Corporate Eye

Which Brands Are Connecting with Millennials on Social Media?

millennialsBrands are consistently challenged when it comes to connecting with millennials on social media. This is an audience that isn’t quick to like a brand on Facebook, but there are some brands that are succeeding. In fact, some of those brands might surprise you.

According to a new study by Moosylvania, an advertising agency, millennials are willing to connect with brands on social media, but they’re very particular about the brands they let into their digital lives. Brands that offer high quality products are most likely to see millennials friending them and following them on social media. When asked what matters to them, 75% of the 1,500 millennials in the United States who responded to the survey indicated that high quality products matters most to them when considering which brands to connect with on social media.

Here is the complete breakdown:

  • High quality products = 75%
  • Would recommend = 61%
  • Fits their personality = 53%
  • Social responsibility = 40%
  • Shares similar interests = 39%
  • Says important things = 31%

Considering that the millennial audience in the United States includes 74.3 million people and represents $170 billion in purchases each year, the importance of this audience for brand marketers is undeniable. In comparison, Generation X includes only 65.7 million and represents just $125 billion while the Baby Boomer group includes 84 million people in the U.S. and represents $2.9 trillion in yearly purchases.

The spending power of Millennials is critical to the longevity of many brands, so learning how to connect with them on social media—where they spend a significant amount of time each day—is just as important.

The Top 10 Millennial Brands

The Millennials 2015 Favorite Brands Ranking Report includes 50 brands, so be sure to follow the preceding link to see the full list. The top 10 are:

  1. Nike
  2. Apple
  3. Samsung
  4. Sony
  5. Walmart
  6. Target
  7. Microsoft
  8. Coca-Cola
  9. Air Jordan
  10. Pepsi

Overall, the top 50 brands that made the list come from a variety of industries. Yes, there is a large number of technology brands (no surprise there), but there are also automotive brands, retail brands, consumer packaged goods brands, food and beverage brands, and more. There are low-end brands like Walmart and Target as well as high-end brands like Chanel. There are trendy brands that are commonly associated with the Millennial demographic like Forever21 as well as brands that Millennials grew up with and haven’t abandoned like Colgate and Kraft. There are even brands that you wouldn’t expect like Chevrolet and HP.

Some brands took big jumps on the list this year, and many of those improvements can be attributed to successful marketing campaigns that were targeted directly to millennial audiences. For example, Pepsi signed up Beyonce and Ford made a strong marketing push to raise awareness and purchasing by younger demographics. Other brands lost “points” in the minds of Millennials for a variety of reasons, but social and environmental issues played a key role in hurting some brands. Bottom-line, the value propositions of those brands no longer resonated with younger consumers. For example, Aeropostale moved to higher ticket fashions and teens moved to other brands.

Young consumers move quickly. They don’t have deep loyalty yet and can be fickle (weren’t we all at that age?). Brands need to be agile enough to change with them. Today, Millennials want high quality, but as Aeropostale learned, price needs to match the perceived quality as does the company’s commitment to social responsibility. Bottom-line, the Millennial audience isn’t buying what brands are selling unless they’re actually walking the walk to back up their brand messages and promises

Image: Daino_16 via

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.