By Rieva Lesonsky 

Are you targeting Millennials among your customers? Millennials, generally defined as consumers aged 18 to 29, are an up-and-coming target market for many products and services. But if your small business is not using social media tactics such as online daily deal sites or ratings and review sites, you could be missing out on this core customer group.

A new study by Telefonica found that (not surprisingly) Millennials have a very positive attitude about technology, believing in its ability to unite people globally. However, they also believe in its value as a way to help them save money. One-fourth (24 percent) of Millennials use daily deal websites or social group buying websites such as LivingSocial or Groupon. In the past six months some 40 percent of U.S. Millennials report having bought a discount, coupon or deal on a daily deal or social group buying site.

But social buying or daily deal sites aren’t the only resource Millennials turn to when they’re shopping. These consumers are likely to use websites with peer reviews (22 percent), websites with professional reviews (19 percent) and emails from companies or brands to do research and make comparisons.

What does this mean for your business? Well, if you’re hoping to attract customers in their 20s and your marketing efforts are limited to things like putting flyers on doorsteps or print ads in local papers, you’re probably not having much success. What can you do to get more of these key consumers?

Try out a daily deal site. Many small business owners are skittish about daily deals after having heard horror stories about overwhelmed business owners not making much money off the deals. But done right, daily deals have the potential to bring in lots of new business. Work with the daily deal provider—in most cases, they’ll write the ad copy for you and help you plan your campaign, including putting limits on the number of deals that can be sold or setting a long time frame so that you don’t get inundated with customers. What you do with customers once they’re in the door matters most, so prepare your staff to provide great service, be polite to deal customers and upsell them on additional products or services without being pushy. Last, but not least, be sure to capture customers’ information so you can send emails or other marketing messages to get them coming back again and again.

Get on review and ratings sites. If your business relies on local customers, such as a restaurant or bar, a retail store, or provides a service such as home remodeling or plumbing, you really need to have a presence on rating and review sites like Yelp. Many consumers these days—especially Millennials—turn to Yelp first when they’re looking for a new place to eat, and many homeowners rely on sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List to find service providers. Like daily deal sites, review sites scare many small business owners who’ve heard horror stories about one bad review ruining a business for good. The reality, though, is you need to bite the bullet and get on the relevant sites for your business. Protect your reputation by being vigilant. Regularly check your reviews (this means daily). If you don’t have time, get someone else in your company to take ownership and respond to negative ones promptly and professionally.

Need help getting comfortable with these marketing tools? Visit to get matched with a SCORE mentor who can help.

  Rieva Lesonsky – CEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. | @rieva | 
Are You Missing Out on a Key Market—Millennials?