Bridging the digital divide

One of the most interesting aspects of the new digital age is how it has divided Baby Boomers from Millennials within organizations. Here’s what I see happen – is this true in your organization?

A senior leader, often a Baby Boomer, is driving the strategy of an organization (a business entity or a nonprofit). This person – or team – creates a mission and strategy and wants the organization to execute on the vision.  S/he (or they) drives results and understands how strategy drives goals and activity.

However, this person – or team  – doesn’t quite understand social media or content marketing. S/he may know that it’s important that social media is being generated – either through a vendor or someone/team they’ve hired internally. This resource is typically a Millennial (or a team of them), tasked with “doing social media” for the organization.

But there’s a disconnect.

The senior leaders don’t share their vision – or enough resources – with the social and/or content team, because they have don’t know what this team is really doing. Or why they’re doing it.

The social media and content marketing teams are very busy – generating likes, shares, and other metrics. But they’re not aware of the business goals of the organization, so they haven’t aligned their activities with those goals.

Often, neither sees the gap.

If they do, neither of them knows how to fix it.

What often works is creating a bridge between these two teams. I’ve done this – helping each person (or team) to understand the other. Once senior managers understand the basics of social media and content marketing, they can ask good questions, get the answers they need, and even provide funding, to ensure that their social media and content teams are “on task” and “on message” with the rest of the organization.

Once the social media and content marketing team understands how their activities all ladder up to bigger business/organizational goals – revenues, growth, retention, etc. – they can start to map out what they do to help drive these goals. They can ensure that their channels and campaigns have specific metrics, showing how their activities help to achieve the organization’s strategy.

Perhaps my success stems from being a Baby Boomer, myself. I understand their fear of technology and what’s confusing them. With the Millennials, I speak their digital language and they thrive with the added strategic insights.

The results can be amazing. What can you do, to bridge the digital divide?