The Importance of Social Media and Engaging Youth

Social media has become a force to be reckoned with and can make the difference between a company/organization being known, being unknown, or being known as irrelevant. The term irrelevant is used to explain when a person, thing, place, idea, or trend has lost its influence, or never had any.

Talk to most people and it becomes obvious that our youth know social media the best. They also happen to be a very difficult, yet important, group to reach. Social media is one of the most effective ways to get their attention because of our now evolved culture.

This new culture of youth has very different values. First of all, they value life differently. They have grown up hearing people hate their jobs. They are a generation that often values what they are doing over how much they are making in the process. They also value experiences, such as travel, over material things such as a really nice car. This has resulted in a lower average in how much they make, but has also resulted in much lower amounts of debt.

Secondly, their relationships with others is very different. They have, quite literally, a world of people at their fingertips. Through social media and shared interests on the platforms, youth often form friendships with people in very different geographical locations (sometimes even across different countries). They also see much more of what is happening in the world at a very fast rate. This often means earlier understanding of cultures and, through statistics, we realize that their generation is more likely to be “woke” than other generations. The term “woke” means that they are more aware about many social, economic, political, and other similar issues.

All of the above information is important in how we choose to depict ourselves as companies or organizations on social media. This generation will comprise our future leaders and they need to not only be taught but mentored. As great as social media is, what this generation is lacking is mentors that come alongside them and continually encourage them in their endeavors. They have many people to look up to in the growing social media realm, but continuing outside of social media is where they need real guidance. It can be overwhelming to think about how many youth there are that need mentors. But as Mother Teresa says, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”