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Knowledge is Power!

Remember years ago when companies would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting information about their demographics? Well, if the demographics you're targeting happens to include the Gen-Y group (those born between 1980 and 1995) - you're in luck! Why? Because they've pretty much grown up with the Internet and have been participating in the growth of the Internet their entire lives. So, what they do, what they like, who they know, etc. is all recorded, on the Internet.

Social Media is one of those recordings!

Dan Schawbel put together a great list of The Top 10 Social Networks for Generation Y. And in reading his article, this list reveals something about Gen-Y. See if you can figure it out.

1) Brazen Careerist
A site where young professionals can post blogs. It's filled with great advice, articles and just packed with information about companies and careers. It is THE place to be if you're trying to carve out a niche for yourself in this world.

2) 20 Somethings on Ning
Another site where the Geny-Y group can post their blogs but these seem more social and artistic. It's basically a free for all - on online cocktail party if you will!

3) My.Barack Obama
As the article states, "He (Barack Obama) was able to leverage the power of community to attract Gen-Y’ers, who had yet to fill out a ballot, to encourage them to vote and donate money. Aside from his existence on Twitter and Facebook, this website allows you to really get involved and become part of history."

4) my Yearbook
This is the 14th largest website in the nation and why? Because the demographics of Gen-Y are 80 million strong and THIS website speaks right to them. It has everything any Geny-Y would love. It's basically all the great things about highschool rolled up into 1 website! Hopefully, none of the bad stuff from highschool!

5) The Quad
Much like My Yearbook targets the high school crowd, The Quad targets the college crowd. This great website gives it's members the ability to network not only within their own college, but other colleges as well. Getting the most out of college!

6) Cool People Care
As the website itself states, " exists to show you how to change the world in whatever time you have. One minute? Five minutes? An entire day? Whatever you have, we'll help you spend it wisely." What a great concept!

7) Unigo
This website acts as a bridge for high school students getting ready to enter college. It bills itself "By Students For Students" and the idea is simple. Ease the tensions that come up when you first arrive to campus. Meet students already there, review the classes, get the scoop on the professors and take a photo tour! Another great idea.

8) Make Me Sustainable
This website can be used by individuals and businesses alike. Basically, the idea is that it allows you to "track your energy consumption and environmental impact." The website and it's members can share tools to improve the environment, the economic status we're all in, etc. Hmm - it could easily be called "Make Me Responsible"

9) iMantri
Now this is a great site! Remember all those stupid mistakes you made in your life? Ever wish you had a "wise one" in your corner helping you through tough decisions? Well, you can search for a mentor at iMantri! You can "hand select a mentor" - imagine - being able to have someone "helping" you through your life decisions! And for those of us way PAST the Geny-Y group, what a great way to contribute back!

10) FD Career
This Gen-Y website is great for those in that demographics looking at career paths. As the article states, "You can research company profiles, ask questions about interviewing tips and do “quests” that can help you grow towards your career goals." The website does this in a game format (perfect for this group who grew up on video games, tv and Internet). It's basically "interactive learning".

So, have you guessed what "pattern" we're seeing here? Well, at least the pattern that I'm seeing here?

Actually, there are 2 patterns.

One - the Gen-Y group is very much involved in the ways of the world. They're politically and socially conscious and they are aiming at the mindset of taking responsibility for their actions. (What a concept! - Why that ever went away I'll never know.)

Two - the main pattern here is TALK! This group, 80 million of them, LOVE to communicate. In the 60's we would walk out of our houses, visit our friends, play in yards and sidewalks and playgrounds. That was our socialization. That's how we communicated. But today, the same thing is happening, only this time it's not necessarily with people just on our block or in our school or workplace. It's truly global.

If you're target audience includes the Gen-Y group, consider joining and becoming a part of some or all of these social media outlets. You'll get all the information you need for your next marketing campaign and it won't cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars!

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