Welcome to Generation S. The first generation which people choose to become part of the generation, or not.
Generation S is not limited by age, race, education or location. People self select to become part of this generation. On the flip side they can also choose not to be part of the generation.
Generation S is the social generation. The generation which chooses to use social technologies and methods in their daily work and professional lives.
Think about the people you know who do and don't use social media. Both span varying degrees of generations, from Millenials, Baby Boomers, Generation X to Generation Y.
The important aspect of this is that we are leaving out entire segments of people. The people who choose NOT to become part of Generation S have the risk of being left behind. Depending on their life and professional goals and objectives, they may find themselves feeling left out a few years from now.
This is where you and I come in. We must find a way to educate them and engage them in the conversation. We must welcome them into the communities we lead or are a member of. We need to ensure they feel comfortable and that we all have a mindset of the “the only dumb question is the one who doesn't get asked.”
I think we can all remember a day when we were new to Twitter and Facebook. Many of the people who are choosing not to be part of Generation S are choosing to do such based upon fear of the unknown. They may also have concerns for privacy or simply feel that becoming part of such generation would only waste their time.
Marketers and business leaders have a tough road ahead to engage those outside of Generation S. It is going to take research, analysis, education and investment in the human beings who are part of this generation and who are not. We must help bring them together. We must help inspire the unsocial to engage in methods they feel comfortable.
We should bring them in via platforms and mediums such as podcasts, video, webinar, Google Hangouts and more. Marketers can then use these same social assets to share the knowledge with and engage the social generation. It is an easy way to bridge the divide.
It's time to quit selling the C-Suite on Twitter. If your CEO is afraid to share what he had for lunch on Twitter, continuing to sell him on a social network he knows nothing about is not going to work. You must prove to him or her the value of the connections with real human beings that can be made. You must prove that relationships can be nurtured, that he or she can influence thought, change mindset and move the needle for the positive.
IDC predicts there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015. Marketers can't ignore this number. You must plan for your mobile customer, employee and executive now. You must start embedding mobile strategies at the start of any project and ensure the user experience is good regardless of device used.
Social media is not going to save a broken business. It's not a magic fix to bring your unsocial executives and employees onto the social networks. It will take both art and science. It will require patience and investment in real human beings.
Start by acknowledging the social divide. Educate yourself and your team. Build and execute a plan to bridge the social divide. If you don't you may be leaving out your best talent and evangelists. You may be leaving out what is the heartbeat of your organization.
Bridging the Social Divide – C-Suite and Beyond
You can check out the slides from this presentation here-> Generation S – Bridging the Social Divide, and below.
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