular social media platform whether you’re strong at Instagram, Twitter or Facebook Live. 
  • Move to action related to your mission, so it’s not just the words on social media.
  • Take the unpopular belief that’s relevant; sticky popular messages are not held by the majority of the people.
  • Show empathy and be vulnerable; if I see someone sharing struggles or tough points in their career this gets my attention.
  • Share videos with subtitles, which can be powerful and long posts have meaning too.
  • Give the behind the scenes and things I would not see anywhere else.
  • Try humor, which gets my attention, especially if you’re not someone who is necessarily humorous.
  • Use a writing style that’s personal or journal-style writing.
  • Catch my attention by using colors and imagery that’s fun; it gives me a feeling of happiness.
  • Do an interview, on a media outlet that’s informative or interesting, such as Bloomberg and CNBC.
  • Respond to people; no one ever expects the CEO of T-Mobile to respond.
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What are you doing to capture and retain attention with the people that mean the most to you?

*The term “Leaders” was defined in the one-on-one interviews as professionals at the respondents’ companies, business professionals speaking on behalf of the companies and the brands they follow or care about, or their political and religious leaders.

Feature Image Credit: Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

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