Let's Be Honest, You Don't Have To Be A Millennial To Rock The Social Space
March 18, 2014
A recent article in Fusion, "10 Reasons Pope Francis Is Really A Millennial," was a fun reminder that your birth year doesn't have to be after 1980 to relate to the social space.
Granted, Millennials are a breed unlike any other.
They are growing up with the Internet in their pants, gauging worth by likes and retweets, and even taking selfies at the most unbelievable moments, like this plane crash selfie in Philadelphia last week:
Yet operating in the social space is truly less about being a Millennial than it is tapping into what it means to be inherently social – regardless of age.
I have said often there's a difference in "doing" social and "being" social. All too often people come at social academically, with a book learned type approach.
However studying fan behavior and expectations, along with what people gravitate toward socially, I can tell you one thing: it's NOT about "best practices."
Instead, it's about cool, unexpected exchanges. It's acknowledgment. It's making people feel alive.
And while many Millennials are social stars in their own right, we should never overlook the older generations that are rocking their fans on the most popular platforms.
From The "Silent Generation" Corner – George Takei
George, hands down, could teach the kids a thing or two about how to consistently trigger fan reaction, get your name shared everywhere, and ultimately deriving benefit and brand value.
Visit any of his social assets at any given time and you'll find hundreds of thousands of people sharing his wit.
George's fans love to share content with him so he elevates that excitement. His social communication is rarely about him – but his humor, good causes and the fans. He has reinvented himself and even introduced his name to a generation who otherwise may have never had a chance to know him.
Representing Baby Boomers - Josh Mankiewicz
When clients need a visual of what it looks like to "personalize acknowledgment" (going beyond robotic, "Thanks for listening" type replies), I ask them to follow NBC Dateline's Josh Mankiewicz.
It's the personal one-on-one time Josh gives everyone that's critical today.
At the Jacobs Media Summit last December, Josh underscored that he doesn't pick and choose who gets a response. Everyone does.
His advice? "The audience can always tell fake, flavorless (promotional) social posts. If you are not going to be real (socially), don't waste your time."
And making Generation X proud – Alyssa Milano
Alyssa glommed onto social media very early. She is just naturally social.
Above is one example of how Alyssa interacts with people. When a fan shared this excellent "Throwback Thursday" photo of Alyssa at age 17 signing an autograph for then hopeful actress, Eva Mendes, who was 15 at the time – she shared it on her platforms, too - very inviting to fans.
But beyond comedic, journalistic and acting type celebrities, look at the non-Millennials around our world of radio and records.
Social helps brands defy the aging process (that everyone eventually suffers from). But it's all in the approach.
It's about emulating the fans' social dialogue and how they participate. When you can do that, you become anticipated. Fans look forward to hearing from you again and again.
Millennials may be native to this space, but don't ever discount any person of any age that behaves naturally, making them believable. They are the ones teaching all of us, every day.
There's a sense of sophistication that comes with age, and so long as they keep considering themselves explorers – trying things first - there will always be those in the "veteran" generations teaching the "natives" a thing or two.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.