3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2012 11:09 AM by AmandaS

    Are those under 25 better suited to social media management?


      Many of you may have seen the chatter recently over blogger Cathryn Sloane's assertion that all social media managers should be under 25.  Since most of the people I meet at conferences and social media events are over 25, I thought this might be an interesting discussion to post here.


      Ms. Sloane asserts that:


      The key is that we learned to use social media socially before professionally, rather than vice versa or simultaneously. After all, it is called social media; the seemingly obvious importance of incorporating comforting social aspects into professional usage seems to go over several companies’ heads. To many people in the generations above us, Facebook and Twitter are just the latest ways of getting messages out there to the public, that also happen to be the best.


      How much should a business care that someone started tweeting at 17 vs. 35?  Does knowing how to use a tool necessarily mean someone will understand why a tool should be used in the context of brand management or B to C relationships?  Can businesses necessariy ever "live" Twitter the way an invidual can such that they don't see it as a "tool".




        • Re: Are those under 25 better suited to social media management?

          I think this is interesting, especially given this article. I've noticed that the Z-gen (or whatever we're calling <25) on average picks up a majority of the social tools much quicker, but I'm not sure I would hire a high school grad to manage my social strategy. There's still something to be said for experience and maturity, and I think it especially plays a large role in a PR/brand representative role. While there is something to be said for quicker adoption and use of a tool, you can still "teach an old dog new tricks", and things like twitter and facebook are pretty easy to understand.


          A heavy hands internship or guidance program could be an effective and cheap way to take advantage of a teenager's ability to move quickly with these tools, but I don't think just presenting a 17 year old with company accounts for twitter/facebook is worth the risk of branding mishap or potential backlash. I think it's a balancing act, with risk and cost effectiveness on opposing ends.