YOLO: Tips for Reaching Millennial Voters on Facebook

Pew Research put some hard numbers behind what was a pretty decent assumption, publishing a study that showed millennials, voters born between 1980 and 2000, receive most of their political news from Facebook. While their parents and grandparents, are local and cable news addicts, 18 to 34 year olds get more than 60% of their political information through their Newsfeeds.


So we can look at this two ways:

“Who cares. Millennials don’t vote. They don’t donate. They’re lazy. They’ve got horrible haircuts and take too many selfies.”


“Stop the presses. You mean, millennials get 60% of their news on a platform that dominates internet usage time, is relatively inexpensive, and has nearly unlimited targeting ability? Surely we can find some devotees to our campaign or cause among this group. This could be a campaigners goldmine!”

I’m not advocating changing your campaign’s digital budget or switching your campaign’s strategy drastically away from traditional media to cater to millennials at this stage. However, there may be value in changing the way your campaign interacts with the group on Facebook given that so much of their political intelligence is focused on this platform.
Here are some common sense strategies to think about when trying to connect with America’s most self-absorbed generation on Facebook:

Be Authentic:
Only 1% of millennials surveyed by Pew said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. No amount of boilerplate pre-roll commercials or static message memes are going to move a millennial to action. Having an authentic conversation about issues on Facebook may seem scary to many campaigns, but it’s bound to at least earn your campaign the attention of this crowd.

Be Relevant:
According to a study by AOL, millennials are more than twice as likely to give up information about themselves or engage a brand on Facebook. Remember, 18-34 year-olds grew up with the internet and don’t have the same hesitations on handing over an email address or voicing an opinion online. But they need a compelling reason to interact. Engaging your newest fans with giveaways or campaign exclusives in exchange for valuable information like email addresses and cell phone numbers may be more enticing to a millennial than the average “Sign this Petition” outrage.

Be Courteous:
According to a study from Pace University, millennials welcome direct brand interactions through email, but want more ability to control, organize and manage the interactions. Asking your prospects their preferred form of contact, and using that information to correspond with them in the manner they desire may encourage millennials to interact with your campaign across multiple platforms and allow you to collect more data from this connected generation.

Be Mobile:
With regards to millennials, 94% have a cell phone and 89% have a smart phone – more than any other group. Make sure your Facebook posts are optimized for mobile usage, meaning – keep copy length short and graphics “thumb-stopping.”