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Credit Union Social Media Strategy Series: The Millenials

Posted by ryanruud on Mar 5, 2014 7:45:00 AM

All this week we’re diving into the strategy behind reaching specific audience through your credit union’s social media efforts. Yesterday we discussed the Mass Affluent and today we’re looking at the Millenials: who they are and what their audience profile can tell us about the strategy for our content and social media marketing efforts.

Credit Unions & Millennials


Who are the millenials?

Millenials, also called Gen Y or the Net Generation, are quickly becoming the largest generation since the baby boomers, and depending on who you ask, surpassing the boomer population by up to 7%.

Defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, there is plenty written about this highly sought after demographic.

Whether you think they are a lost causeon the rise or somewhere in between the fact remains they are influencers and they are not to be ignored.  But what makes them tick and what can we learn about who they are, their habits online and offline and what keeps them up at night that will inform our strategy?

Millenials: Audience Profile

The biggest challenge that faces marketers trying to reach millenials, is the generation span.

While every generation deals with span, targeting millenials today means you may be trying to reach those who are barely teens to those who are approaching 30 something. With such an emotional and financial maturity gamut, any attempt to paint the generation with a broad stroke will fail and your strategy will suffer.

In many ways, approaching this generation requires breaking it into 2 sub-segments. Those born early ‘80s – mid ‘90s and those born mid ‘90s to early ‘00s, no you have targets of those age 20 something to 30 something and early teen to 20 something. Still not perfect but a lot easier when you think of the state of mind of those who are 28 versus those who are 18.

Millenials: technology, responsibility and interests

Across the both age groups: Social media adoption of course is high in the generation that invented Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube etc. As a result of this always on, connected mentality high touch is something that resonates with the Net Generation. A direct interaction from a brand can quickly turn members of this brand into advocates.

Socially aware and thrifty, members of Gen Y are deal seekers but older Gen Yers, of all generations are the most willing to spend more to support companies who put good back into society.

For older Gen Yers, their top 4 priorities as they age are:  Being a good parent, Having a successful marriage, Helping others, and Owning a home.

When it comes to brand receptiveness, Gen Yers respond to brands who play into their creative spirit. 81% ( ¼  older and more than half younger ) of Gen Yer’s will try a brand because they sponsor an event for an artist they like.

Millenials & Money

And the most important thing? They have assets. While the Generation has been hit hard by the recession, Nielsen research points out that Gen Y makes up a larger percentage of those with $2 million + in assets than Gen X. Median income is $49,297. Narly 10% own their own business, about the same as their older counterparts we talked about yesterday. Millenials are in fact, a segment of the mass affluent.


 Wealth (IPA) by Generation (Source: Nielsen 2013)


Here’s where it gets interesting. The DIY nature of millenials extends to their finances. They bank, invest and buy insurance by themselves, online. They would prefer to never see an investment advisor by comparison to their older counterparts. This of course could change as they approach retirement, but today, they prefer to get their questions answered online and to do what they need to do themselves.  They are the heaviest internet banking demographic.


So what does this profile of who they are and what their goals are tell us and how can it inform our strategy?

 Social media strategy: reaching millenials


Due to the highly social nature of the generation, being nimble and responsive to changing technologies is key. This is the generation that is considered early adopters and will influence what could be the next Facebook. Keep an eye out to what’s happening and test emerging platforms with this group.


Messages should leverage their interests heavily. Showcase your credit unions social responsibility, answer the questions they have about finance so they can take care of their finances the way they want and create an inclusive culture that puts a spotlight on members and team.

bank and credit union marketing swot analysis

Crossfunctional strategy:

Because they reward social minded organizations, reach out to your community relations team and craft a strategy to highlight you activities via your social media channels.

Also, appealing to their creative side could be helpful. Reach out to your events and PR teams to find out if there is a possibility of sponsoring local artists or music events and make sure you’re live tweeting , instagraming or showing your credit union’s participation in the experience and encouraging engagement.

This is the start of strategy for the millenials based on an understanding of who they are, what their needs are and how they interact with online and social media as it related to financial institutions. You can build on this and adapt it to your local community and credit union needs. Tomorrow we’ll talk about using audience profiling to develop a strategy to reach the underbanked.


Topics: Social Media, Strategy & Planning

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