It is a common assumption that social media is used mostly by the younger generation.  So is it a wise decision to give your social media responsibilities to those under the age of 25?  Much debate has been given to this topic – including recently from a blog post on Nextgen Journal (pro) and Fast Company (against).

But research from Online MBA shows that social media isn’t dominated by the youngest generation.

Did you know…

14% of Facebook users are 24 and younger?  But 48% of Facebook users are over the age of 45?

19% of Twitter users are 24 and younger?  But 33% of Twitter users are over the age of 45?

Still think social media is used mostly by the younger generation?

This data suggests that social media is used by a variety of generations.

So I ask you – would you put someone in charge of business development who just graduated college?  Would you put a recent college grad in charge of your sales team?

No – you wouldn’t.

So why would it make sense to put a college grad in charge of social media?  Because they grew up with it?

Using social media to talk with your friends is only part of the equation to having a successful social media presence.  Here are a few tips to evaluate who should be responsible for your social media activities:

1.  Do they understand your business?  Knowing what you do – how you do it – and how you help solve problems for your customers is key.  The point of social media is to build a relationship with your customers so they recommend you.  Think of it like a persona for your company.  It makes you seem human.  So make your persona represent your culture.

2.  How do they interact with different generations within your organization?  As noted above – almost half of Facebook users are over 45.  How do they try and understand various levels of experience and input?  How respectful are they to opinions that don’t align with theirs?  Opinions that differ from your organizations will come up on social media.  To learn more about generational diversity – check out this webinar hosted by Tolero Solutions and

3.  What experience do they have in the business world?  Knowing how people want to hear things is one of the biggest factors in social media.  They need to know the consumer.  They need to have researched and tested the market to know that a marketing best practice is to make it about them.

Want to know more?  Feel free to contact me and I can offer additional suggestions.  The moral of the story – if a 24 year old can site examples of the above – put them in charge of social media. But to think just because “they grew up on it” makes them qualified can backfire on you…and your revenue.