The “Tethered” Generation Thinks Mobile-First…and So Should You.

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As the world watches social media grow into an all-inclusive entity, and the web shift from desktop to mobile, it’s hard not to take a step back and think just how incredibly far we’ve come. That is, unless you are among the youngest generation of new or soon-to-be young professionals who have grown up in an era where social and mobile have been ingrained directly into their everyday lives. This generation, known as the “Tethered Generation” is the future (and the present) of both producers and consumers, and are certainly no strangers to having their mobile device handy at just about all times.

While the younger generation is certainly not alone in their use of social media, the 62% of adults that access social media pales in comparison to the 98% of 18-24 year olds that do so monthly, and with almost 40% of them accessing social media primarily through their mobile devices, it serves businesses well to cater their marketing efforts towards providing an experience that appeals to them. So how exactly can we do that?

Optimize Everything!

I’ve written about this before, and I’ll write about it again, everything you produce should have a mobile optimized version available. Emails, company websites, ads, landing pages, no matter what the digital medium there should be an option to view a mobile version. And don’t just optimize for size, optimize for content! Mobile users in general, and especially mobile users that do not have a long history of sifting through bulky desktop sites, are looking for streamlined experiences and if they click a link that takes them to a desktop site that they need to pinch and scroll or a mobile site that makes them read through tons of unnecessary content, they will look elsewhere quickly.

This is especially crucial in terms of Social Media. With major social sites constantly tweaking their mobile offerings to produce better experiences, the number of users that are coming from mobile only will continue to grow. Make sure any deals or contests you run through Facebook are accessible through mobile, and likewise for things like ads and offers on your other social channels, make sure to build complimentary mobile landing pages that users will be driven to.

Entertain, Don’t Just Inform

Social media is becoming a medium that is not only about connecting people, it is also about things like letting people search and giving them their news. This presents a great opportunity to keep your audience informed, however studies show that the Tethered Generation are generally looking to be entertained as well.

Tweets, Facebook posts, whatever the medium, the 18-24 demographic will be far more likely to access and share a link if it provides rich content or gives them some sort of engaging media. Pure news stories, blog articles, or straight forward advertisements will still play a major part in helping you connect with your audience, but if you want to keep a less attentive younger consumer interested, make sure to inject some life into your offerings.

Tethered Means More Sharing

Now that you have created exciting, mobile-optimized content, bring it full-circle by giving your users the chance to share it. Mobile users in the 18-24 year old range are far more likely to share content than they are to consume it, so make sure to include share buttons on any offer or article you post.

Allowing your users to share makes them an extension of your marketing team. While someone with years of experience doing research and creating detailed resources will be prone to consume info and use it for their own purposes, a reader that has grown up in a world where everyone is connected in a sort of extended online reality will be more apt to act as a resource for others in order to gain a larger following.

While I may have spouted an age group throughout this piece, the truth is we are all slowly becoming tethered. Being intertwined through all of our channels is gradually becoming a simple fact of business and for that matter, life. Sure the process is second nature to those among us that have grown up in it, but as mobile and social continue to grow, the tethers connecting us all will only get stronger.

Alex Kutsishin
This monthly "Social Media and Mobile" column is contributed by Alex Kutsishin. Alex is the president and co-founder of FiddleFly, Inc. He is an entrepreneur with a background in creative marketing and web design. When Alex is not helping the world go mobile with FiddleFly, he spends his time traveling the country speaking about social media, marketing, and the future of the web. +Alex Kutsishin
Alex Kutsishin

@AlexKutsishin

Pot Stirrer at FiddleFly Inc. Now tweeting from @fiddlefly. To contact me directly, email alexk@fiddlefly.com or call 410-309-7429.
Hey folks, from here on I'll be tweeting directly from @FiddleFly so make sure to follow and feel free to get in touch! - 1 year ago
Alex Kutsishin
SMCOE

Comments

  1. says

    I love that phrase – the tethered generation.  My eldest is 13 and gets very emotional if you try to take his ipod off him for silly little things like meals.  As he says, he has a social life!

    And now without the attitude – good article, particularly relevant if you’re in business and your demographic is 18-24, although this will just become more and more engrained in our everyday lives.

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