Sunday, March 7, 2010

Millennials Fuel a Social Media Future

In the workplace, every generation swears to their superiority over the current crop.

For instance, twenty somethings have gotten an unkind professional rap about their work ethic, motivation and sense of entitlement. It may be a well deserved stereotype, yet I simply don’t have enough experience managing the “Millennial Generation” to cast such a sweeping conclusion.

What I do know is that when it comes to social media this current incarnation of young professionals thinks differently from those who have a bit more mileage on the resume. I’ve had to learn social media through rapid-fire engagement, and then retrofit it to a set of practices and processes ingrained over two decades.

In comparison, my more youthful colleagues spent their formative educational years online, in social networks, and battling it out in Xbox and Playstation virtual realities. This social media comfort has translated well into the current marketing landscape defined by the ongoing shift of influence from traditional sources of credibility to online communities.

I’ve included below an anecdote shared with me this past week by one of Strategic Communications Group’s (Strategic) hotshot Gen Y workers. It leads me to a few conclusions:

1. Corporate social media marketing has two equally important components: 1) proactive engagement in social networks and online communities to cultivate sales opportunities and influence near real-time Web search; and 2) monitoring of these same communities to rapidly snuff out customer angst to preserve revenue and brand loyalty.

2. This social media savvy lot are the soon-to-be entrepreneurs, corporate fast-risers, business decision-makers, investors and market influencers. Every week I come across executive leaders who have tagged the social network movement as just another dot com-ish phase. In time, this thinking will prove to be foolish and false.

Hey Marc,
Sunday night after putting my daughter to sleep I went to play my Playstation 3 and I got the strange error code of 8001050f and noticed that the clock had been reset to December 31, 1999 on the system. As you can imagine I was pretty upset since I use video games as a primary source of entertainment when it’s too late to do anything else.

You may be wondering why I am telling you this story, well what happened next is what I think you will find interesting. After trying everything in my power to fix the problem I gave up and hit the internet for answers. I typed my error code into Google pressed enter and yielded only a few complaints of this error with no fixes to be found. I decided to call Sony to see if they could help me out and was told that there was an unusually high volume of calls at the time and there would be a wait.

After about 30 minutes of holding for a representative I decided to try Google again and to my surprise there were now thousands of complaints all of a sudden across all kinds of social media channels, so much that I couldn’t even access the Playstation forum about the problem due to what seemed to be traffic overload.

In a short time later bloggers started writing about the error and Sony put out a statement via Twitter and their blog letting people know they were working on it. Perhaps what was more interesting is the fact that Sony read peoples tweets/blogs/posts about the problem and was able to narrow down the issue based on user generated information to get the problem solved in 24 hours.

While I was upset that I had to go a day without my Playstation I was also very impressed with Sony’s quick response via social media and their use of the information they gathered from different communities.

1 comment:

Angela Lauria said...

At DubMeNow, we create mobile apps. Recently, we released version 1.1 (our 2nd release) of the my.sxsw app. We were so excited to launch! We had tested and we were ready. Minutes after it hit the App Store, the tweets started piling in. Downloading the upgrade crashed the iPhone.

We scrambled for a solution, pulled a press release from the wires, and got on Twitter and our blog ( explaining the solution.

It's amazing how important social media is for crisis management like this. We are hoping we can turn the early adopters checking out our app before the big show starts into advocates and evangelists instead of haters.