On episode 55 we are joined by Katie Snyder, a supervisor in Rea’s Wooster office as well as one of the firm’s hyper-engaged and socially proficient millennials. Katie brings a unique perspective to the task of understanding social media’s impact on consumer behavior and on this episode of unsuitable on Rea Radio, she takes listeners inside the millennial mindset.
“One of the bread and butters of social media are hashtags.”
There are many avenues customers and companies can take to communicate with each other directly, but to do so efficiently, you have to get comfortable using the hashtag (#). Not sure what a hashtag is or how to use it? Here’s a very brief crash course. A hashtag:
- Is used by typing this sign à # ß in front of a word or phrase included in your online post.
- Makes a particular post publically discoverable.
- Can be used by businesses (to promote products and services) as well as customers (to find products and services).
- Is kind of like utilizing the Dewey Decimal System (back in the day). Hashtags are kind of like the call numbers you are used to using.
- Helps you filter through the noise that pollutes social media and helps you find what it is you are looking for quickly.
- Provides the user (you) with a customized experience.
Social media has changed the way many millennials consume products and services. On the spectrum from material things to experiences, social media is driving millennials towards consuming experiences. And if your customer finds your products and services to be valuable, they are more likely to share information and insight about their own experiences on social media. On the flip side, if your product or service fails to deliver, social media is a popular place to share those negative experiences as well.
“You’re essentially branding yourself, and if you brand yourself publicly you can easily become a target.”
Professionals must carefully consider how they are represented on social media. There is no such thing as a private profile. If your profile on Facebook or Twitter is public, you should be prepared for employers, clients and other important audiences to type your name in the search bar to see what will come up. Katie, for example, says she always reviews how applicants are branding themselves in public.
But don’t be frightened. Once you have established a great personal brand, you can use social media to continue your education in the field. For example, there are a ton of niche blogs to help you gain additional insight and stay up to date in your particular industry. Then, as you continue to consume online content and share it on your social media channels, others will begin to take notice – which is incredibly valuable as you continue to look for ways to become a respected thought leader.
“The next thing that’s happening is events are going to be created for the purpose of social media – to drive social media, tweets, hashtags.”
Savvy companies are already using social media to create excitement around their virtual events. Netflix, for example, has deployed a targeted social media advertising campaign to get people excited about the new Gilmore Girls sequel series. By tapping into the active and passionate fan base, the media company is able to capitalize on nostalgia to generate excitement around a new Gilmore Girls series. The new version of the original show, which has been off the air for years, will likely enjoy high ratings, active engagement and social media success.
Ultimately, we are pretty sure that it’s safe to safe to say that social media is not just another passing fad. Therefore, baby boomers living in the professional sphere should begin educating themselves in social media literacy or risk getting left behind. Katie has two tips for how baby boomers can improve their social media awareness.
- Experiment. The more you use it, the more you’ll learn.
- Ask a millennial for help.
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Click here to read the official transcript for episode 55: “Tweets & Posts and a Side of Hashtags: The Trifecta of Social Media Effectiveness.”