The big conundrum these days is how marketers and advertisers can actively appeal to the coveted millennial demographic. After all, millennials hold the power; they set trends, spend money, and boost brands.

Brands are increasingly finding that it's difficult to keep up with a group whose tastes are constantly in flux. Also, the millennial is notoriously snarky and cynical but not negative. In fact, millennials have a great positive energy that they share via social media through good-natured self-deprecation and a knowledge of pop cultural references.

But if you don't engage on social media, you simply aren't part of the conversation, and you don't exist.

Brands have to provide shareability and value to their user base, and even create a platform for the content creators to use. Movement campaigns such as Always' #likeagirl are a great example. The ALS #icebucketchallenge was another.

Allowing the content creator a measure of personal expression while providing branding guardrails such as the appropriate hashtag and the rules of engagement (hold up a sign that says #likeagirl, or shoot a video of an ice bucket being poured over your head) gives your audience the power to engage their own friend groups, which ultimately (and ideally) sets off a viral chain reaction.

Likers, Sharers, and Content Creators

The subsets of millennials are "likers," "sharers," and content creators.

Likers will get behind a movement and show support—but rarely engage their peers. Likers represent the majority of your following and the end consumer that you must ultimately engage to see ROI.

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image of Adam  Padilla

Adam Padilla is CEO and co-founder of BrandFire, a full-service creative agency.

LinkedIn: Adam Padilla