Why Cross-Generational Teams Use Social Media Better

Since 2006 when the GH social media department first started, digital platforms have come and gone; the landscape, from some angles, is nearly unrecognizable. One thing is certain: Social media has changed our perspective on communication and how we do business.

How can marketing teams stay relevant in this state of constant flux? Diverse, cross-generational teams anchor the constantly changing digital marketing landscape within the broader human context of storytelling and consumer behavior.

Evolution of Digital Platforms

Facebook and Twitter look and feel very different now than they did a decade ago, but are still holding their own – and continue to hone their value to users. Their character limits and post types have changed, driving and responding to the way people use them to share and consume information. Facebook has even changed its mission statement, striving to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

In more recent years, other major platforms have arrived on the scene: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, to name a few. Some platforms have flashed in and out of existence (like Vine or Pulse) or changed their offerings and user interface dramatically (LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Hangouts).

More recently, some apps and tools have changed the way we engage with the world: Airbnb, rideshare services, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and mobile-centric Live streaming. Hailing a taxi? Just a few finger taps, thanks to Uber and Lyft. And VR and 360 have enabled us to see (and share) things we never thought possible at the beginning of this millennium.

Age is Just a Number, Even In Social Media Usage

While internet users age 30 and older may be more active on Facebook (with both posting and engagement levels), younger users engage more via messaging apps, especially with a visual or video component. But whether you grew up learning computer and internet skills, or if you make a point of maintaining a steady ongoing learning curve, age is not necessarily a predictor of technical competence. Digital fluency depends less on whether you are a Millennial or Boomer, and more on individual efforts to stay current and find personally relevant ways to use the tools at hand.

Can You Keep Up? Can Your Business?

Platforms and features change nearly every week. It’s essential that your business has staff on-hand that recognize how and why these changes are made, so that you are never left out of the internet loop:

  • Facebook’s Ad management interface and the way ads are delivered is in constant flux.
  • Instagram’s news feed now uses a relevance algorithm, rather than displaying the most recent posts.
  • Snapchat is becoming more business-friendly.
  • While public social media engagement is getting quieter, users are swarming to private messaging apps.

With new communication and measurement capabilities around every corner, it is critical that we evaluate them based on our consumers’ behavior and preferences, and within the context of global news and broader economic shifts.

Each of us comes to the table with our own experiences and viewpoints, our own preferred news sources and digital platforms. Our ability to have lively and challenging conversations keeps us asking questions that push us toward our clients’ business goals.

How does your team stay relevant in a constantly changing landscape?

GillespieHall Director of Digital Strategy & Operations ◆ Consumer Behaviorist ◆ Digital PR & Marketing Strategist

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