Two Necessary Marketing Lessons Learned from the College Generation

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Fotolia_19046814_Subscription_XLIt's no secret that college students today are the kings and queens of social media and online self-promotion. It is the generation of college students today that have essentially grown up online and with social media and social networking as an extension of their existence. They are the first adult generation who has basically always been members of the social media and networking world. As companies throughout the country and world today try to stay one step ahead of the game in the online world, many are struggling in the realm of social media marketing and online promotion. As the internet becomes an even larger and more present aspect of our everyday lives, online marketing has become more and more essential as an aspect of promotion. Marketers everywhere are trying to find ways to create stronger and more relevant online marketing strategies.

But, why not look to the masters? No, I don't mean the biggest and best companies out there. College students are both masters at social media and marketers' primary target on the platform. Try out these social media and mobile strategies as demonstrated by the youth generation to better master your online marketing efforts.

Always Stay Connected

A tip marketers can take from the college generation when it comes to online marketing and social media is to be always available and always connected. College students are constantly connected to their devices, their networks and pages, and each other. This is part of what is so appealing about social media and social networking for the youth generation. They want to feel connected to everything and they want to have access to everything (their friends, their interests, their questions) at all times. There's a reason college students check their Facebook pages so often and update their Twitter feeds so often—they're looking to have a voice and be a part of something.

As far as marketing goes, from this always available mindset we can learn something.Make yourself always available and accessible online as a marketing body. Be present on the social networks. You want to have a web presence that is noticeable. Find ways to connect with your consumers "organically"—have an active Facebook page that you use for promotional deals and brand awareness. Use social media to allow your consumers to take an active role in your marketing. Facebook and Twitter allow your consumers to create a conversation about you—this can be the absolute best form of marketing there is. Encourage discussion. Invite consumers—your target audience—to become a part of your social media campaign. This is the kind of availability they want. They want you to be always accessible and they want to be a part of it.

Make it Easy

Part of being always accessible is being easily accessible. One reason that the college generation is always so connected to their social media networks is because they have endless access to it. With the surge of smartphones and tablets in technology, we are now constantly connected to devices that allow us to surf the web, check our email, update our status, and Tweet about the peanut butter sandwich we had for lunch. Mobile technology has become an expected thing for the current generation of internet users and social networking actives. This mobile technology is just one more step in making staying always connected easier. College students and everyone else are active on social media because it is so easy to do so.

Again, as marketers we can learn something from this. You have to make it easy for your consumer. Your marketing campaigns should feel easy. Consumers don't want emails bombarding their inbox or spam posts on their wall, but they do want to easily find the information they need about your product, service, or company. There is something to making your marketing efforts look effortless. Of course, this is somewhat of a contradictory concept, but this is what the current consumer generation seems to value. As consumers, we want to learn about your product and see your branding without it feeling like you're trying really hard to sell something to us. The best term for this that I can think of is "organic". Consumers want your marketing to feel natural and organic, not market-y and promotional.

This is a guest post by freelance writer and full time blogger Barbara Jolie. Barbara enjoys sharing her knowledge on accredited online college classes and online education with her blogging community. You can reach her at barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

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