Who are they?
We hear a lot about ‘millennials’. People talk about them like they are a new breed of human – the latest, more advanced version of mankind; a new set of revolutionaries. But they are hardly Che Guevara, Leon Trotsky or Spok are they? Not yet it seems, but Che or Leon didn’t cause a revolution in their youth (and Spok is made up)…
So what is a millennial? Someone born towards the end of the last century I would say. Wikipedia thinks someone born from the early 80s onwards, but being a man who argues, I will push for someone born in the early to mid 90s. So, by my reckoning, they are just starting to graduate and get proper jobs and flood the workforce.
“So what?” most will say,
“Give ‘em a clip round the ear” others will shout.
“Send them out to buy sky hooks, striped paint and a long weight” managers in Disney ties will giggle. Sorry, its not the 80s is it?
The reality is they will want to make a difference and they are vocal, and switched on, always switched on. They say email is old (some of us older than the first email sent in 1971), so they Snap, Tweet and Instagram. A few still use Facebook messenger of all things.
The point I am making is they communicate with friends, with friends of friends, with people close by who are not friends and with people they don’t even know. They are natural researchers. If you said “research something” they would frown quizically, but tell them to buy something and like a duck to water they go off and research, they watch videos, they read reviews, they ask their networks.
So why do we care?
Well, we need to care because Millennials are the largest generation right now (according to some US report). They are all technologists and they won’t just accept a 9-5 job just because it pays well. They aspire more then previous generations because they know more about ‘stuff’. They have never not had access to information. They may not read a book very often, but they read a lot.
They will expect their job to give back to them much more than we ‘oldies’ ever did. It will be their social circle (as it always was but not fenced by department, or traditional labels such as ‘the smokers’), and they will want to be able to see what is going on in every aspect of the business. They certainly will want to have a voice.
They will also be your suppliers and your clients. They will want to supply to people they know, and buy off people they know better. It isn’t the cheapest product or the quickest delivery they will want (obviously this will help though); it’s the people who communicate better, the people who show genuine interest and the people who they feel attached to.
This is social business folks, its coming whether we like it or not, and companies who embrace it will have better retention, better quality staff, more loyal clients and proactive suppliers. They will make more money, easier money even, and become trusted brands.
Becoming a social business is a gradual process, its embracing change to daily routines and understanding and trusting all those that make a business a business.
Here at weheartdigital, we love the concept of social business, and we aren’t a huge US operation; we are friendly, happy to discuss, happy to be, erm, social…