social media, likes, neon sign, brand authenticity

Navigating brand authenticity through a time of turbulence

social media, likes, neon sign, brand authenticity

Article provided by Jamie Gilpin, CMO, Sprout Social

This year has brought on many challenges, one of them being that we saw a year’s worth of digital transformation in just a matter of weeks.

As businesses were forced to shut their doors across the globe, social media quickly became the sole connection point between many brands and their consumers, accelerating a change in dynamic that has been building over recent years.

We have relied on social media more than ever before to help us through a global pandemic, navigate deep cultural movements and stay connected to the world. And this increased reliance on social has reinforced that consumers are in the driver’s seat in navigating their relationships with brands.

Social gives us the ability to directly contact brands and publicly reject statements that do not feel genuine, which has driven brands to become less self-serving and look at how to drive real change. Our current conditions have also driven consumers to increasingly activate brands to take action and make a positive impact on the world around us.

Following in the footsteps of companies like Nike and Patagonia, the list of brands taking social and political stands has grown to span every industry. Not only are companies increasingly speaking out, but the tech sector’s focus on social good is rapidly growing. As of last year, the UK’s “Tech for social good” market is worth £2.3 billion, directly tackling challenges in healthcare, education, finance and sustainability.

Even if your core product isn’t directly addressing a socio-economic issue, recent Sprout Social research shows 70 per cent of consumers believe it’s important that brands take a stand on social and political issues. And when brands take a stand consumers align with, 36 per cent say they’ll purchase more from that company. This will only continue to grow in an environment where consumer trust is low and social causes are at the forefront of every conversation. But authenticity is equally important in this environment and without it, a brand’s social impact efforts can fall flat.

Focus on impact

Beyond the transactional relationship, brands who take a stand are able to shape larger conversations beyond their own businesses. Now more than ever, brands are placed in the spotlight to highlight important issues and even educate their audiences on how they themselves can be part of driving change. In fact, of the consumers who want brands to take a stand, 66 per cent say they believe brands can create real change when they voice their beliefs, while 62 per cent believe brands are successfully educating consumers on important topics. This is especially relevant given the rise of social activism and the role it’s playing in changing the course of history across the globe.

Part of building an authentic stance is recognising that you don’t have to weigh in on every public issue, just the ones that matter most to your company, your employees and the people you serve. Our research found that 29 per cent of people say a stand is believable when brands focus on issues that directly affect their employees. However, the stakes have changed when it comes to major social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement or the rise in racial injustice, and not responding at all could be a big indicator of who you are as a company and what your values are.

Commit to core values

Indeed, there’s a time and place for everything. Asked when it is appropriate for brands to take a stand on social media, 43 per cent of people say brands should speak out when an issue directly impacts their business. On the other hand, 23 per cent of consumers say it’s never appropriate for brands to take a stand on social media. So, how should brands be responding to issues their audience cares about?

When weighing in on an issue, your response should be clear and direct, and should include specific commitments and contributions your company will be making. Be sure to share why taking a stand is important to you and outline how you will be supporting the cause.

Prioritise transparency

Brands who take a stand must remember the role transparency plays in building authentic connections with their audiences. Being transparent not only leads to increased trust and loyalty, but also empathy in return from consumers. When brands have a history of being transparent, 85 per cent of consumers are more likely to stick by them during a brand crisis. But in order to meet increasingly demanding consumer expectations, brands must first put in the investment to understand what transparency means to their audiences to ensure their response is relevant and genuine.

This new dynamic is certainly putting pressure on brands. Not long ago, companies could focus solely on the advantages of their product to build consumer following. But as purpose becomes a differentiating factor that directly impacts consumer loyalty, tech companies must look beyond their products and examine what their brand impact is in order to truly build authentic connections and help consumers navigate this uncertain world.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Social-Media-Masterclass

Using Social Media to Advance Your Career

Social-Media-MasterclassArticle by Veronica King, Founder of EDS Coaching & Consulting.co.uk

We are currently at a place whether we are starting, developing or advancing our career it is greatly affected by the increased use of social media.

The extensive use of social media by recruitment agencies and employers have become the order of the day and as a result most people have their profiles available on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms.

Individuals can now identify a job via one simple search of their chosen Agency site. In addition, there are numerous Apps coming into the marketplace, that facilitate job search more quickly than ever before, providing prospective candidates with information at speed. This facility to provide Job-on-the-Go is an ever increasing one.

Competition for both available jobs and recruitment agencies are stiff and as a result prospective employees and those seeking to advance their career, whether via promotion or job change, have to be in a position to interpret what is on offer – how it suits their desires and interest, and which Agency is suitable for them, that is, that meet their specific needs.

Because jobs and careers seekers today have an extremely wide choice in terms of platforms, they can drill down into the areas, the organisations and influential individuals in those organisations of their choice.

In addition, they can also segment their career choice via social medial. Another great benefit to job and career seekers.

They can go to any site, or, site listings to discover what suits them best. You will often discover a numerical listing. For example, LinkedIn is the No. 1 spot for job seekers and those currently employed, or, looking to advance their careers. There are others such as, Twitter with Blog or LinkedIn URL, Jobster, Facebook, Craiglist, MyWorkster with Indeed Recruitment agency, and VisualCV and this is not an exhaustive list.

So how can you use social media to advance your career?

Let’s take the number one social media platform for jobs and careers. LinkedIn is a wealth of information for career development firstly because of its search engine. This can be used to research the types of organisations you want to join. It will also provide the details of the people within those organisations you may want to target for your career choice. It will also provide you with the locations of organisations world-wide. It will tell you how many employees those organisations employ and their positions. You can also search those organisations for the role you are seeking and get a description of those roles, first-hand.

You can set up your profile, listing all your skills, experience, qualifications, your talents, and your achievements in some detail, on LinkedIn.

All of this gives you a head start in your search and provide you with vital information on how you can proceed to making enquiries. Here you can submit a separate Curriculum Vitae (CV) or you can make your profile available to prospective organisations.

You can also set up a jobs alert facility. The downside here that it is not always precisely what you are looking for, but it can nevertheless be valuable in creating awareness of what is the jobs market and in your chosen field or expertise.

A great advantage in using social media for career advancement is that you can use your social connections or social networking to help your profile or CV to move up the career stack. Linked is known for facilitating ‘influencers’. These could be people in your social circle, people who are ‘in the know’, or, people you know who know those people. This can be a useful way to boost your career.

A useful facility on LinkedIn is the ability to ask for recommendations or testimonials from people you have worked with, or organisations you’ve worked for in the past.

All the above helps to you to build a strong profile from which prospective employers can glean information about you that are relevant to their searches.

It is important then that you ensure you are also relevant and that your information is current.

The most important thing to remember is that by applying these actions you are on your way to building a strong brand of ‘You’ so that you can achieve your career success. Your approach to this is pivotal. The purpose of the exercise is to attract the best recruiting manager to you, in an informed way. The saying ...’your network is your net worth’ rings true in building your successful career in the same way it applies to building a successful business.

Grow your social network, fully engage with them, and utilise their expertise and their wealth of experience. This will pay dividend. MashableUK, a multi- disciplinary site in social media, reports that 80% of jobs are not advertised, they are often found through network of connections.

Using social media to advance your career, like anything else, takes work so this requires so patience and persistence and will be very much worthwhile.

It is a great way to build your resilience for your new and upwardly mobile career.


Linkedin-featured

How to give your LinkedIn profile the X factor

Linkedin

Did you know that LinkedIn is currently the number one space to grow your personal brand faster than anywhere else online? 

With over 610+ million professionals currently on the platform this is a fantastic opportunity not to be sniffed at.

Success on LinkedIn lies in your ability to build trusting and meaningful relationships with your connections and network. In order to build this trust, you need to build a solid foundation using your LinkedIn profile AND personal brand.

Your profile is your biggest asset on LinkedIn.  No matter what kind of engagement you do (connecting, posting, articles, live video, endorsing, introductions, engaging with groups and content etc.) the number 1 commonality linking them is that your profile is attached to all of it.

Humans are innately curious and will click on your headshot, go to your LinkedIn profile and see who you are and what you stand for.  How are you showing up when they arrive?

Now you might ask yourself, why is a personal brand necessary? The answer is, your personal brand is everything that makes up you!  Your reputation, your personality, your online presence and your energy. Your brand is expressed through all the different ways you communicate.  The first way most people will engage with you is online, and the best way to ensure that you’re communicating your brand is to own it, develop it and maintain it.

Most individual LinkedIn profiles appear in search results. If someone searches your name or company in Google, your LinkedIn profile will likely appear within the first few results. That hit could be the key to your relationship going forward so it needs to be on point, up to date and relevant.  You only have a few seconds to make that initial first impression.  In an ideal world, your online brand should mirror you in real life so that people buy into that know, like and trust factor – they shouldn’t be surprised when they meet the real you!

My top three tips to give you the X-Factor are:

  1. Invest in a professional profile headshot. Statistics show that LinkedIn members with a profile photo receive far more engagement, in fact 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests. By investing in a professional headshot, you are telling the world that you mean business.
  2. Invest in a branded cover photo. Think of it as your prime advertising space on LinkedIn. Your cover photo is your opportunity to showcase your personality and warm up your audience. Like any professional graphic, make sure it uses consistent colours, fonts and elements for great branding and has a totally professional look and feel.
  3. Invest some time on your headline. If you get your headline right (along with your profile photo), you can increase your chances of getting clients by 200 per cent.

We live in a time poor society and you need to have the X-Factor to stand out on LinkedIn and encourage others to click to ‘show more’.

Ask yourself the following two questions:

  • Is your headline memorable? You need to make people want to connect with you because you’re the one they want to help them solve their pain point. Is it compelling enough to make people want to click more?
  • What do people know you for? Can people gain an accurate understanding of what you do from your LinkedIn headshot, cover photo and headline?

If you want to learn more about how you can fully optimise your profile, raise your visibility and personal brand on LinkedIn please check out my new course ‘LinkedIn Profile Success’.

If you are interested in LinkedIn Profile Success, WeAreTheCity have an exclusive 10 per cent off, using the code: 10OFFLPS

Jennifer Corcoran My Super Connector headshotAbout the author

Jennifer Corcoran is the founder and CEO of My Super Connector, an award-winning social media consultancy.  In a nutshell, she helps ambitious professionals and entrepreneurs to polish up their LinkedIn profiles and connect with finesse in order to achieve both career and business success. 

Website: https://www.mysuperconnector.co.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifercorcoran1/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mysuperconnector/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/superconnector

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mysuperconnector/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/superconnector/

My Super Connector Logo


Social-Media-Masterclass

The social media renaissance – what part do we have to play?

Social-Media-Masterclass

Anyone who has watched The Great Hack on Netflix (and if you haven't, I highly recommend that you do) would be forgiven for claiming that the age of social media is dead whilst frantically deleting apps and social media accounts from their phones.

Whilst the reputation of social media has taken an utter hammering in the press recently with headlines focusing on the mental health implications, the negative impact of influencers and the examination of how social media is having an impact on political democracy (wow this got deep fast I hear you say), we need to question what that means for those of us who use social media to promote our businesses and ourselves online.

Is this the end of Social Media?

In a nutshell, no. Social Media is fighting a battle where we as users no longer trust it.  The You Gov-Cambridge Globalism Project recently found that 83 per cent of Brits have little or no trust in platforms like Facebook and Twitter. We question how our data was being used, and after a number of global outages affecting Facebook and their other services, such as Whatsapp and Instagram, we’ve been made aware of how big the Facebook monopoly is.  However, to abandon Facebook now would also mean leaving Instagram and Whatsapp which is how the vast majority of people communicate.

Social media and our mental health

Social media platforms are becoming more aware of our mental health and there have been many reports which outline its negative effects.  In my opinion this is something they have needed to acknowledge for a long time. It started last August with the roll out of the activity dashboard to help users track time spent on the platform (have a look if you haven’t already, it is truly petrifying!) and the statement that Facebook wants people's time on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring.

Instagram recently have been rolling out a new feature that hides likes from followers on posts and has also brought in Automated Comment Warnings to try and make people think twice before posting hateful and hurtful comments on posts.

Being digitally genuine

With the social media outlets doing what they can to change user experience, how can we as users change to positively impact those we connect with personally and professionally. The main thing to focus on is transparency, people are conscious of who they are interacting with, they want to see real people doing real positive things in their communities, and consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that uses human communication.

This renaissance that social media is going through is an opportunity for us to stop using social media for doorstep selling, step out from behind that corporate logo and show the people who and what makes your business great.  Embrace Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Snapchat and start demonstrating how your business protects the environment, cut down on plastic, support a charity event, volunteer, raise money, be brilliant, honest and open people and change the world (and your social media platforms!)

Welcome to the community

Facebook was always set up to create and connect people with their communities, in fact, I remember when you needed a university email address to sign up for Facebook and that is what they are wanting to bring it back to - online communities.

Facebook has said that they want 1 billion people in groups by 2020 and they are promoting groups based on passions to its users.  This is a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people that need your products and services.  Groups should be a democracy with multiple admins and moderators and is not a one-way platform for selling, but a way to increase awareness and loyalty around a subject your clients/ friends are passionate about.

Social Envy

We all need to stop comparing and berating ourselves, whether that is personally on social media or with the business accounts that you run.  Every single social media network and business is different, so don’t compare yourselves to your competitors and use what works for you, whether that be Reddit, Pinterest, Polyvore or LinkedIn.  Embrace what makes you different, find what platform your audience is on and focus on genuine honest and real relationships and engagement.

So social media is evolving and taking big strides to put user-wellbeing at the heart of the its ethos, hopefully this will result in a happier and more meaningful space for us all.

Sarah ComerfordAbout the author

Sarah Comerford is the Client Services Director and Purple Creative Studio, a digital agency on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales. She recently won Mentor of the Year in the Women in Tech Series awards.


linkedin-logo-featured

Getting Started: 10 Networking Tips For Newbies On LinkedIn

linkedin-logo-featured

LinkedIn is on a mission to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”, and 300 million users can’t be wrong. Don’t have an account? Don’t panic. Become one of two people creating an account every single second and network your way to professional success with these top 10 tips:

1. Put your best profile forward

Before you even think about sending invitations to connect, ensure your profile portrays you in the best possible light. Complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities, so whether it’s employment or customers you seek, polishing your profile is a worthwhile investment. And it should go without saying – no selfies! Keep your profile pic classy, lose the sunglasses, and smile like you mean it.

2. Get optimised

Optimising your profile using keywords relevant to your job title, industry and experience ensures you appear in searches and increases your chance of attracting new connections, but don’t go overboard; more keywords aren’t always better.

3. Search party

Use LinkedIn’s search function to find and add people with which you’ve had professional contact. As Ariella Coombs of CAREEREALISM points out, “Always, always, ALWAYS include a personalised message! People want to know who you are and why you’re reaching out to them before they hit the “Accept” button. To increase your chances of getting accepted, include a brief message stating who you are, how you found them, and why you’re reaching out”.

4. Maintain connections

LinkedIn Contacts is a feature allowing you to bring together your address books, emails and calendars in one central location. It alerts you to job changes and birthdays: the perfect excuse to reach out and send some salutations!

5. Pay it forward

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to endorse your connections’ skills. Take a few minutes each time you log in to add endorsements and boost your contacts’ credibility, which will encourage them to return the favour. Similarly with LinkedIn recommendations, making the effort to write detailed, authentic testimonials for your connections will prompt them to do the same for you.

6. Get introduced

Stumbled upon a friend’s connection that you think you should strike up a mutually beneficial relationship with? Request an introduction using the Get Introduced feature, located in the drop down button on their profile header.

7. Back to school

LinkedIn’s University Pages allow you to connect with professional alumni that you may have collaborated with on uni projects and keep up to date with what old friends are doing now they’re all grown up.

8. Become a groupie

If you’re a seasoned user, chances are you’ve joined some LinkedIn Groups. They are a great way to network with likeminded folk whom you can invite to connect after initiating conversation. Resist the temptation to send invites willy-nilly. We recommend becoming an active and regular group contributor first through posting and interacting with users.

9. Start a conversation

Creating a status update is a simple and effective way to position yourself as an industry expert, promote a product feature, announce company news, and weigh in on newsworthy topics. If someone in your network appreciates your update and shares it with their following, you might pique the interest of a soon to be made connection.

10. Play the nice guy (or girl)

Step outside the mindset of monetising every relationship. If you see a job that’s perfect for one of your contacts, email it to them. You could even attend a launch event or fundraiser occasionally (yes, you’ll need to get off the couch for this one), but your efforts will be appreciated and remembered next time you decide to host an event or create a fundraising campaign.

 Author Bio

Kristy is a career advice blogger at blog.opencolleges.edu.au advising you on everything from networking tips to career hacks and student tips. For more tips on finding a job, interview tips and networking check out our recent interview with the best career advice bloggers in 2014.


Social-Media-Masterclass

Using Social Media Networking in Job Searching

Nowadays social media is becoming a key element to one’s job search campaign.Making sure that you are making use of social media effectively to harness it’s potential and benefit to you can really help you move forwards in your job search. There are a few key things to be aware of and to keep track of though for you to make it really work for you. Here are 5 ways to help you with your job seeking and your networking online:

1)    Think about which social media channels are best for you

There’s LinkedIn, twitter and facebook. There are many more but these are the main ones. Think about what you are looking to achieve from your social media channels and focus on the ones that will be most relevant to you.

2)  Seek people out

As open and accessible as social media is, possible new bosses aren’t going to come running to you as soon as you announce you’re looking for a job. You’ll have to seek them out, because it’s unlikely that they’ll actively seek you out. Twitter has an array of applications that can help you find potential employers and useful contacts. Directories like Twellow aid users in seeking out people in particular fields; keyword trackers such as Monitter highlight who’s using terms specific to your industry; and you can use apps like Twitscoop to track trends and events related to the type of work you’re interested in. On both Facebook and LinkedIn you can join groups discussing your targeted career areas, with the latter additionally possessing a Q&A function where you ask and answer the questions that will draw you into a network of potentially useful contacts. For a more comprehensive set of tips on how to harness LinkedIn for your job search read this eBook: 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips.

As important as it is to showcase both interest in and knowledge of your chosen industry, it’s just as important to show that you’re eager to learn and to build up your skills.

3)  Manage Your Online Reputation

Bear in mind that your employers can see your status updates so when you decide to do anything – keep that in mind and make sure your complete online reputation is coordinated well and that your profiles represent you in a professional manner. The photos, videos and groups you get involved in will be accessible to your wider audience and also when people google for your name so make sure you don’t forget this and that you leave a positive impression in all the activities you get involved in.

3)  Start networking with key contacts

Communicating with potentially useful contacts is about more than just asking them if know of any job vacancies.  It’s vital to spend time building up an online relationship with the relevant players so that even if they can’t immediately think of anything that would suit you, they’ll remember you if something comes up further along the line. By all means speak with people about your job hunt, skills set and ideal industry; just be sure not to make it all about you. What defines a relationship, both offline and online, is that it works both ways. Respond to your contacts’ online requests for help and contribute to the discussions started by them. Not only does it show that you’re willing to give as well as take, but it also demonstrates your expert knowledge of their particular industry or field.

4)    Be curious and open to learning

As important as it is to showcase both interest in and knowledge of your chosen industry, it’s just as important to show that you’re eager to learn and to build up your skills. Ask industry players for advice on your job search, use group discussions to get clear on things you’re unsure of, and read others’ conversations and discussions. You can also use social media to build up your experience and skill set offline. Even if a contact doesn’t know of any paid positions for you, you can press them for information on volunteering or work experience opportunities. If you’re actually aiming to gain some voluntary work experience before  finding a paid job, connect with the voluntary sector experts who can sort you out with opportunities suited to your desired career path.

5)   Don’t limit yourself

Social media is a useful job search tool, but it shouldn’t be your only job search tool. Combine it with both offline and other online strategies like looking at relevant organisations’ websites, going to industry events and making use of your existing contacts.

Save


Social-media-featured

How to use social media | The 'must-have' tool in your job hunt

Social media

Finding a job takes a significant proportion of candidates’ time and energy but utilising social media networks is a good way to significantly reduce that admin time.

Sit back and let your admirers come to you with armfuls of interviews and opportunities instead.

According to recent research, over 80 per cent of the adult population regularly use social media. Topping the list of the most widely used are Facebook, YouTube and Facebook Messenger.

Furthermore, a staggering 61 per cent of adults in the UK are logging on regularly to WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. So how can candidates maximise the momentum of social media in the search for their next role? Here are our top ten tips:

Be selective

Social media is your window into a company’s world. Make a list of the top 20 employers you would like to work with and follow them. You will gain valuable insights into what matters most to those companies, the morsels they share could prove to be valuable assets in a future interview scenario.

Tidy up your timeline

While social media may allow you to see the news potential employers are willing to share, your own timeline offers job seekers a similar opportunity. Regularly set time aside to remove any posts that may not appeal to a future employer. That picture taken late on Saturday after a big night out might not offer the best first impression.

Status updates 

On LinkedIn, candidates can update their status to say they are looking for work. Make this known across all of your social networks in addition to the professional platforms. Friends may know of job opportunities in the companies they work for too and be happy to share details or recommend you.

Follow future employers and share

If you like a company and you think you would enjoy working or engaging with them, follow the organisation, share posts and re-tweet to help increase their visibility. They will notice, appreciate your attention and may make a direct connection with you as a result.

Nurture your networks 

Friends and family can help you too. Social media is a great way to search for new roles but utilise your smaller private groups as well. Who knows; perhaps an old friend who you have on Snapchat could hold the key to unlocking your next career move?

Set time aside to manage your social media networks

Most of us are on more than one social media network, make sure you are investing enough time in each platform. Ensure the posts you share give a good impression of who you are and how much you have to offer to future employers or recruiters.

Keep some networks for personal use only 

Personal space is important too, while our work life balance may be becoming more significantly more blurred, it’s okay to maintain your privacy. Perhaps keep Snapchat or Facebook private as your preferred friends-only forum.

Create your own content

For more work focused platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to an extent, you can share content and build your own brand. Post articles and share projects with others who follow you. Make sure these are relevant to your job search or represent a subject or cause that you have a genuine passion for. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.

Find networking events 

Facebook and LinkedIn both have event platforms, utilise these to support your job search. Find interesting events in the sectors you want to work in and register to attend. Who knows it could be the ticket to your next role!

Join the conversation

Make comments on posts that matter to you and your job search. Join the conversation, this shows future employers and recruiters that you are a competent communicator across a wide range of social media platforms.

Kate Allen, Managing Director of Allen AssociatesAbout the author

Kate Allen is the MD of Allen Associates, one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment agencies, that specialises in Marketing, Finance, PA/Admin and HR roles. In 2018, Allen Associates launched their first London office, specialising in Marketing, HR and PA/Admin roles.


ransgender-woman-holding-mobile-phone-featured

The relationship between technology and culture

 

 transgender woman holding mobile phone

The well-known and overused phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” should probably be updated to read “Technology eats culture for breakfast”.

Having said that, it’s fair to say that technology and culture are two equal forces that greatly influence one another. As new technology is introduced into a society, the culture reacts in a positive and negative way.

And, as cultures change so does the technology they develop. In the past decade we’ve experienced an unprecedented amount of technological development and adoption that has changed the way we live forever.

Consequently, this has created a number of societal tensions:

  • Liberated voices or uncensored noise?
  • Connected or lonely?
  • Resourcefulness or inherent laziness?
  • Anytime, anywhere or no off-switch?

Liberated voices or uncensored noise?

The birth of social media combined with the explosive and rapid adoption of affordable smartphones has given everyone a voice. In a world where they know no different, this has given millennials the ability to quickly share their point of view with a huge audience, challenge authority and hierarchy, and if listened to, create better outcomes as a result. This, sometimes uncensored and spur-of-the-moment content, can be construed as noise. However, the other skills adopted by millennials is their ability to absorb great volumes of information and filter it to their needs. These relatively untaught and seemingly inane skills have given a less well educated subset of this age group a way to make money; blogging, vlogging etc. Older generations looked on with interest for some time, but slowly began to adopt social media as they learn about the benefits for themselves; mainly keeping connected with friends and family and as an outlet to complain! The downside of all this noise stems from a generational divide - Millennials are resilient to unresponsiveness, so much so, that things like Snapchat and Instagram stories, which have a temporary existence, have been invented. However, gen-Xer’s and baby boomers expect responses. In some instances, this has left brands exposed from a customer service perspective, rapidly trying to keep up with a stream of unsolicited feedback.

Connected or lonely?

Many claim that due to technology, the world is shrinking with more of us “connected” than ever before, which is true. And for the many of us that have moved away from their native home, Facebook can be a great way to keep abreast of what’s going on in your circle of friends and family. However, I’d argue that volume doesn’t mean quality - Millennials often don’t actually speak at all. Whilst we can do business quicker and claim that we are “popular”, as indicated by the number of virtual connections we have, it doesn’t mean that we have deep and meaningful relationships. In fact, loneliness is at an all time high in the UK with over 10 million people impacted. This has become such a big problem that Theresa May has appointed a minister for loneliness to deal with what she called “the sad reality of modern life”. This is a sad fact given we’re supposedly living in an increasingly connected world.

Resourcefulness or inherent laziness?

Since the birth of the internet and then subsequently, search engines like Google, we have the answer to everything at our fingertips - literally. It makes research projects, assignments and dissertations so much easier. But has the ability to Google everything made us more efficient or just down right lazy? Now, I’ve never been a great map reader, so having Google maps has revolutionised my life. However, I have noticed I’m much less planful as a result. No longer do I print off the directions from the AA website for a long trip or investigate what a city has to offer by purchasing the “pop up” map six weeks before. I wing it. And, pray to God that there’ll be an internet connection. If not, I’m stuffed and realise that the map reading lesson I skived at school could have been helpful after all.

Anytime, anywhere or no off-switch?

The fact we now have a mini computer in the palm of our hands, which would have been the size of a small house less than 45 years ago, means we can do anything (practically) anytime and anywhere. We’re more efficient, quicker to get things done, speedier at decision making and can squeeze mundane tasks into the odd spare few minutes. But this always on culture means we rarely switch off. Constantly emailing, posting, sharing, gaming, shopping… whatever your online fancy, I guarantee you’re addicted to at least one. Even on the increasingly rare occasions that people are together, most are watching through a lens to post on social media. What happened to being present and simply enjoying the moment? Millennials are now recognising that life experiences are vitally important. Combine this with data leaks and the fact that social is being blamed for supporting terrorism and sexual abuse, could this bring the need for regulation and the entire thing will go full circle?

So in summary. Technology can catalyse a cultural change, but equally culture determines how technology is adopted and developed. Both powerful forces, so maybe the quote should read “Culture and technology eats strategy for breakfast”.

About the author

Jenny Burns is CEO at KBS Albion, a business transformation partner specialising in product and service innovation.

She previously held a senior role at Just where she worked alongside Albion to transform the business from a successful product provider to a service brand with a strong social purpose at its core.

Prior to Just, Jenny worked at RSA for almost five years. During her time there, she transformed how people worked by leading the move from an old-fashioned office space to the Walkie Talkie building and spearheaded the cultural change required to maximise a £40m investment in new technology, which improved the productivity of almost 25,000 employees by bringing them together under one virtual roof.


WeAreTechWomen and Made In Tech event: Unlock the power of social media | In pictures

WeAreTechWomen recently partnered with Made In Tech to hold an event called Unlock the power of social media.

Made in Tech - Unlock social media event - WeAreTechnology IT Event(2)The event, on social media, was kindly hosted by Capco in East London and was supported by HostMedia.

Given the rise in the number of social media platforms, you might think it necessary to market your business everywhere. All social media platforms have a different purpose and audience.

In this meetup, speakers shared their expertise on how to use social media and discover the key to driving word-of-mouth marketing and brand awareness. When it comes to running a startup, spreading your brand awareness should be your primary goal.

Made In Tech is a non-profit community committed to creating and supporting ALL diversity within tech startup ecosystem. We meet every other month in Central London with high-profile speakers to support our cause and inspire Tech founders.

Speakers at the event included Christina Richardson, Co-Founder at Openr and Laurie Wang, Digital Marketing Strategist.

Richardson said when she started her business she “only had the power of word of mouth marketing.”

She advised those considering launching a startup: “You are only confined by the walls you build yourself” and to “build a tribe”.

According to Richardson social media is important to a startup as “target audience is the hardest thing to build.”

She advised: “Things will always go wrong. It’s your reaction that defines you.”

Wang said that it important to keep you company’s social media channel’s up to date: “People can create negative perceptions of your business if things haven’t been updated for several days.”

“You should have two to three social media accounts, to start with, and think of your target audience. Where do they hang out? What’s their age? Do they prefer visual content or articles?”

Wang advised: “Partner with influencers and share the social media coverage.” She noted that this could be an influencer, with a large following, who could upload a video using your product.


WeAreTheCity and Made In Tech event: Unlock the power of social media | In pictures

WeAreTheCity recently partnered with Made In Tech to hold an event called Unlock the power of social media.

The event, on social media, was kindly hosted by Capco in East London and was supported by HostMedia.

Given the rise in the number of social media platforms, you might think it necessary to market your business everywhere. All social media platforms have a different purpose and audience.Made in Tech - Unlock social media event - WeAreTechnology IT Event(2)

In this meetup, speakers shared their expertise on how to use social media and discover the key to driving word-of-mouth marketing and brand awareness. When it comes to running a startup, spreading your brand awareness should be your primary goal.

Made In Tech is a non-profit community committed to creating and supporting ALL diversity within tech startup ecosystem. We meet every other month in Central London with high-profile speakers to support our cause and inspire Tech founders.

Speakers at the event included Christina Richardson, Co-Founder at Openr and Laurie Wang, Digital Marketing Strategist.

Richardson said when she started her business she “only had the power of word of mouth marketing.”

She advised those considering launching a startup: “You are only confined by the walls you build yourself” and to “build a tribe”.

According to Richardson social media is important to a startup as “target audience is the hardest thing to build.”

She advised: “Things will always go wrong. It’s your reaction that defines you.”

Wang said that it important to keep you company’s social media channel’s up to date: “People can create negative perceptions of your business if things haven’t been updated for several days.”

“You should have two to three social media accounts, to start with, and think of your target audience. Where do they hang out? What’s their age? Do they prefer visual content or articles?”

Wang advised: “Partner with influencers and share the social media coverage.” She noted that this could be an influencer, with a large following, who could upload a video using your product.