At 4.3 million, 23-year-olds are now the single largest age group in the nation, according to U.S. Census data. There are also more people in their 20s (44.5 million) than in their 30s (41 million), 40s (41.7 million), or 50s (43.8 million).
In fact, 20-somethings are having an enormous impact on how brands across the country do business. Kraft, for example, has reinvented its entire corporate structure to adopt a youthful, startup atmosphere, and it is building a marketing strategy with a heavy emphasis on digital and social media.
So is the average 23-year-old patient really worth pursuing? You bet. Many young adults today ages 18 to 29 are, unfortunately, experiencing a high-level of stress due to the economic downturn, leading to medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac disease.
So how can your practice target 20-somethings? Here are five tips:
1. Engage in social media. Twitter is the preferred social media platform of millennials. However, it’s not enough to just have a Twitter business account. Practices must get in the routine of posting regularly and developing a voice that is relatable and engaging. This generation is looking for brands to talk with them, not at them. This means that practices must be prepared for this audience to engage them in a conversation that is open to the public.
2. Be interesting. Twenty-somethings can smell an ad a mile away. This generation is seeking useful content. The key to catching the eye of this generation is to post interesting content that consumers will want to share with their friends. This builds a practice’s brand in an organic way as opposed to spending a lot of money on an advertising initiative that the average 23-year-old will ignore.
3. Operate across devices. Your website must be optimized for mobile. This means that it must automatically resize based on the device the consumer is utilizing. Millennials, more than any other generation, are using their phone to access the Internet, so to have a website that is not mobile friendly is a huge mistake. This goes for e-mails, too. Millennials make up 70 percent of consumers who say they are more likely to delete an e-mail if it is not adjusted to the mobile screen.
4. Develop a social conscience. Twenty-somethings gravitate more toward businesses that stand for more than their bottom line. To connect with the millennials, put in the effort to support your local community. This could be in the form of a one-day free clinic, running a canned food drive, or participating in a one-day community improvement event.
5. Incorporate them in the decision making process. Millennials are highly skeptical of the U.S. healthcare system. They see a sick care system; they want a health system. To attract young adults, incorporate them in the decision-making process. This starts with making them a partner in deciding how to manage their health. On the flip side, engage these patients as much as possible in decisions about how your practice operates. If you are contemplating a work flow change that directly affects the care of the patients, use social media to ask what they think about the change. Even asking your patients' opinion on small updates, such as a waiting room renovation, will help you connect with young adults.
Healthcare practices cannot afford to neglect the largest group of potential clients in the nation. The young-adult patient is unlike any other consumer, but with a few easy to implement strategies, you can successfully reach this unique target audience.