Generation Y – roughly those aged 13-29 – are among the strongest
consumers and influencers. And while social media like Facebook,
delicious, and Flickr have garnered media attention, many businesses
are still wary of dipping a toe in the social media water.
I argue that we can gauge return on investment (or influence) for Gen Y by looking at their buying power and online behavior and therefore that it is imperative that (most) businesses participate in social media. Plus, I will give you the research to back up these assertions so you can prove it to your boss.
Growing up in pre-internet Ohio, I spent a good chunk of my
allowance and lawn-mowing money on comic books at the local pharmacy.
If they were sold out of my usual books, I was SOL until the following
month. Scarcity of goods required that I go where they were (and
quickly!) or I would miss out.
Now, post-internet, these stories sound quaint. Given a bank
account, any kid can get any comic book from anywhere in the world. So
what does this have to do with social media and Generation Y?:
proximity to resources.
Today, consumers expect businesses to come to them. Long gone are
the lazy summer bike rides to the pharmacy – today, young people expect
to be able to spend their money just about anywhere. And where are
they? Online, in general, and on social media, specifically.
Maybe this shift isn’t a surprise to you, but let me prove it with research (easily printable for timid bosses or humbugs).