After reading “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media,” I just couldn’t resist coming back with 11 reasons a 23-year-old should run your social media. It just so happens that I was brought on as a social media coordinator for a company at the age of 21 and in that time, I planned and executed over 3 successful campaigns that significantly increased the brands’ (yes, I managed the social media for multiple brands) following. So I really felt the need to explain the upperhand that a college grad has when it comes to managing social media. I’ll jump right into my reasons and make some other points geared toward the author’s points in the article at the end. So here goes.
1. They don’t over-think it. From the minute I entered the “real world,” I was amazed at how complicated executives make marketing, especially social media. For people that have been in business for decades, social media can seem to be something new and foreign that needs extensive research and analytics and forecasts for ROI to determine if and how it should be approached. This is not the case for the college grad that has been using social media for years to not only socialize, but to follow their favorite brands, companies and celebrities. Social media isn’t something to over think. It’s just a way of life.
2. They’re millenials. Millenials are increasingly being recognized as a force to be reckoned with. Their buying power, knowledge and outright restructure of consumer behavior is realized everyday. How can you market to and engage with this group, without the voice of a member of this group (it’s the same thing with marketing to minorities, but that’s another story for a another post).
3. They’re more likely to take risks. Seasoned businessmen and women can be afraid to take risks. They have a trusted system and they don’t like change. Social media has to change, you have to push the envelope in order to avoid getting lost in the shuffle. EVERYONE is (or at least should be) active in the online social scene, what will your company do to stand out? Recent college grads are going to be more likely to contribute the edge that your company needs to stay relevant. Risks can lead to failure – true, but you’ll never know what will work and what won’t work if you don’t try.
4. They’re the future. I’m guessing, you’d like to grow your company, right? Well that means, that you’ll have to keep hiring new people to keep the business going, right?. What better way to start molding and developing new talent, than to bring them into an area where they are comfortable and where they can really get a handle of the voice of not only the company, but of the consumers that are so engaged with your brand that they even follow it on social media. That knowledge and that experience can grow the individual and help prepare them for other roles in the company. This is an opportunity to contribute largely to the future of your business.
5. Conversation will come more natural to them. People don’t like to be talked AT anymore. They want to engage in a conversation. This will be easier for someone with limited experience of talking AT people.
6. They haven’t been brainwashed with push-push-sell! This is an extension of #5. Many business people are having to be reprogrammed to get away from push! push! push! It’s a new day, and consumers are in control now. It will be easier for a newcomer to the business to come along and get onboard with a new direction. People, companies, brands, etc resist change – this is just human nature. We’re in the age of a new consumer and these 20-something-year-olds ARE the new-age consumer.
7. They’re hungry. Recent college grads are still in “learn-mode”. They’re eager to get their feet wet, absorb as much information as possible and they want to prove themselves capable. I can’t help but to address the other article here, because I think it completely ignores the fact that if a company brings in a 23-year-old to do their social media, that more than likely, they have interviewed, called references, looked at writing samples, etc. to ensure that this person is responsible enough to represent their brand. It has nothing to do with age. If a person is driven and ready to impress, then more than likely, they will give it all they have. Many seasoned or mid-level individuals are comfortable, and given the fact that social media still doesn’t receive the serious acknowledgement that it should among companies, bringing on someone who is hungry for a gold star and growth and putting them in an area that they already take seriously could spark something magical.
8. They tend to be more social, period.
9. They’ll have the time. It’s likely that older, more experienced employees will want to do more than post and tweet. And it’s also likely, that if they’re more experienced that you will need them in other areas or that you may find them more effective in other areas. You have to be dedicated to social media. Why not bring in a person who has nothing to do, but soak up information and learn and rock out in the role you put them in?
10. They can think of the ideas that you never would have thought of.
11. Times are tough in the job market, people are paying tons of money to go to school, only to finish, apply to jobs and be rejected because they don’t have experience. It’s pretty hard to get experience if no one will give you a chance.
The other article made some interesting points. However, I think that for the most part, the only way that the points that it made would be valid would be if:
1. The 23-year-old didn’t go through the same interview process that everyone else goes through
2. The 23-year-old didn’t receive the same orientation/introduction to the company as everyone else
3. The 23-year-old wasn’t told and shown the standard that they would be held to (like everyone else)
4. The employer of the 23-year-old isn’t smart enough to review writing samples and call references and give a person who will be speaking on behalf of the company the proper orientation and training (that would be necessary for anyone else doing the job)
Here are some tips for the employer who is afraid to bring on a young, recent college grad to man their social media
- Loosen up! I know it’s scary, but trust your HR team and your intuition, just as you would for any other position or person
- Make sure that you hire someone with good writing skills (ask for writing samples, blog posts, etc.)
- Give top three potential hires assignments to develop posts to gauge their writing ability for social media
- Train the new-hire on the goals, philosophy, promise and identity of the brand. Maybe even consider letting them work alongside seasoned marketing professionals in the company for a week before turning them loose
- Use scheduling system and review posts before they go live. Everything shouldn’t be scheduled in social media, but this may help you feel more comfortable and allow do’s and don’ts to be established
- Provide your new worker with a list of the things that you hope for your social media efforts to achieve
- Have the new-hire create a company profile from which they manage the page (this keeps #4 on the other article from happening)
A 24-year-old who has run social media for companies since the age of 21