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It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about millennials in a futuristic manner. We were predicting what they would become and how they would impact the consumer marketplace. Now it’s 2018, and millennials are all grown up. They represent a large percentage of the buying power and businesses must be prepared to satisfy their unique interests and needs.

While there’s a lot of discussion about how product-based businesses can reach millennials, there seems to be less information available on how service-based businesses – law firms in particular – can engage this important segment of the marketplace. Bridging this gap may allow more firms to reach the right clients with the right services at the right time.

You know the term, but do you really know that much about millennials? Born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s, millennials account for more than 2 billion people across the globe. In terms of digital communication and online behavior, here are a few key statistics:

– 63 percent of millennials stay updated on brands via social media
– The average millennial touches their smartphone 45 times per day
– Five out of six millennials connect with companies via social media
– Millennials spend roughly 25 hours per week online
– By the end of this year, millennials will have the most spending power of any generation

The good news is that we know millennials are online. The challenge for law firms is determining how they can best reach these millennials online.

Millennials are fairly easy to predict – at least in terms of where they’re spending their time online. Facebook is still the biggest draw, accounting for almost an hour of the average millennial’s day. While it’s a very distant second place, Instagram has closed some ground on Facebook. The average millennial spends approximately seven hours per month on the picture-sharing platform, though this number is likely much higher for younger millennials (those born in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s).

If you want to reach millennials, you need to be where they are. This means bolstering your presence on Facebook and Instagram and using it to engage users (rather than just share updates).

Millennials are big DIYers. They’ve grown up in a world where they’ve been empowered by the internet and feel as if there’s nothing they can’t do. An answer is just a click away.

From the perspective of a law firm, you can tap into this desire to be informed by offering your audience actionable “how-to” articles. A quick google search can provide many resources. Not only does it offer practical how-to information, but it also uses a variety of mediums (text, video, infographics, etc.).

It would be safe to say that millennials have a love affair with video. They are byproducts of a YouTube world and would rather watch something than read it. And while you’ll still need text in your content strategy, video can’t be an afterthought.

“Create videos that will move your followers,” says Allison McGuire, marketing director for PaperMart.I don’t mean move them to tears (although that can be good too), but make them smile or inspire a reaction that makes them want to share.  Focusing on short, engaging videos has certainly become the norm for millennials with Snapchat and Vimeo leading the way.”

Millennials want proof. When it comes to buying a product, they’ve grown accustomed to being able to compare different options, read reviews, watch product unboxing videos, and consult with their peers on social media. While you might not think legal services are conducive to this sort of social proof, think again.

One of the best things you can do for your law firm is gather reviews and testimonials and strategically leverage them online to influence your audience and earn new customers.

As a result of growing up with social media at their fingertips, millennials have developed a penchant for experiences. They’d much rather pay for a memorable or productive experience than a consumable product.

For law firms, it’s important to understand that the experience provided to clients is just as important as the end result. If you get the client the result they want, but fail to provide a cohesive experience, they won’t be fully satisfied. Keep this in mind as you work with millennials.

Millennials aren’t as hard to crack as some make them out to be. While they’re certainly different than generations of the past, they’re arguably easier to reach online. You simply have to know what you’re doing. For law firms, any effort put into enhancing digital communication will be rewarded multiple times over.