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Hootsuite: Move Over Millennials– What You Need to Know About Generation C

by Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite (Excerpt)

This post was originally published on Inc.

I’ll admit it. I’m guilty of using the M-word.

I’ve thought and written a lot about millennials. As the head of a social media management company, I know that they make up a big chunk of my own employees and our millions of users. And it’s clear that they bring real assets and expectations to the table, from digital savvy to a desire for collaboration and transparency.

But here’s the thing. These traits aren’t unique to millennials and never have been.

You don’t have to be born from 1980-2000 to live on your iPhone or embrace social media. And young people aren’t the only ones who seek out purpose in their career, not just a paycheck, or who want to make a difference.

I’ve come to realize that, in many ways, the concept of millennials is just too limiting.

Businesses have been encouraged to pour resources into marketing to this narrow demographic. HR teams have set their sights on recruiting millennials and catering to millennial tastes. But they’re missing the bigger picture.

I’m talking about Generation C.

Here are five key facts to know about Gen C and ways that companies can better reach and understand this key group:

1. What is Generation C?

Back in 2012, digital analyst Brian Solis defined Generation C as the “Connected Consumer.” He pointed out that anyone who integrates technology into their daily routine, regardless of age, shares certain qualities.

“It is how people embrace technology, from social networks to smartphones to intelligent appliances, that contributes to the digital lifestyle that is now synonymous with Gen C,” he wrote.

Solis wasn’t the first to talk about Gen C. As early as 2004, researchers were noting a new cross-generational cohort made up of digitally savvy folks who create and curate content, build online communities and find and consume products in distinct ways.

Depending on whom you talk to, the “C” in Gen C can refer to everything from “collaboration” to “community,” “computerized,” and “content.” At the most fundamental level, however, I like to think that Gen C stands for connectivity.[…]

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