Not only are Millennials the largest generation, over 80 million strong, but they have a large voice. What I mean is, we have large social networks that we are not afraid to leverage. We’re connected through social media and know how to use it to be heard.
This online public attention Millennials are so adept at grabbing has certainly been known to bite back. It’s easy to laugh and shake your head when you see headlines like “10 people who learned social media can get you fired.” Anyone surprised that the majority of the 10 listed are Millennials? I didn’t think so.
Online profiles make it easy for employers to check someone out before making a hire, and it may even affect Millennials’ ability to qualify for loans. With all this in mind, it seems that the comfort level Gen Y has for sharing may be hurting them more than anyone else.
But this isn’t just about Gen Y; it’s about you too. If Gen Y is talking to you or about you, it can have a lot of influence over how your company or brand is perceived–and how you respond is important.
Millennials are online interacting with your company, possibly looking for customer support. If they aren’t getting support, they’re talking about it. Still, social brands ignore 70% of customer complaints. Your company is online whether you’re participating in the conversation or not. If you want to have any control over that conversation, you need to be online and responsive. If Millennials have a problem, they know how to be heard publicly and can affect the reputation of your brand.
It’s not all bad news. Companies and brands can capitalize on the connectivity of the Millennials and use it to their advantage too.
I recently joined a group of Millennials for the Theoroi Arts Ambassador program which is a project of The Schubert Club, a nonprofit arts organization that supports the art of music through performance and education. The young arts ambassadors attend cultural events as a group and are asked to talk about them on their social networks with each other and anyone else. The purpose of the program is to get younger audiences interested in the arts, attending events and supporting arts in the community. There are only 25 members of the group, but if each member has even 100 people in their social media network (and most probably have many more) the small group of ambassadors can easily reach 2500 people who trust their opinions; and that’s just online.
Whether it’s getting people fired or sending a viral message, social media is a powerful tool that Millennials are comfortable using to share their ideas with the world. Social media savviness combined with being the largest generation in history gives Gen Y a lot of power; it also gives your company a lot of opportunities to reach and connect with the next generation.
Looking for a game changer at your next event or a strategy unique to your organization?