Millennials Are Hugely Influential Among Peers on Social Media

Millennials may not be a monolith, but they are more active on social media than any other demographic and value each others' opinions very highly.

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The millennial generation might be a complex demographic, they are growing up and have increasingly more buying power. Data from ShareThis we shows us just how much influence millennials have with each other when it comes to social shopping.

While the generation as a whole is diverse, there are a lot of unifying factors when it comes to how they shop online. Twenty-five percent of millennials share online shopping content to their social networks; a rate of nearly four times that of the average user. They also share more content in general — twice as much as the average user. When they do share, this content generates 18 more clickbacks per link — 30 percent above average.

There’s huge potential in turning millennials into brand advocates. Indeed, this group is spread out over a greater number of networks, which could result in successful word-of-mouth marketing on under-served platforms.

Ten percent of millennials are on Twitter, which is three percentage points above the general population. On Pinterest, there’s a five percentage point difference, and on Reddit and Blogger, there’s a three and two percentage point difference, respectively.

What’s more, millennials listen to each other on the social channels that they use. Sixty-eight percent of 18- to 34-year-olds agree that their peers’ social posts are ‘somewhat likely’ (or better) to influence them into making a purchase, according to the ShareThis data. Nine percent agree that their friends’ social posts are ‘very likely’ to influence them. For comparison, 78 percent of those 65-and-older said they were ‘not at all likely’ to base purchasing decisions on the advice of their peers.

Millennials are a group that highly weights their purchasing decisions on the thoughts and shares of their peers. This may take the form of boycotting or supporting products politically, reaching out to each other rather than wider establishments, or valuing their peers’ opinions over advertising.

To effectively market to this generation, it’s important to identify sub-demographics to properly target campaigns. It’s also important to find the interests of specific groups and play to that. Most of all, marketers should realize that the millennials are not a monolithic demographic.