Millennials More Likely to Purchase What They Share on Social

Many in the marketing industry say Millennials are harder to reach than any other age group, as they are less responsive to advertising. But is that really true? ShareThis’ new report about Millennials’ digital sharing and consumption habits suggests that brands can crack the code of marketing to this “elusive” generation if they know what they like to share on social media.

In its report, ShareThis observed more than 58 million 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. over the course of four months, across 3.1 million sites and apps. The findings show that 25 percent of the Millennials surveyed share online content to their social networks, and 55 percent of them click on content shared by their peers. This is 3.6 times and 2.3 times more than average, respectively.

“Millennials grew up being advertised at, so of course they’ll be harder to reach if one’s definition of reach is conversion rate,” says Kurt Abrahamson, chief executive (CEO) of ShareThis. “As we’ve found, sharing and social conversations are better overall indicators of purchase intent than ad impressions.”

And the interplay between sharing and purchasing behavior is more pronounced for Millennials than for any other age group. For example, close to 70 percent of Millennials say they are likely to make a purchase based on their friends’ social media posts.

And this demographic is also more inclined to purchase within product categories that they’ve actively shared about in the past. Take, for instance, children’s products, an area in which active Millennial sharers are 2.3 times more likely to make a purchase than the regular population.


So what do Millennials share most? A large variety of subjects, but politics and government (47 percent) and family and parenting (38 percent) are the main focuses, according to the report.


Abrahamson believes this digital profile presents an opportunity for brands that are looking to deeply engage with Millennials.

“For one, it means that these brands can reach Millennials at the height of engagement and interest by focusing their media delivery on family and politics content,” he says. “It also provides advertisers with a chance to tailor their messaging based on the interests and passion points of sharers.”

Abrahamson adds that family care and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands in particular should “closely monitor social conversations to identify family influencers” and further create content that cater to these influencers.

Of course, conversations may vary on different social media platforms. The report shows that Millennials share 20 percent more arts and entertainment stories on Facebook, while they consume more content about sports and business and finance on Twitter.

Meanwhile, they are more likely to browse about shopping on Pinterest, and look for science and technology news on Reddit.


Are you prepared to tailor your content marketing on social channels to Millennial sharers?

Images via ShareThis.

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