Offers, promotions on social media don't influence millennials, study says
- Offers and promotions on social media are less likely to drive web traffic among millennials than older generations, according to a survey by ad creative company Visual Objects. Only 22% of millennials said offers and promotions on social media compel them visit a website, compared to 29% of Generation Xers and 38% of baby boomers.
- More than 80% of people click through to a website from social media, highlighting how businesses must have a consistent strategy for those platforms, per Visual Objects. Images are more likely to persuade millennials to click through to businesses' websites from social media, according to 33% of survey respondents in the age group.
- Millennials are most likely to use social media (26%) to contact a company, while baby boomers are more likely to use a contact form on a website (30%). Among the broader group of survey respondents, most prefer to use email (31%), social media (21%) or contact forms (19%) to make a general inquiry of a business. Only 9% of people prefer to use chatbots to contact businesses, the survey found. Visual Objects surveyed 537 U.S. adults who use social media at least once a week.
Visual Objects' survey of social media users highlights how various groups of U.S. adults respond to the online marketing efforts of brands. Millennials are less responsive to offers and promotions on social media, the survey suggests, which means brands need to consider other ways to drive engagement with young adults as their spending power grows. "Younger generations are a little skeptical with things like promotions and time-sensitive deals," Jeremy Durant, business principal at B2B agency Bop Design, said in the report. "They want more straightforward, direct ways of doing business."
While millennials may be less responsive to offers and promotions on social media, they prefer using the platforms for contacting businesses. "Millennials have grown up with social media," Paul Regensburg, president and creative director of RainCastle Communications, said in the Visual Objects report. "It's a more comfortable space for them. Social media is how [they] get information."
The relative unpopularity of chatbots is one indication that the technology needs to grow more sophisticated to get consumers comfortable with conversing with an algorithm. Visual Objects' findings confirm other survey data. Only 15% of U.S. consumers had used a chatbot to communicate with a business in the prior 12 months, according to the "2018 State of Chatbots Report" by Salesforce, Drift, Audience and Myclever. The study also found that 34% of consumers predicted they would use a chatbot with the sole person of connecting with a human customer service agent.
Despite chatbot's relative unpopularity, consumers generally like the idea of online messaging services to quickly interact with businesses. About two-thirds (65%) of consumers globally said they'd like to use messaging services to engage with companies, according to a separate survey from Salesforce's MuleSoft. Companies must be careful with automated conversations, as that survey also found that just 38% of respondents' queries had been completely resolved by a chatbot alone. The investment in chatbots is growing, with 25% of customer service operations predicted to use virtual assistant or chatbot technology by next year, according to researcher Gartner.