Your Millennial Customers Are Visual—You Should Be Too

The millennial generation can no longer be written off as just your niece or nephew who spends too much time on that phone. Millennials make up 24% of the total population, and are savvy shoppers always looking for a great deal. They are sometimes known as the mobile generation, and typically, they spend more time on social media sites such as Instagram than on Twitter, YouTube, or their email account.

This generationpeople under 30are double-tapping photos of everything from food to puppies to sunsets to shoes. And even cars. Therefore, to tap into this huge potential market, the question auto dealerships need to answer is: “How do we translate this to new sales and new repeating customers?”

The answer is simple: Get on their level. The millennial generation is “listening” visually. What exactly does that mean? It means that text-based marketing is no longer enough to reach this generation; auto dealers also need to market to it via photos and short videos.

And you need to market the right things to millennials. What should you be marketing? For example, since most millennials live in urban areas where parking is a premium, one possibility is to show off your compact vehicles, your electric vehicles, and other eco-friendly vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Spark EV, and FIAT 500e, just to name a few.

Where exactly does this visual social media marketing take place? The following are four of the most popular visual social channels and their platforms, reach, and existing automotive bases, along with suggestions on ways dealerships can utilize them to best reach the lucrative millennial market.


Platform: Mobile (Android, iOS, Windows)

Number of users: 300+ million/month (13% of total Internet users)

Auto manufacturers with accounts: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mini, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Scion, Smart, Toyota

Marketing suggestions: Get those hashtags in motion. Start a unique hashtag for your location or a new model, and get your fans involved with posting photos of their cars.


Platform:Mobile (Android, iOS, Windows)

Number of users: 40+ million/month (more 12 million Vines uploaded to Twitter daily)

Auto manufacturers with accounts: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Nissan, Porsche, Smart, Toyota

Marketing suggestions: Daily features; videos of new models being unloaded.

Penske Auto Mall Vine example:


Platform:Mobile (Android, iOS, Windows)

Number of users: 100+ million/month

Auto manufacturers with accounts: Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan

Marketing suggestions: “A Day in the Life of a Vehicle”: Have a staff member take photos or videos of your vehicles at popular spots around town. For example, you could start at a donut/coffee shop, move to a deli, visit a sunset viewpoint, and conclude at a popular dinner spot.


Platform: Desktop and mobile (Android, iOS, Windows)

Number of users: 70+ million/month

Auto manufacturers with accounts:Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Infiniti Racing, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Mini, Nissan, Porsche, Toyota

Marketing suggestions: Feature community events, accessories, and businesses you work with. Create localized boards of fun places for millennials to take their cars, as well as recaps of your events.

Remember, millennials are visual and they expect the businesses where they spend their money to be too. Establishing a presence on visual social media sites is a great way for auto dealers to tap into the booming millennial market.

Courtney Rogin is the VP of Marketing for GoFanbase Inc., which specializes in providing 100% mobile solutions to turn happy customers into brand evangelists. In a single tap, run marketing campaigns that reach new customers by targeting local buyers similar to your existing customers. For more information call (855) 880-6337, email, or visit

Courtney Rogin


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