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Social Media: A Love And Hate Relationship

If you’re anything like me… (and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this) there’s a good chance you understand exactly what I mean when I say, “ I love and hate social media."

It’s great staying in touch with family and seeing what friends (and enemies) are doing, but I also don’t love being on my device all the time.

It’s sitting on my nightstand by my bed - I can’t get away from it. It’s too much of an integral part of my life.

And quite frankly, considering my phone habits, I don’t want someone looking over my shoulder observing me scrolling through instagram. You know, pursuing the #sailboat action shots.

As a guy, I’m also a little conscientious about double tap *hearting* too many posts. I don’t want to haphazardly like every post. Plus, I have to maintain professionalism with the amount of emojis I use.

Surely you can relate to this! I mean, I’ve got a reputation to maintain. ;)

But there’s no denying the impact of social media on our lives and how we make many decisions as a result of social proof.

Dr. Cialdini has been preaching the persuasiveness of Social Proof for years, but now more than ever, we see the incredible impact of the various platforms. This is especially true with young adults.

In fact, Millennials are 1.6x more likely to learn about products from a digital platform.

But it’s not just young adults- Looking at purchasing behaviors and habits, over 80% of ALL consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media when it comes to purchasing decisions.

We’ve known for years that “word of mouth” is an extremely effective technique, but the difference now is that everyone has a mouth (using a myriad of platforms) AND we’re able to parse and analyze the data via website reviews, polls, and surveys.

It’s incredibly powerful. Look at the market cap and revenues of the big players of social media. Are we in the trillions yet?

Not just to consumers, but to current and potential employees. Consider this:

43% of Millennials are planning to leave your organization within the next two years. And if you hire Gen Zrs, you’re looking at over 60%.

Next, did you know that over 70% of employers are looking at applicants social media to screen them? It works the other way around, too.

How many tech-savvy, digital native candidates are looking at your organization’s media to decide if your job opportunity is worth it. And with unemployment currently at very low levels, competition is greater than ever for the top performers.

But that’s all boring stuff - let me give you some quick strategies to implement within your media strategy today:

  1. Do cool things in your company and then post about them. Not in a cool/fun industry? Too bad. Step it up and create experiences, create opportunities, and get involved in the community. Post about it, celebrate it, go live with it, create a slideshow, and throw in some hashtags. 

    Once I heard John Maxwell speak live, and he said: “do cool things”.

  2. Feature your team. Post a few fun pictures and ask for a list of their favorite foods, places, or things they like about their job.

These are both things that will help retain and recruit young talent.

And finally, here are some guidelines on the mediums in the order of effectiveness when it comes to the younger generations.

  • Live - incredible transparency and authenticity humanizes and makes your organization relatable
  • Video - everything's going to video and everything is mobile.
  • Pictures - your cell phone is incredible.
  • Copy or Text - Don’t ignore the power of catchy headlines or compelling content on bigger social media campaigns.

Yes, some of these strategies are a little painful, and full disclosure, I still struggle with going live because, well, I don’t want to make a mistake and look dumb.

But like I say, I love and hate social media, but it’s hard to deny it’s efficacy when it comes to engaging family, friends, and enemies…

And if I think I’m going to stay competitive with the best talent, I’d better make sure that someone in my company is liking, commenting, and sharing.

Just as long as it’s not always me :)

If you love (and hate) social media too, follow GenDev on Instagram and Facebook! :-) 

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