As a 25 year old that has involvement in my company’s social media campaigns, I wanted to hop on the bandwagon of replies against Hollis Thomases and her article, “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media” and offer some reasons why I feel 20+ year olds should manage your social media platforms.
As I scroll through the hundreds of responses that this article garnered I notice how offended my fellow mid-20s peers are. Hollis suggests we aren’t mature enough, our friends are volatile and not to be trusted, and our communication skills rival that of a rock. I must admit that I felt slightly insulted myself. With that said, I can understand some of Hollis’ points and within my time with my company’s social media campaigns there have been a few flops and cringe-worthy posts. However, like any role, I think they’re a learning experience and I don’t think my age group should necessarily be the center of the attack. Because of this, I’d like to defend my 20 something peers and offer these suggestions to support 20+ year olds in Social Media positions.
- Social Media Comes Naturally – I am relatively fresh out of college and only have a few career years on my resume, but my experience with social media spans well over a decade (AIM name: Stargazrlw – in reference to my favorite flower, not the night sky). Every day there is a new social media platform, and while an elder Social Media Manager might fear the constant change as well as angst with constantly having to learn something new, my peers think nothing of it. To me it’s like getting another shoe store to explore, I’m pumped (pun intended).
- Our Networks are Bigger – I can almost guarantee that 20 something’s social media networks are larger than those 30+ years-old and above. Yes we do have some friends that are not quite mature, but think of the hundreds/thousands that we can wrangle in positive way. Just a couple weeks ago I posted a call to action to help a company reach their 1,000th Facebook like and within minutes they were well over 1,000. Companies should be embracing the social reach we have and set guidelines to deter inappropriate posting.
- Trend Spotting – We know what’s up. I’m willing to bet that those who are involved in social media for their business go home and use social media for their personal use. This is essentially a willingness to learn your craft 24/7. I have a tumblr/facebook/pinterest/twitter/etc. for my personal use and for business use and the minute I read about a new social media medium I explore it/test it out and bring that knowledge to work. I know what the trends are; I know where to invest my time for work because I know what platforms are currently hot and potentially successful for my company.
So yeah – I was offended by that article, I think it was stereotypical to suggest that 23 year olds are immature and ill-fit for a job in Social Media. With all of this said, the person that should fill your Social Media position is the person that is the most qualified based on the criteria set by the Company regardless of age.