So first off, what is a “Social Media Bubble” anyway. Well in total transparency, as social media should be, I will start out by making the blog written by Umar Haque in the Harvard Business Review available to all of you to truly understand what they are talking about regarding the “Social Media Bubble”.
So what they are saying is, well you can read the article above for yourself. Here is why I think the Bubble is Fiction. Let me share with you that there are 76 million members in the Millenial Generation. This versus 85 million Baby Boomers who are retiring rather quickly whether they want to or not and 50 million Generation X’ers. My hypothesis is that this group will force the “establishment” to change how they do business and how they market to their services and products. You can see this currently with all of the major companies doing something with Social Media and moving traditional advertising dollars to social media. These companies are also hiring executives with the title “Social Media Director”.
Here are some things that make Millenials/Gen Y’ers different than previous generation workers according to Clay Collins author of “The Alternative Productivity Manifesto”
- Gen Y uses modern tools and technologies, including software that’s easily accessible and free from the Internet;
- Gen Y easily maintains their to-do lists, and priorities by synching with the PDAs and iPODs;
- Gen Y are not workaholics, and understand the relationship between a balanced life and productivity;
- Gen Y are more likely to love their jobs, because they change jobs more frequently, and stay in jobs that match their passions and talents;
- Gen Y has a continuing thirst for learning and personal growth;
- Gen Y wants to have new experiences, try new things, and be creative;
- Gen Y doesn’t stay in jobs they don’t like just to be comfortable and secure.
So as I always do in all my trainings ask the question “What does this mean to you?” or rather what is the WIIFY (What’s In It For You) Why should you care? As you have heard me say “Facebook is not a Social Media Strategy” in of itself, but with over 500 million users you can’t argue with the numbers. Ask any politician about how important the numbers are or a company when they are looking at a market segment.
This new Generation will force companies to communicate with them the way they want to be communicated with, and guess what, this group doesn’t watch a whole lot of TV and they don’t read magazines and they rarely listen to the radio and newspapers forget it. Why do you think magazines and newspapers are moving to an online environment. This is where this generation get’s it’s information, online and through their Social Media Networks. A new list just came out: The Beloit College Mind Set List for the class of 2014 One of the things it states is that this class does not use email because it is too slow. Guess what they text, tweet and post and “join the conversation” of people, companies and political causes that they are interested in.
Those who argue that the Bubble exists and will soon burst I have a few things to say:
- The world was never flat
- Electricity is not evil
- Microsoft did not take over the world
- Apple did not fall by the wayside
- The Internet did not diminish productivity
- The 2012 thing about the world ending, well we will have to wait and see
- And we did learn to fly, really well, across oceans for goodness sakes
My point is that be careful what you say about Social Media. It is the first time that communities outside of our grandparents are truly connected by a common thread. They may not be “true friends” but we trust them if they are in our community and add value to our lives. This is what is happening in the world of Social Media:
- Trust Agents are being created.
- Credibility of a company or a person is more out in the open than ever before.
- You can now know in real-time what is happening in Iran and around the world
- And I can get an answer to any question in real-time from people I trust in my community.
- If a company is lying to me or telling me the truth and more importantly if they care.
Social Media is a young medium but it has already passed all the numbers related to all the other media ever in existence. So for you numbers people out there. Social Media has the numbers and they are continuously growing. If you are trying to promote a brand, product or service and you aren’t using Social Media I guarantee your competition is.
So the Bubble is Fiction, and they have the numbers to prove it. It is also way too young of an industry to start looking for the burst now. I heard earlier today that every 70 years there is a major housing crisis, so Social Media has something like 60 years to go.