How to Market Long Island to Millennials

July 10 Alex Flobeck

Convincing young adults to stay on Long Island is vital to the regional economy. Recent studies by the Suburban Millennial Institute and Molloy College report, “30% of the young adult Long Islanders who responded said they were planning on leaving Long Island.”  Long Island also lost 15% of its 20-34 year olds during the last census period. An economic study released in February of 2016 states that the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 34 in the Long Island workforce has declined from 16.5 percent since 1990 to 10.9 percent since 2010. The number of Long Island residents between the ages of 15 and 30 in the region is projected to decline by 80,000 from 2015 to 2040.

Long Island’s municipalities, planners and developers are trying to create cool places and attract high paying jobs, but they aren’t doing a great job getting the word out on their successes. Social media is a primary source to reach young adults and can be used as the perfect marketing tool.

Growing up on Long Island and leaving to attend an excellent university, I am among the intended target audience for commercial real estate marketers and municipalities. After graduation, I will eventually be looking to find a place of my own that has a social environment including lots of young people. There are many towns on Long Island that are or have created affordable housing for the younger generation in hip places within walking distance of bars, restaurants, natural amenities and transportation. Nearby train access is a huge plus to people who are looking to commute to the city often. To market these new cool places to my generation, it is important to emphasize the downtown areas and the social aspect of each town. Young adults want to be apart of a social atmosphere with the opportunity to meet new people. It is key to have a strong social media marketing strategy for all of these places.

The vast majority of college students use social media in their everyday lives. Marketers have many social network choices in which to invest their time and resources. Facebook, the largest social network, with 1,590 million active users followed by Instagram with 400 million, Twitter with 320 million and Snapchat with 200 million active users in 2016. Facebook definitely has a larger span of ages then all of the other social media networks. Small and large companies can find a niche in social media to help build their brands, expand the business and connect with clients.

Instagram has a big value to marketers that would like to reach my peers. 55% of Instagram users are under the age of 30 and to marketers they are considered to be “young and hip.” Many college age students use Instagram multiple times throughout the day. Instagram focuses on the appeal of pictures posted with small descriptions or captions underneath each picture. The pictures posted can tell a good story as the old saying goes…A picture is worth 1,000 words. If you can post a good picture that is eye catching more people will follow you and be interested. Instagram also has a discover page linking posts you may be interested in and suggests more people for you to follow. If your posts are not private they can be shared on the discover page allowing you to reach a larger audience.

Twitter is also a good social networking marketing tool, which allows you to send and read tweets up to 140 characters. More than 200 million registered users post more than 400 million tweets per day. According to The CMO’s 2013 Guide, Twitter “is the best channel for direct communication with customers.” It also has demonstrated a highest capacity for driving traffic directly to websites. Twitter can help spread the word pretty quickly because instead of just liking your post people can also “re-tweet” your posts reaching a larger audience then just your followers.

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks; although, it has not yet proven to be a great marketing tool for commercial real estate. Snapchat is more commonly used to see what your friends are doing daily through their “snap stories”. It is an image messaging social media app communicating through pictures and videos taken in the moment. Since Snapchat is a quick picture in the moment you would not be able to use pictures already taken. The pictures and videos have to be taken on the app right then and there to be able to post, which is hard for marketers to use. It is also hard to reach a big audience this way.

To target the largest amount of people of different demographics, because millennials are not the only people in these projects, Facebook is recommended. Marketing on Facebook is a lot cheaper then sending out post cards or pamphlets and the return on investment is much higher and more measurable. U.S. Internet users spend 16 percent of their time online using Facebook. This is according to Citi Investment Research and Analysis, a figure that has steadily increased over the past few years. Facebook posts can spread rapidly with the click of a button and for a fee can be boosted to much larger and more targeted audience.