Image source: “Social Media Revolution 2011” video on YouTube.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it,” notes Erik Qualman (@equalman) in his video, “Social Media Revolution 2011.” I knew that technology and social media have created a revolution. But, it was Qualman’s video that made me take a step back and realize how much the world has changed and evolved. And with that change comes a need (for many) to adapt and adjust, in order to take advantage of what’s unfolding in front of us.
Facts and Figures
Qualman’s video contains a series of fascinating facts and figures. For instance:
- 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook.
- Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passe.
- Social gamers will buy $6 billion in virtual goods by 2013. Movie goers buy only $2.5 billion in real goods.
- If Wikipedia were made into a book, it would be 2.25 MILLION pages long and would take you over 123 years to read.
- 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.
Generation Y and Z are entering your organization today. Some short time later, they’ll be running your organization. These generations were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Instead, they were born with an iPod in one hand and a texting device in the other. How do you adapt to these new generations of digital natives? Here are my thoughts.
Learn from Your Kids
Those of us with kids in school have an advantage: we interact with this generation on a daily (or hourly) basis. We can directly observe their social interactions, learning styles and learning preferences and understand the role technology plays. We can pick up on lingo and hear about the hottest new “toys.” Apply your parental lessons (from this generation) to your organization or workplace.
Empower the Incoming Class
Think outside the box. Generation Y and Z do not need to enter your organization at “entry level” positions. Consider making the leap to place new hires (from these generations) directly into middle manager roles. After all, your customers are (or soon will be) from the same generation.
Your tenured employees will need to “onboard” and train the incoming crew of Generation Y/Z. But it’s those same tenured employees who can stand to learn a lot in return. Have the new generation train the “older generation” on new technologies, such as instant messaging, Skype and Facebook. An organization more informed on Generations Y and Z is one that’s better suited to achieve growth.
Learn the New Engagement Models
Everything today is instantaneous: obtaining facts (Google), asking a question or favor (SMS), obtaining feedback (gaming, social media). Your organization’s engagement models need to parallel the feedback systems that social networks, games and technology provide. If Generation Y/Z needs to “wait” too long for answers and feedback, then you’ve “lost them at hello.”
Plan for Mobile First
Instagram launched on iPhone (only). Other platforms (including web) will follow. I think that’s the right model. Whether you’re a producer of content or software, deploy first on mobile. That’s where Generation Y/Z prefers to engage with you.
Here’s the video that spurred my thoughts on this topic. Check it out, it’s worth it.
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