Cultivating Customers of the Future


If you’re increasingly using social media to help drive business and awareness, how do you know your message is really getting through?

Do you really know who you’re targeting with your approach? Indeed, are you actually targeting the right audience?

A new survey of 1,200 Australians aged 18-64 has revealed that social media outlets could be better optimised by salons, spas and clinics to engage young customers-of-the-future and cultivate the patronage of those who are only just starting to use their services.

Millennials Shaping the Rules of Social Media Engagement, conducted by Newspoll, revealed Millennials (aka Gen Y, born from the early 1980s to 2000s) have a high proportion of trust for posts by brands and an affinity for liking brands online.

They are far more follow apt to follow or ‘like’ brands, with the 18-34 year olds (at 73 percent) considerably more amenable to ongoing engagement than the 35-49 (57 percent) and 50-64 (41 percent) age brackets.

This younger generation is also far more likely to believe and trust in branded social media content. The poll revealed that 70 percent of 18-34 year olds believe posts by brands on social media are trustworthy, compared with 55 percent of 35-49 year olds and 49 percent of those aged 50-64.

‘We tend to think of the younger generation as being apathetic and increasingly discerning when it comes to attempts to market to them, but this shows that when they are on board, they are clearly open to branded messaging,’ says Jackie Crossman, managing director of Sydney-based public relations consultancy Crossman Communications, which commissioned the poll. It is the latest in a series of Crossman Insights, surveys designed to capture the thoughts and mood of heartland Australia.

She says the poll is both an opportunity and a wake-up call for marketers to develop the right strategy and content to encourage more engagement with social media advertising.

Among other findings:

  • Just 12 percent regularly click on social media ads, with a quarter claiming to ‘occasionally’ engage and a third ‘rarely’.
  • A sizeable three in ten people claim to have never clicked on advertising, despite the increasingly targeted nature of online marketing.
  • Only 7 percent of the 18-24 year olds click on social advertising regularly and that’s way below the 15 percent of the 25 to 49 age range and on a par with the 50-64-year-olds, of whom just six percent regularly click on ads.

‘The rate of engagement is strong and that reflects brands shifting towards truly integrated digital strategies where social channels are treated as key messaging platforms,’ adds Jackie.

‘This shows that despite increasing investment in online advertising, deeper engagement isn’t necessarily occurring, especially when you consider that recent ComScore research showed more than half of the advertising banners being clicked were by accident.

‘Marketers using social media seem to be building trust over time with editorial-style content.’


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