6 Ways for Marketers to Understand Millennials this Social Media Week


Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.


Ok, New York, you’re stuck indoors with yet another snowstorm this winter, and we know what you’re up to. You’re feeding those guilty pleasures: those preferences on Netflix you never want anyone to see. Well, as much as we might hate to admit it, what we’re seeing on Hulu and other platforms is largely shaped by the generation coming behind us. There’s a reason Party in the South is debuting. And this is exciting.

Millennials are shaping our future, and we need to understand this. Everything from our recreational options to innovation in industries like health, you either gotta keep up or get out of the way. And we want to help you keep up:

  1. 5 Ways Millennials’ Habits Are Changing How Content is Made and Shared
    The first step is to admit you need a deeper understanding. So, we recommend starting out SMW14 with Complex Media and their friends to learn how the Millennial generation’s habits are causing a speedy shift in how content is created and distributed. From the discovery of new talent and Vine stars to the ever present listicle, you’ll need a deeper understanding of this generation to get your marketing on track.
  2. How To Build a Brand That People Don’t Buy, They Join
    The millennial generation is the most cause-oriented generation since World War II. So, how do you get them to buy into your brand with a movement? That’s exactly what Zady, charity: water, and Whole Foods have managed to master. Join them to hear more and take away from their case studies ways your brand can become more connected to our passionate generation.
  3. Fueling Social Fandom at MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central
    Once you understand millennials better, it’s time to look to those who serve them best. Comedy Central has the market cornered currently, and MTV was once king of youth. But for both, this demographic is key. The two have quite a bit they can share and learn from each. So, we’re putting them together with VH1 to highlight how you can keep your fan base engaged, drawing from their own examples in everything from online to apps. You can’t miss this session. (Don’t believe us? Comedy Central’s past event on How To Be Funny in 140 Characters was in such high demand that we had to repeat it last year!)

  4. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, a Conversation with Author danah boyd and Andrew Rasiej
    Now, it’s time to get advanced. Without contest, few understand youth better than Microsoft Researcher danah boyd. She’s written about what’s new in how teenagers communicate through platforms, and specifically how social media affects the quality of teens’ lives. And at SMW14, she’ll be sharing her findings on identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Anyone working with youth and millennials will need to stop in and check on danah.
  5. Reading Is No Longer Fundamental: The Shift to Visual Vocabulary
    Our streams are flooded with gifs, Instagram, emojis, and bitstrips. We’re moving to a very visual marketing period, and it’s driven by millennials. “Visual” is a new language that needs to be mastered. As we look to the future, we have to ask: Is this a new era for cross-cultural communication, or is it changing the way we think – and not for the better? JWT leads a group of experts to really look at this impact, particularly in commerce.
  6. The Future of Now: Health Innovation Track, Sponsored by Merck
    And while we’re talking about movements, no generation was more supportive of health innovation than millennials. They are now turning away from politics to find other ways they can create innovation in the healthcare industry. That’s something Merck knows a thing or two about. Value-creation in the healthcare arena is now inextricably connected to digital and social technology. In this special three-hour track, we’ll explore how health is innovating and what’s to come in the future.

Registration is open! Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners, Nokia for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our always on, always connected world.



Nicky Yates

Director of Communications, Social Media Week



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