Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, MySpace and on and on. The list of Social Media options continues to grow in direct proportion to their ability to keep adding features. It’s no wonder many boomer aged business owners are just burying their heads in the sand and hoping it will all go away. Go away it won’t, change it will.
The big driver in all of this social media activity is the current crop of 16-28 year olds born between 1982-1994 and affectionately known as GenY. This cohort has grown up around computers and cell phones and is far more technically adapt than the Baby Boomers who created most of the hardware supporting these new technologies.
The Boomers have been credited with many changes, both good and bad, in our society but this may pale in comparison to the impact Gen Y will have. Depending on the statistics, it is estimated that, at minimum, the Gen Y equal the number of Boomers! So imagine for a moment how this group is going to shape the future of your business. The leading edge of this group is just now heading into their major spending years and just like the Boomers before them they will be buying houses, furniture, accessories, cars, etc. And guess where they are getting most of their referrals, recommendations and information? Answer, Social Media! This group is not shy about publicly asking and giving business and service recommendations in these open forums and if you’re not visible, you’re going to be left behind!
Now I’m not suggesting you need to become an expert at all the social media options out there, but you should have a working knowledge of these platforms. A natural place to start is with your existing clients to determine what they are using and then learn a little about it. The next step is a little more difficult. You need to figure out what your future clients are using and try to gain a little insight. Just remember that the Gen Y’s loyalty to any one platform will be fleeting and what is in vogue today will most likely become passé in a few years time. However, by understanding today’s favourite, you will get more comfortable in the environment.
Need help getting started? Well, before you run out and hire a social media expert, I suggest you look a little closer to home to enlist some help, especially if you have any Gen Y children or employees. Ask them to give you a crash course on the various platforms they are using. While you’re at it ask them why they prefer one over the other. Although you may ultimately need a social media expert to develop a comprehensive strategy, having a working knowledge beforehand just makes sense.
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2010
If you found this helpful, Tweet, Like or tell a friend