The fastest growing job sector is in social media. What comes naturally for Gen Y'ers is a challenge for us in how to effectively use the social media sites to build our brand. This group is defined as people between the ages of 18-29 years old. They grew up using Facebook on college campuses and are pros at making Tweets interesting.
Companies have taken notice of the innate skills the Gen Y's bring to the table and are hiring this group to help them make an impact in this space. The Gen Y's are changing the status quo as they look at problems, challenge assumptions and help innovate to find the best answer. They are purpose-driven, social and tech savvy.
Since 2009, Brill Street has been ranking the top employers for Gen Y emerging talent. They have ranked the their Top 50 companies that embrace this group where companies are evaluated on professional development, opportunities, benefits, environment, company reputation and culture, perks offered and the enthusiasm of the company leadership and Gen Y employees.
Zócalo Group, a word of mouth, digital and social media agency ranked #2 in Brill Street’s Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in Chicago. They help clients become the most talked about, recommended and chosen brands in their category via an integrated approach to brand advocacy and recommendation. In other words, they "rock" a brand and create a buzz that leads to sales.
Andrea Wood, EVP of Operations for Zócalo, spoke to me about this company with the enthusiasm of a Gen Y, even though she is not. She says the power of recommendation is what drives a brand. The power of great referrals is the biggest influencer of a brand that can have to raise awareness and to turn a potential observer into a buyer.
Zócalo is part of the Omnicom network which owns premier advertising firms like DDM and public relation firms such as Ketchum. Their clients include many name brands including Nissan, Subway and Frito Lay. With companies like this as clients they are making a major impact in the social media space.
Ms. Wood contends that the Gen Y employees are "inherent in how they communicate with social media." She realizes that they have a lot to learn from these folks. They recruit future talent by hiring many of their paid interns and from employed referrals.
Zócalo recognizes that seasoned marketing and sales people are needed to work with these Gen Y's to offer a comprehensive campaign for their clients. There is room for Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers as they all learn how to maximize this social media trend which is becoming a "must" in building a brand.