Marketing to Students: What You Can Learn from an Ivy Worldwide Intern

This blog post was written by Madison Murphy. She is a senior at UC Berkeley studying International Communications and French and has been interning with Ivy Worldwide for 6 months.

We’re the generation that was practically born texting.  We learned how to count and read through interactive educational games on our parents’ computers and had our own computers by junior high. We were the first to create our online profiles with Xanga and Myspace, and the first to trade those in when Facebook appeared. Needless to say, the online world comes naturally to us.

Throughout my experience at Ivy Worldwide, I have applied my role as a millennial to the work I have been doing with blogger outreach, Twitter and Facebook management, and collaborating on social media strategy for corporations.   Here are the top 5 things I have learned through this integration of my personal and professional life with Ivy Worldwide:

1-   Don’t underestimate the value our opinions. The college student age group, 19-23, has a perspective different from any other age group. We stay updated on trends and current events and are constantly striving to “be in the know.” If you are a technology company, and want to form long- term relationships with your customer, this is the segment to target. We are going to continue to be active users of social media, online shopping and mobile device apps, thus, we are a prime audience. So if you are looking for valuable information about how to target our demographic, or want to know more about how to stay updated with trends, just check out our Google Plus pages and Facebook walls.  Better yet,  just ask us for our opinions, they’re  priceless!

2-    A good tutorial is hard to beat. These days you can learn anything on the Internet. But not everyone knows that. A huge part of spreading the word about your company is creating an image for it that is helpful, fun and friendly. By sharing new and interactive tutorials, you can give your company’s audience the tools to further their technological knowledge on their own, and they have you to thank.

3-    Youthful language can’t be faked. Everyone has seen those tweets or Facebook posts using words like “rad” “awesome” and “epic” in an awkward way. This is why you need young college students and new grads to help you out! For some reason, these are words that we can use really well and have it come off naturally.  When your company wants to create a more youthful image, you’ll need someone with our background to help you.  Find young bloggers who are willing to help you deliver your message, and you won’t have to try to sound cool.   They will do all of the talking for you.

4-    EVERYONE loves free stuff. Even just using the word “free” can up your Twitter retweets or Facebook likes in a heartbeat. Most companies know this by now and use it to their advantage, but there are still some out there that have room to grow. People (especially college students) go crazy over the smallest things…it doesn’t have to be a huge giveaway, but the less work (and money) someone has to do and spend, the better.

5-    Be a resource. It’s easy for a company to use social media networks to promote their brand, but it’s a challenge to incorporate information that their audience sees as beneficial. In order to differentiate yourself, mix together both promotional posts along with posts that link to other websites and resources so your audience values your presence and uses it to their advantage!   It’s all about finding that balance.

If you are want to build brand affinity with college students, the above suggestions are a great place to start.  You can also check out this infographic for more info on college students, technology and social media!