For those that missed out, this post is in response to an article published by the very well respected Business Insider yesterday that caused Twitter to ignite with varied opinion. To read that article check out THIS link.
Pardon the generalization is kind of what you say before you’re about to say something that you know is going to get you in trouble, kind of like saying that 23 year olds shouldn’t run your social media. I’m not going to excuse myself, so bear with me while I tell you why I believe that age really has nothing to do with ability to run a brand’s digital offering.
If to begin with, you don’t understand social media, this doesn’t mean that you should hire someone like your niece, nephew, recent university graduate or any one else before doing a bit of research yourself. If it would make the transition better, you could even do some digging online and print it all out for binding in a nice file that isn’t as scary as Facebook or Twitter (at the expense of the environment). Henry Ford didn’t know everything about what goes into building a car but you can be damn sure he had a good holistic view of what it would take to get his Model T’s onto the streets.
If your business targets the old and clueless, it might be worth your while to look into someone who appeals to these needs. But don’t assume either that you need to hire someone old to manage your social media “just because”- really anyone who finds the rising price of tea to be intriguing will do just fine.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Well you really shouldn’t be entrusting your entire social media efforts to someone who isn’t equipped, irrespective of whether they’re 23 or 45. Here’s why.
1. People older than 23 can sometimes be the most immature. These people often experience mid-life crises where they exhibit irrational behaviour like buying a motorbike and riding it without a helmet because they’d love to feel the wind their hair (singular, because they’re balding). A large portion of 23 year olds have a great deal to prove in terms of their accountability (partly due to misheld beliefs) and would rather amputate their own arms with a rusty spoon than fail miserably by engaging in dodgy and immature interactions with your audience.
2. A 23 year old can multi-task, focussing on their own social media as well as that of your needs. There are some amazing tools that have been developed like Tweetdeck that enable the user to monitor more than one social media account in one place, simultaneously. Rather than spend all of their time deciding which to devote their attention to, a 23 year would probably just have everything that they had access to, open.
3. You can’t control a 23 year old’s friends but at least they have friends online. Sure there is a risk that one of these youngsters’ friends could post some dodgy content to your wall but at the same time it is this network of friends that will get your content shared in an organic way (at no cost to you). Asking my father to share a link on his Facebook wall is like asking someone living in the Amazon (who’ve just been discovered) where the nearest ipod docking station is.
4. Online communication fluency is critical. BRB, LOL, SMH… What if a customer happens to comment on your wall and someone who you’ve hired who was born before 1989 has no idea how to decipher the message that has been left. 23 year olds are more likely to know that STFD doesn’t mean Saint Frank Delaware.
5. a 23 year old doesn’t need 11 reasons to make a point.
Social media has become a big part of marketing and everyday life and forms a really big part of getting your brand’s name out there if used properly by someone who understands. Age does not equal understanding… Understanding equals understanding.
As valid as many of the points in Business Insider article are, I think that I would always strive to hire someone with the correct skills, regardless of how old (or young) they are.