Social Business and The Millennial Generation

social business and the millennial generation


When I was growing up, “social media” meant actually leaving the house to go meet with people. When I was growing up, Facebook didn’t exist because Mark Zuckerberg was not yet born. When I was growing up, the Internet had not been invented. In fact, until my high school days, computers occupied an entire room and were not yet “personal.”

Generation X

I entered the workforce when I graduated college in the early 90’s. Around that time, I first heard reference to the term that defined my generation – we were called “Generation X.” During the time of my first job, corporate communications was a bit inefficient.

The company had to gather in one place, which meant that remote workers had to fly into town and spend a night or two in a hotel. The CEO would speak to the entire company, but it was often challenging for him to get a grasp on how everyone was feeling (about what he just said) and, employees had to raise their hand, then wait their turn to ask a pressing question.

We’d then have smaller, post-meeting sessions, for manager-level folks to ask us what we thought about the CEO’s update. I’m sure you millennials out there are laughing and gigglingright about now.

Generation X: From Social Media to Social Business

As tools like Facebook and Twitter became popular, many Gen X’ers hopped on board. My use of Facebook was limited at first, but I was pulled to participate more, as close friends and family members joined. Both of my parents are on Facebook, in fact, and they precede the Baby Boomer generation. I spent a lot of my time on Twitter. My first tweet was sent in 2008 (if not earlier) and it’s been a fun ride.

Soon thereafter, SaaS providers figured out that the same services we use in our everyday lives (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) could be used to model software and tools inside the firewall. Thus was born “social business.”

Early tools looked a lot like the Facebook Newsfeed. And that’s not surprising: the software, after all, was modeling what we’ve been doing on Facebook. And it’s the same reason, by the way, that early era virtual event experiences were modeled after physical event spaces.

Millennials: Social Networks Are All They Know

millennials grew up online

The Millennial Generation (also known as Generation Y) is the first generation to grow up with the Internet. Most of these digital natives know nothing else besides computers, phones, texting, instant messaging and Facebook. They’re hyper-connected and they expect their experiences to have social and virtual elements.

This generation is used to place-shifting and time-shifting their media consumption. It happens on their schedule and most often on a device they carry in their hip pocket. Want to introduce social business to this generation? That’s great, because they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Communicating with The Millennial Generation

Millennials who join your organization expect you to use social and cloud-based tools. They may have discovered your organization via a virtual career fair and had their first interview via Skype. They expect everything to happen online, from benefits enrollment to performance reviews to (of course) corporate communications.

Your tools need to support two-way communications. It’s no longer just about “sharing company updates.” These days, your organization wants to share with you (the executives) as much as you may want to share with them. Arm them with the tools to do so, such as the that we provide.

Insights on The Millennial Generation

We’re thrilled to have Lauren Mulherrin (a proud member of the millennial generation who’s with our partner bXb Online) join us to share insights on communicating to millennials. Learn more about her Live Webcast by clicking on the button below.


Post contributed by Dennis Shiao