Will the Baby Boomers Adjust to Social Media?
By Joe Sibilia
Is there a ‘digital divide’ between the millennium and baby boomer generations? Will the baby boomers admit they are falling behind? Or, are they waiting for more proof of its usefulness?
I remember moving from a huge accounts receivable ‘posting’ machine to a personal computer to track our invoices and receivables; we hired a personal computer trainer to help us. I remember introducing ‘voice mail’ to our bank; the Board said ‘nothing will replace the receptionist’. Voice mail prevailed. When was the last time you got a receptionist at the bank? I remember when we suggested the company should have a ‘web site’ and some older managers said, “what’s a web site?” When email arrived, those that couldn’t type, learned to type.
With the advent of ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ and other social media platforms, the baby boomers are facing another technological revolution. They have proven to be among most adaptable to change. But some have not embraced the technology and are wondering what’s all the fuss. “I can’t read all the emails I get as it is; how am I going to track and follow what socks some kid is wearing?” posited a large corporate CEO to me.
On the other hand, Rob Thomas of Social (k) put out news on www.csrwire.com and received contact from a very large potential client and a business publication requesting an interview. Two calls, from a press release, that resulted in an article and a new retirement plan client. He’s a baby boomer using social media.
My good friend, socially responsible business leader, author and chief protagonist of Seventh Generation charged his media maven Meghan Butler to identify ‘thought leaders’, ‘friends’, ‘business partners’ and others that may be interested in his new book – “The Responsibility Revolution – How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win”.
She cross referenced his list with Facebook and Twitter and found some incredible ‘anecdotal’ results – less than 10% of these business leaders were actively engaged. And, those that were, were having ‘staff’ handle the postings and tweets. “What’s up with that, she thought?”
Jeffrey is one of the most innovative, active, curious, serious advocates for CSR. His friends and colleagues are authentic leaders committed to the movement. He’s going to pick which platform to use, get advice, activate, engage and evaluate its effectiveness.
According to Social Media Examiner, you must be prepared to ‘tweet’ at least 20 times per day. I know a lot of executives. Just getting them on the phone for a conference call takes time.
Elsewhere, CarrotMob can fill up a bodega in an hour and donate all the proceeds to earthquake victims.
We’re watching these phenomena closely and hopefully. In our experience, innovative technology improves and advances the movement towards a more economically just and environmentally sustainable society and away from single bottom line capitalism.
What do you think?
About Joe Sibilia
As a visionary of the socially responsible business movement, Joe Sibilia is founder and CEO of Meadowbrook Lane Capital (MBLC), described by the Wall Street Journal as a “socially responsible investment bank” specializing in turning values into valuation.
He is also the CEO of CSRwire.com, the social responsibility newswire service that distributes and archives corporate social responsibility/sustainability news to journalists, analysts, investors, activists, academics, public relations and investor relations professionals worldwide.
Joe also founded the Gasoline Alley Foundation, a 501(c) 3 corporation that has incubated forty-three small businesses since 1985 and teaches inner city and/or underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs using socially responsible/sustainable business practices while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods.
Through MLBC, Joe has worked with a number of Socially Responsible Companies and has been widely recognized for his work in attempting to take Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream private, while creating a private stock exchange for CSR companies. MBLC successfully preserved many of the founders’ social initiatives, and advancing the connection between good corporate citizenship and increased share value.
His long range plan for CSRwire is to establish a “platform for innovative revenue sharing applications advancing the ‘Movement’ towards a more economically just and environmentally sustainable society and away from single bottom line capitalism.”
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