Over the last year I taught 2 semesters of internet marketing at Western Michigan University. Needless to say my entire class, both semesters, were millennials. At the start of each semester I would survey my class to see what social platforms they had experience with or were currently active on. 

Millennials Social Platform Adoption

Here what I found:

  • <25% of both classes had a LinkedIn account
  • >50% did not have a Facebook account
  • 100% had an Instragram account
  • +50% don’t register for newsletters
  • +90% had a SnapChat account
  • About 10% had ever used Twitter. (Of those 1 student was still using it.)
  • At the time G+ still existed and no one was using it. (Not even the communities.)

Marketing & money and effort needs to shift to graphic & visual marketing. Permission marketing seems to be more important than ever, as the platforms millennials are adopting are opt-in only type platforms (SnapChat). But, with more than 50% of them not opting in for newsletters, is permission marketing even viable?

Millennials don’t seem to want to network professionally or equates social media and the internet with personal branding – how will they find jobs? 

Tracking and Retargeting

The second question I ask my class deals with tracking and advertising (read: re-targeting creepiness).

  • Virtually everyone knew that brands were tracking them across the internet.
  • 75% of them had adblockers and javascript blockers like Ghostery installed

A few interesting thoughts come to mind. Millennials invented many of the social networks and tracking aspects that currently exist, yet more than 75% of them, in my experience, want to block them. So….yea…that’s a thing.

It does partly seem that the stereotype that millennials are not aware or care about their privacy isn’t true. With all this blocking and lack of social media usage, marketing to them will be quite difficult.

As millennials grow up will they be impossible to market to? Is this of their own doing? Will they come around?