The Internet continues to revolutionize modern life in a host of ways. Those who adapted to it as it grew and developed remember different times and ways of communication than many of today’s youth ever will. The most recent generation will grow up never knowing a time without smartphones, Netflix and Wi-Fi. While these digital natives are intimidating and hard to pin down, they will become the key to marketing for years to come. After all, without the Millennials, we wouldn’t have the all-encompassing term “social media” or the need to conduct social media marketing campaigns.
To be clear, “Generation C” is not delineated by a decade of birth, as with Baby Boomers or the Millennials–but it’s an umbrella term for a generation of consumers connected through social media and mobile devices. Your son who helped you program your smartphone is a member of Generation C, as is your bachelor uncle who stays on top of developing technologies. The key to this new generation is the connectedness of its members. There is a developing sense of social influence among Generation C and those who use tools for social media marketing. The idea of clear, transparent communication and advocacy of brands and ideals has rapidly grown online.
The idea of advocacy through social media has changed the idea of social activism. Those who are wary and don’t understand the changing landscape are quick to use the term “slacktivism,” but a sharing of ideals online can serve as a gateway to action. This tendency is a great opportunity for social media marketers who know how to communicate to the online ego of Generation C. By developing your company’s online presence and interacting with users, you cultivate a relationship that will hopefully turn a simple fan into a true brand advocate.
The reason critics are unimpressed by today’s brand of activism is due to its simple nature – a click of a button and a status update constitute “taking a stand” in many minds. However, this habit of sharing what we had for lunch, where we went after dinner, who we saw and what we did are powerful habits to be used in a social media campaign. Once you’ve cultivated a relationship with your consumer, many are more likely to share your company’s message and become brand advocates, powerful word of mouth social users. While you may be appalled by the amount of personal information that is shared on Facebook and Twitter, do not underestimate its power as a means for marketing. It is ripe with users who need to hear about your company and can also provide you with some easy customer data for future campaigns.
The Internet has changed almost every aspect of modern life. Those who have embraced the social aspects of the digital world comprise a unique segment of the population that is comfortable sharing their location and data with their friends and followers. Cultivating positive relationships with these powerful users can result not only in repeater customers, but in new business when done effectively.