Social Media Revolution

Somehow the first half of 2011 has already blown by – what a busy year so far! So busy that instead of writing a legitimate post I’m just going to share a video. Social Media Revolution.

Authority Rules – I agree

Brian Clark, founder and publisher of has released an excellent little document about effective online marketing, and it revolves entirely around authority! Hence the name – Authority Rules, download the PDF and take a moment to read through Brian’s thoughts. I agree with him on a number of levels.

I’m not going to attempt to rewrite what Brian has so clearly stated, but I will say this. The world of brick and mortar business is extremely different from that of the online world. A physical store front sets the stage for how the consumer perceives the business. Is it trustworthy? Is it cutting edge? Is it a good deal? In a physical store, these things are affected by lighting, cleanliness, professional staff, stock, etc. But online, the game changes. As a web based business, you have to establish your reputation in different ways. Sure, a nice website design will go a long ways, but that’s not the key to success. In the online world, establishing authority is what builds reputation and trust.

Generation Y: self-activism is born

Generation Y, which is generally accepted as those born between 1980 and 1994, is a very different generation comparing to Generation X (1965-1980). Wikipedia describes Generation Y as:

They needed to be faster and more efficient (with the advent of better technology), smarter (increase in college enrollment), and more available (40-60 hour work weeks) than Boomers and Gen X. Therefore some of the defining characteristics of Gen Y are tech-savviness, family-centric, achievement-oriented, team-oriented and attention-craving.

Chip Walker from StrawberryFrog, a creative agency in New York, has a great post about advertising to Generation Y on MediaPost, he states:

A big part of Gen-Y activism is what I call “self-activism.” They treat themselves and their dreams almost like causes. It’s less based on idealism and more a matter of necessity: If they don’t activate the revolutionary inside, they simply won’t get anywhere in today’s hyper-challenging marketplace.

As I fall into the Generation Y category myself, I can agree with the above. You can call some of today’s successful brands “movements”. You can see evidence of this in Obama’s recent campaign for presidency, a successful campaign in terms of connecting with the younger generation. You can see it with responsible clothing brands and organic foods. If you want to reach Generation Y, and you have the right brand, traditional marketing just isn’t the best approach. Website banners (which I barely notice), radio (which I don’t listen to), and TV (which I don’t watch, unless I’m watching hockey) just aren’t going to leave an impact on me. Start talking Email, mobile or social and that’s a different story. Chip closes his article perfectly:

Would your brand fight for a cause it believes in? Would your employees? Most Gen-Yers would. Today more than ever, GenYers are seeking to summon their own passion, courage and determination. Thus, if you want to connect with them, it’s time to stop doing traditional marketing and start believing in something bigger than making money.

In many cases it’s probably easier to establish a new brand as “Generation Y approved” than it is to adjust an existing brand.