From a guy’s perspective, social media leans feminine.  On the whole women are much more apt to post personal pictures, share craft ideas and tweet about their emotions. Even though the Generation Y shares their personal lives more than ever before, YAYA (youth and young adult) men are hesitant to gush over social media.

As a member of this population segment, I have observed how my peers think about and use social media. Here are three tips for reaching YAYA guys through social media:

  1. Forget about Pinterest. If there is one thing that epitomizes the point of this post, it is how girls fawn over Pinterest while guys just roll their eyes. Guys see Pinterest only as a way to share recipes, fashion advice and craft ideas. I looked on the Pinterest homepage and saw one post from a guy among at least 99 by gals. Guys on Pinterest definitely earn an eyebrow raise. The only way I can see Pinterest shaking its feminine stigma and appealing to young men is if it created a separate “Menterest” site where guys can talk about car renovations, sport feats and action movies. Young men do have things they talk to each other about, but we aren’t about to do it on a site that lists trendy ways to wear your hair. If you are trying to reach consumers through Pinterest, you are only reaching half the population.
  2. Advertise competitions. It’s in the nature of young men to love showing off their skills and see how they stack up against others. I see any competition as a way to prove myself. Use social media as a means to promote competitions, sweepstakes or quizzes your company uses to promote its brand. Setting up March Madness Bracket pools through Facebook or Tweeting about your company’s fantasy sports leagues are great ways to get guys’ attention. Competitions are an easy and fun way for guys to interact with your brand and talk about it with others.
  3. Provide a brag board. Millennial guys may hesitate to show emotions, but they are don’t hesitate when it comes to pumping themselves up. Impressing friends and girls is always a plus for young men no matter if they admit it or not. They love talking about the huge fish they caught, how many beers they downed and all the phone numbers they picked up last night. If your product or service allows guys to brag about how great they used it, then give those customers a forum for boasting about themselves (and therefore your brand). It could be as simple as tweeting for people to tweet at you with their biggest fish stories, but you’ll get attention. Then if you retweet them, they will love it even more.

Although we young men do not naturally enjoy sharing everything we do with the world, there are ways to get our attention and incite our conversation. If you can provide a competition, a place for guys to brag about themselves or even a way to share about common experiences that ties into your brand it can offer you access to an elusive segment of the population. Your skillful use of social media can help you crack a very tough nut: YAYA men.


Today’s guest post was written by Cole Donelson. He is a member of YAYA Connection, a student-staffed consulting agency guided by professional staff from the Missouri School of Journalism.