Attracting a younger generation to your conferences and events is not as simple as culling through stock photo sites for a younger, fresher face to add to your event marketing. Saying your event is hip and appealing to a younger generation does not make it so.
Getting out the right message to the younger generation on a platform that is so yesterday sends a mixed message. It’s like using a horse and buggy to shuttle people to the Chicago Auto Show.
Event organizers looking to attract a younger audience need to get familiar with the social media platforms younger generations are using. Hip organizers will figure out how to incorporate those platforms into their event marketing and communications.
According to an article published by Digiday, younger internet users are moving away from open social networks in favor of “closed” platforms that offer more privacy. Generation Z is leaving Facebook and Twitter and moving onto platforms such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.
While older social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have a much larger user base than these newer messaging apps, the newer apps should not be ignored. Getting in on the ground floor, and early experimentation will save you from trying to play catch-up with social savvy competitors.
Apps to Watch
SnapChat - Yes, this is that app. It is the app that started with a not so wholesome reputation. But times have changed and the app has matured. SnapChat boasts about 100 million active users and is now drawing the attention of advertisers such as Amazon, Samsung, Macy’s and even movie studios. Many brands are leveraging video and photo rich content to create “native” ads. SnapChat is also talking about creating a Discover feature that will contain content from some big media companies.
WhatsApp - Sound familiar? That’s probably because this is the app that Facebook bought early last year for $19 billion. According to WhatsApp, they have 600 million monthly active users. So far there are no advertising opportunities on WhatsApp but that will likely change as time goes on. You have plenty of time to get familiar with this app so that when advertising does become an option, you are way ahead of the game.
Kik - If you have a 13-to-25-year-old living in our home, you may be familiar with this app. Kik currently has about the same number of users as SnapChat. Kik’s audience has grown by 50 percent in the last year, according to comScore. Kik launched advertising over the summer last year, and it will be interesting to see what brands are doing on this platform.
Steps To Take Right Now
Open accounts on these platforms, connect with other users and start to get comfortable using them. Make note of what people are sharing and how they are sharing it. Think of learning the ins and outs of a new social platform as how you might learn a new language. It’s easier to learn when you immerse yourself in the culture. Also, take note of what brands are doing on the platform. While you should never copy what others are doing, it might just spark some great ideas for your event.
Check out how Topdeck Travel combined SnapChat and a YouTube celebrity to create the first SnapChat travel show.