Millennials, considered less flatteringly by some as Generation Me, do have their upside. We currently represent more than $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. Without the right strategy, the lost ones will be the businesses that 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. 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 (CTR) 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.

Facebook CPCs and CTRs

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 its targeting capabilities while acquiring Vine and MoPub to increase its 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 a targeted ad on Facebook that showed the TV I wanted with 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.

Revenue per visit on Twitter is up 300%, Pinterest 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 three platforms will ensure a successful social strategy this holiday season.

Twitter: 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 a brand for questions, complaints, and even praise. Look at creating 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 its products in a way that produces high engagement and sharing from its consumers.

Facebook is still the giant in the room with engagement among brands 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 as the cost for these ads go up 42% during the holiday season.

Social RP

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 who is marketed to on a personal level through social channels will become a strong repeat customer and will lead to more loyal fans.

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 they connect with their fans and turn a reluctant hipster millennial into a lifelong loyal consumer.

Follow the Adobe Digital Index team on Twitter @adobeindex for more news, trends and updates on social media.


Ads on Facebook not going out to at least the majority of your followers is a down fall and having to pay is ridiculous. Not to mention the shift in age use of Facebook. Facebook is a valuable resource but it needs to be treated carefully with this changing landscape and cost. Thanks for the insight.

Williams Brown
Williams Brown

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