August 2016

Surfing the future

What does Generation Next do on social media? In a heads up for industry, TCS' new study finds that it is more serious business and less social surfing, as European youth use it to find new jobs, upskill themselves, and promote entrepreneurship

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently concluded their largest-ever survey of 5,000 young Europeans aged 18-29. The report – ‘Social Media is serious business: A view from European youth’ reflects the thoughts and opinions of a segment of society that industry is beginning to recognise as a new breed of consumers, employees and stakeholders. TCS calls this group Generation Direct.

If industry wishes to embrace Generation Direct, then social media is the best way to do it. Because 93 percent of young Europeans are on Facebook and 36 percent on LinkedIn.

Here are some more compelling findings from the report:

  • Young people reach out to their online peer network through a digital ‘word-of-mouth’ campaign. Generation Direct is successfully using social media to circumnavigate traditional employment processes and access work opportunities directly.
  • Social media functions as an important enabler for young entrepreneurs. It gives them the freedom to circumvent traditional banks and receive funding straight from investors.
  • Video channels are enabling self-driven learning, which goes counter to the traditional system of teacher-driven learning. Along with accessing open online courses, youngsters use social media to tune in to private tutorials.
  • Young employees see social media as a useful and collaborative tool in the workplace. By taking ownership of the way social media is managed in the workplace, businesses can keep employees productive and satisfied in equal measure.
  • Youth in different countries use social media in different ways. Southern and Eastern countries were predominantly more active in embracing the benefits of social media, compared with a more conservative approach in the North – a clear geographical divide.
  • Corporate marketing departments have already climbed aboard social media platforms; it’s now time for the rest of the corporate world to sit up and take notes.

#GenerationDirect - Download the full report: