“I’ll have her pull those files out of the cloud.”
“She can do that?”
“I’m pretty sure anyone younger than me can do that.”
When I heard that line on the TV show Haven the other night, I had to laugh because it mirrors how I am beginning to feel about technology. I remember bragging to my younger sister-in-law that I had learned how to put up a MySpace page, and she told me that she and her friends had moved to Facebook. I remember finally getting good at texting on a numeric keypad, learning what IDK and IMHO meant, and then getting a phone with a real keyboard.
I had a similar experience a few weeks ago when I was asked to speak at Career Day at the local High School.
When I started working with clients to help them market on Social Media (in 2007), it was uncharted territory. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were only a few years old, and were only recently being thought of as marketing venues. There were no formal education programs. Those of us who were early adopters were learning from each other as we went – all struggling to understand how to leverage these platforms to meet the needs of our clients. And in my corner of the world, I am considered fairly savvy when it comes to Social Media.
However, going back to High School was an eye opener. These kids seem to know about every social platform—what they are good for and how to use them. They not only watch YouTube videos, they make them. And they told me they were starting to move from Facebook to Twitter to communicate with each other. The reason: their parents are now using Facebook, and are asking that their kids “friend” them. (I’m sure once the parents catch on to that and start monitoring Twitter feeds, the kids will move on to something else.)
Talking to these kids, who all seemed to have iPhones growing out of their hands, I realized that no matter how hard I try to keep up, technology (and how people use it) is going to keep advancing at breakneck speeds. All I can do as a marketer is to keep learning as much as I can to help my clients use the marketing tools that best reach their target markets – even if those markets include iPhone wielding teenagers.