LinkedIn's Nellie Chan offers the following insight into Asia's affluent Millennials and how to engage with them through social.

In Hong Kong, millennials (a person born in the '80s and '90s) account for just over a quarter of the population at 1.9 million, according to the 2014 census estimates.

Today, millennials power over 50 percent of the global workforce, according to a Deloitte report into global human capital trends.

Companies wanting to effectively engage with this increasingly powerful and lucrative demographic need to rethink their strategy to connect with this audience. The brands that will succeed in coming years will be those that learn how these digital natives think.

LinkedIn and IPSOS’s recent Affluent Millennials Research sheds some light on the bountiful opportunities for marketers in engaging millennials in Hong Kong, in particular the affluent group among them with US$100,000 in investable assets.

This well-off group actively seeks information to help them make significant financial decisions.

Millennials Take Financial Decisions Into Their Own Hands and Rely Heavily on Social Media

Social media continues to play a key role in our lives and affluent millennials are empowered with novel ways to increase involvement and control in their financial decisions.

In Hong Kong, 65 percent of affluent millennials are considered soloists – which means they’re willing to do their own research to make decisions and to execute those decisions by themselves.

In Hong Kong, where there are more soloists than anywhere else in the region, only 29 percent of affluent millennials are validators. Validators are defined as people who seek advice from, or consult with, a financial advisor before making a decision. In addition, 53 percent of affluent millennials actively look for content from financial companies’ social networks.

More than 80 percent of affluent millennials use at least one social network (Read more...) find educational content about personal taxes and debt, along with their peer’s opinions on financial markets.

There’s huge potential in this highly lucrative group for marketers. So, how can you seize the opportunity?

Build Dialogue and Trust With Educational Content

Millennials are digital natives and a social-centric generation. They are comfortable turning to their social network for help when making financial decisions. Accordingly, one in four affluent millennials are more likely to do business with a company they can interact with on social media.

Companies that wish to be considered and to capitalize on the millennial market need to have a robust content strategy and presence on social media.

Millennials are open to new ideas and novel approaches. For newer brands, this is an excellent opportunity. Millennials don’t seek legacy; 54 percent of affluent millennials are open to using financial services from non-financial services brands, e.g. Google.

This is particularly relevant to Hong Kong, where traditional financial services companies dominate the local economy. Even though there are new, non-traditional players, traditional institutions aren’t out of consideration but they should protect their relevance by engaging this audience.

Millennials are used to foreseeing obsolescence and change. They are open to and looking for newer, better ideas and systems. Engage them with educational content, such as how to manage their investment portfolio, and you’ll likely pique their interest.

A huge 75 percent of affluent millennials find financial education most relevant to them. By arming them with information they need, gradually, you can build authentic and trusted relationships. Bear in mind that millennials love sharing with peers and value their opinions. If your content is worthwhile, it will cascade through social sharing and achieve an even greater impact.

Walk the Walk

Besides getting the message right, you also need to be conscious of the messenger.

Financial services companies have to communicate with affluent millennials the way they want to be communicated with. Millennials live online and on-the-go – inevitably utilizing new social network platforms and leveraging tools which are tightly integrated into their lifestyle. Here in Hong Kong for example, over 50 percent of our members access LinkedIn from their mobile phones!

Millennials are optimistic about their futures and the control they have over their destinies. We found 81 percent of affluent millennials believe success through hard work and initiative is possible. They’ve also grown up resonating with specific brands from a young age and are fiercely loyal to them.

With inspiring content presented in an interesting manner, brands not only gain loyalty, but also benefit greatly from word of mouth recommendations.

Millennials are changing the rules of the game for marketers. If you want a head start in the millennial market, don’t wait! Act now.

*Image via Shutterstock

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