5 reasons why you should hire a 23 year old to run your social media


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.

Im a guy with a very particular view of life... im not quite sure what that view is just yet, but when I find out I'll be sure to let you know...

Comments 8

  1. First Mahala and now this? Guys let’s stop the butthurt.

    I agree that you can’t generalise against 23-year olds but it almost feels as if whoever wrote this article is taking it personally – you’re not by any chance aged around 23?

    The original article cites scientific research to bolster it’s point about maturity while this article relies on clichés and tropes.

    I just don’t know if this article does justice as a counterpoint to the original article – should’ve been fleshed out a bit more regardless of whether a 23 year old only needs 5 reasons or 11.

    1. I could’ve went and got research to back up the fact that middle aged people have midlife crises etc but really just wanted to make the point that age has nothing to do with ability to do a job. It’s something that I’ve had to overcome throughout my work career, constantly having to prove that even though I was young I could still do the job well.

      I also could have fleshed it out more but really didnt feel like it. The nice thing about writing on a site that you own is that you can do whatever you want.

      Thanks for the feedback though- how very not troll-ish of you. (just by the way, I’m nowhere near 23)

  2. Awesome article. Thanks for standing up for 23-year-old hard workers in the social media industry!

    I’m 24, in social media, and proud!

  3. I think if you are trying to make a point about the benefits of hiring you people such as yourself, you should learn spelling and grammar first.

  4. Maybe you should hire me then – I have far better spelling, grammar and writing skills than you do 😉 Not to be a dick, but as a young man working in online social media, shouldn’t your spelling and grammar be perfect when writing an article defending young people in social media or in a professional working environment? Just a thought – it might make people take you more seriously if you take your own writing more seriously.

    1. Valid point. Not too sure which errors you’ve picked up on but I’ll have another look at the article. Maybe I’m not as good of a writer as you.

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