Social Business Starts with the Young?
Social Business News reported this week that social business strategies need to start with the young. I don’t think any of us are overly surprised by this; the younger consumers have grown up with social media. They are completely knowledgeable about new platforms, and seem to instantly know which ones will work, which ones aren’t going to make it, and what kind of content to look for, share and reshare. My 16 year old, for instance, knows every type of social media out there, speaks what I call “Twitter Speak” – not the annoying shortened words (we don’t let the kids talk to us like that!), but everything she says comes out in forty characters or less and is usually pithy, funny, or somehow attention getting.
But, what this study is showing us is that the younger – Gen Y and younger are SO very used to social media that they often don’t think of it as appropriate for a professional environment, so they don’t turn to it as much as er, ahem, older folks, like us Gen Xers…
“Leonardi found that the employees using the social network were 31% better at finding the information they needed and 71% better at finding the person they needed. Whilst that’s interesting enough, the real kicker was in his discovery about who was using the social network. He found that it wasn’t the Gen Y people but instead the older folks. He found that the younger employees were so used to using social media in their personal lives that they didn’t associate as something that was either appropriate OR useful in their professional lives.”
What does that mean to business owners or managers? Well, according to Social Business News, that means that while the young are where you want to do your research on new products, on new social platforms, on using social platforms within your business and so on. They will best be able to give you appropriate feedback, tell you what works and what doesn’t as well as being able to use social tools to a greater extent with greater accuracy than their older counterparts. BUT, and it’s a big, fat but,
Older social media users are more likely to turn to social media purely for the sake of information, research and work related issues.
So it’s not only that the younger better able to use social media to get more accurate and timely information, but anyone using social as opposed to more traditional means – email, phone, etc. are going to have access to information to a better degree of timeliness and accuracy. This realization had lead to several projects within classrooms – the hope being that connecting students through social media will lead to a richer learning experience for all. If you would like more information on the projects, check out the links below:
Flat Classroom Project