Insider Exclusive: What Baby Boomers Want Millennials to Know About Social Media

Insider Exclusive: What Baby Boomers Want Millennials to Know About Social Media

By Vincent Ivan Phipps

Millennials are at the apex of the social media movement. A baby boomer may argue: Who needs social media? A Gen Xer may argue that social media has its place, but cannot replace the personal touch. For millennials, social media has always been a part of their world, and they see it as an important tool for their professional future.

Boomers, remember when your parents did not even own a car, and yet you cannot imagine life without one? Gen Xers, remember when your household had only one phone, but now every person you know has his or her own personal phone? It is the same way for millennials. They view Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram as the same necessary tools.

My office conducted a generational communication survey. With 100 participants, we had an almost perfect disparity of having approximately 33 percent of each generation being represented. Ninety-one percent of baby boomers said if social media existed during their teens and twenties, they would have used it. Of those boomers involved in the survey, 79 percent said they were currently active on at least two different social media platforms. Those same boomers had strong feelings about what they are seeing on the social media sites of today’s millennials. If you are a millennial, consider the following advice from Gen Xers and boomers about using social media for professional purposes:

  • Stop posting selfies for your professional pictures.
  • Stop making negative comments about others.
  • Stop posting pictures with negative images.
  • Stop posting personal content on LinkedIn.
  • Start dressing professionally for your pictures.
  • Start smiling.
  • Start sharing positive posts.
  • Start sharing professional content on LinkedIn.

Whether you are a boomer, Gen Xer, or a millennial, you have an opportunity to be a mentor as well as be mentored by those with more experience. Embrace opportunities to learn from one another and understand how social media is viewed by different generations.

Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP, is the owner and Chief Energy Officer of Communication VIP Training and Coaching. He was a speaker at the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace in Cleveland this past January.

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The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
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