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3 Social Media Marketing Lessons We Learned From the Snake People

Oh the snake people. As Time Magazine puts it, they are the entitled and narcissistic Me Me Me Generation that is disrupting our corporate structures. This maligned group is the demographic category many in the media love to hate, with or without evidence.

No idea what I’m talking about? Well, you must have missed the launch of “Millennials to Snake People,” the awesome new browser extension that replaces this frequently abused moniker in marketing with an apt animal alternative.

Whatever you think about “snake people,” it’s time to wake up and realize that they influence a majority of emerging marketing trends, especially in tech. So instead of jumping on the hate train, let’s take this as learning opportunity. For this week’s 3 lessons, we will dive head-first into the heads of the snake people and what they can teach you about social media marketing.

Don’t be a fake, you can’t trick a snake

Snake people love authenticity. They hate being tricked into watching or reading content that doesn’t live up to the promotion. They expect brands to offer value.

As a marketer, your campaigns need to be smart, honest and timely. That’s what we tried to do with Hootsuite’s Mean Tweets project. The launch of this extension, in and of itself, is a great example of a smart, funny release that capitalizes on a timely theme.

Enter the snake pit

The snake people don’t pay attention to the same things as non-snake people (bears and bulls, or whatever). To market to this demographic, you need to figure out what social networks they’re using, what sites they’re visiting, what interests them, what they think is fascinating. Only then can you create marketing campaigns that will resonate.

And once you find out where and how to market to the snake people, don’t sit back and relax. Be vigilant about having your finger on the pulse—these people and the trends they influence are always shifting. One month it’s Instagram and the next it’s Snapchat. You have to meet the snake people where they are; they’re always on the move, and they won’t be waiting around for you to catch up.

Not every snake is the same (cobras vs. vipers)

Just like actual snakes, snake people are all different. Just because we have labelled them the snake people, doesn’t mean they share interests or even habits. Generalizing is the easy way out—and the lazy way out.

Instead, do your research. Figure out your target market, and build a detailed profile of them. Don’t just rely on generalized news articles, listen to your following and spend time and resources to gather that research. Once you have that profile, social media ads can be targeted to specific ages, interests, careers, friend groups, and beyond. The more granular, the better.

I mean, you wouldn’t want to confuse a garden snake for a King Cobra, would you? You have to be equally discerning with your marketing.

End note: Full disclosure, this blog post was written and then improved using the “Millennials to Snake People” extension.

Every week, we take a newsworthy topic and share relevant content and social media marketing lessons that can be drawn from seemingly unrelated subjects, such as Kraft dinner and hockey beards. Tune in next week for another surprise post.