There’s been some fear among car wash businesses that Millennials will stop driving as they cut costs and move to urban centers rather than suburbs. While that may be true to some extent, there’s still hope, as we reported last month on a recent Deloitte study. Members of generation Y actually love their cars, and they’re conscientious enough to want to take care of them. And besides, they’re the largest generation of Americans since the Baby Boomers. That all adds up to a consumer group that car wash owners won’t want to leave out.

But how do you reach them? Well, here are just a few ways, pulled from our favorite marketing tips from around the web.

  • We really liked this piece of advice from Patricia Odell for Chief Marketer. She writes that it’s important for companies marketing to Millennials to understand them. They have high hopes for themselves, which have been instilled by their parents. But times are tough.

Marketers that want to connect with the largest generation in American history need to appeal to their different priorities and definitions of success. Coming of age at the height of the Great Recession, they continue to face a variety of economic challenges, including high levels of debt, under-employment and unemployment, which will impact how marketers approach this group desiring to live happier lives than their stressed-out parents.

What does this mean for car wash businesses? Try appealing to their budgets and values. “If you’re on your way to a job interview, stop in for a half-price car wash.”

  • Make sure your name and location are easy to find in places where they’re looking. Obviously, that means Google. One fairly recent development, which many of you probably already know about, is Google+. This is the best way to ensure that you’re influencing search results toward your business. SmallBizLady has details on how it works and how to get started. (It’s free.)
  • And finally, here’s a great strategy we saw working just this morning. Finish Line Car Wash in Kentucky posted this note on its Facebook page at 10 a.m.:

LAST COMMENT STANDING CONTEST!! WIN A FREE BEST EXTERIOR WASH! Tell us why you are ready for Spring!! The last comment will win!! Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and TAG the picture!

By noon, their post had 544 comments. That’s astounding. That’s more comments than some stories on The New York Times website receive. All of that is valuable brand exposure to a key demographic (though obviously not restricted to Generation Y), and it’s practically free (just the price of a car wash).

Have you tried any of these tricks already? Do they work? Let us know, and we’ll share your wisdom.