The Importance of Generational Difference in the Digital World | Ben Lifton

March 08, 2024

In the midst of this current Social Media minefield, Founder of Content Kweens and Hairdressing Social Media Consultant, Ben Lifton, is a seasoned business coach with a passion for digital marketing and content creation. In this new, exclusive series, Ben’s mission is to equip hair pros with the tools, support and knowledge necessary to market oneself professionally online.

From Gen X and Millennials to the digital-savvy Gen Z, a new generation is quietly making its digital debut: Generation Alpha (those born from the early 2010s onwards.) These digital natives are set to inherit a world more technologically shaped than ever before, and they are navigating the internet in their own unique way.

Unlike their Gen Z predecessors, Gen Alpha is demonstrating a distinctive approach to online life that sets them apart. With brand marketing and online sales in mind, it’s essential to recognisethesignificanceofeach generation’s digital behaviour.

For Gen X and Baby Boomers, the
internet is a tool for connecting with their hyper-local communities, often finding comfort on platforms like Facebook event pages.

Millennials, on the other hand, grew up during the rise of the internet, striving for a curated online perfection that countered the media’s idealised narratives. Filters became their companions, offering a veneer of complete perfection.

Gen Z took a different path, embracing irony and relatability. Having grown up in a digital world, they adopted a more playful and carefree approach to the online realm.

Gen Alpha, however, is set to engage with the internet in a more private and selective manner. Their online presence will be tinged with a sense of necessity and, at times, resentment. The disruptions and sacrifices caused by online schooling and socialising during the Covid-19 pandemic have coloured their perception of the digital world.

What truly sets Gen Alpha apart is their deep inclination towards privacy. I predict that this generation will gravitate towards anonymous avatars whennavigatingtheonlineuniverse, purposefully concealing their digital footprints. This aligns with the rise of platforms like Roblox and the VTuber trend, where individuals interact through avatars rather than their real identities.

With all of this in mind, the message for hair and beauty business owners is clear: embrace your generational traits and nuances. By acknowledging and leveraging the different generational identities, salon owners, independent artists, brands and educators can effectively communicate within their own peer groups. At the end of the day, if you try to talk to everyone, you risk talking to no one…

Stop feeling obliged to hop onto trends and instead look inwards to what makes your community connect with YOU and YOUR brand. The magic lies in you as the business owner, not a trend on TikTok.

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