Recently, I read Inc. magazine’s article by Hollis Thomases titled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” Though I agree that some of these situations are valid and that some of the individuals described sound like some of my peers, not every young graduate will kill your social media campaign
Here are the 11 reasons Ms. Thomases thinks a young graduate, like myself, shouldn’t run your social media;
As a recent graduate from the University of San Francisco, energetic 24 year old and Social Media Associate for a renowned multicultural advertising, marketing and communications agency I beg to defer. I believe some millennials are the most qualified to handle a brands or company’s Social Media Campaign. We’re the generation that grew up around innovation, social media and the “APP.” Here are my reasons why this 24 year old should handle your Social Media Channels;
1. Maturity Doesn’t Come With Age. I know a lot of 40 year old’s that still don’t have their life together. Ms. Thomases mentioned that compared to young people 5 decades ago we’re not ”eager to enter adulthood and settle down.” Well Ms. Thomases, though I don’t know how you’re measuring maturity, I assure you marriage or the excitement of an individual entering adulthood is no way to measure whether a person is mature or not. Though I’m engaged and was excited to grow up as a child, I measure my maturity through other aspects of my life. I’m stable and focused on my career. I obtained my degree in 3 1/2 years with a full schedule of classes, three jobs and other obligations.
2. They may be focused on their own social-media activity. In the morning when I get to work I make sure I check all the social media channels, upcoming news and more. I do this all day and if I take a break to check my Social Media Channels, it doesn’t mean I don’t prioritize my efforts. I know I’m there to do a job. I know if I focus on my social media channels, I’m not doing that job. If you feel the person you are hiring won’t focus on their job, don’t hire them! No matter how old they are!
3. They may not have the same etiquette–or experience. Of course a recent graduate may not have the same experience in that field and they might not know what the brand stands for. In this situation I believe that proper training and an evolving social media strategy can help your Social Media Specialist speak for your brand or company. Monitoring post, relevancy and giving feedback also helps your specialist understand the brand personality.
4. You can’t control their friends. My friends wouldn’t post any inappropriate content to the company’s social-media accounts because they understand it could cost me my job, but in general if a random stranger post’s something you can’t control that either. Company’s and brand’s do the best they can to monitor negative or inappropriate content as do I.
5. No class can replace on-the-job training. No class can replace on-the-job-training but many, if not all, my peers have had internships and jobs before. We’ve all sat through the lectures of “Google Yourself” and “Be Professional on Facebook.” If you are interviewing a recent grad to completely monitor and manage your Social Media Campaign then I’m assuming they have experience. Nothing can beat on-the-job-trainging but by my second year of college I already had two internships, three jobs and six recommendation letters.
6. They may not understand your business. No new hire, whether they are a recent graduate or not, will truly understand what a company or brand is about. This takes time and training. I really didn’t understand why Ms. Thomases assumes a “brand-new graduate will have an even steeper learning curve,” than a new hire to understand the brand or company culture. I would like to review the studies and focuses groups she used to conclude that graduate students compared to new hires have a harder time “getting it.”
7. Communication skills are critical. I do agree with this reasoning. When it comes to Social Media, PR, Marketing or Advertising, writing skills are essential. Hiring a person that has writing skills and attention to detail will help you avoid this situation.
8. Humor is tricky business. Humor is tricky but that’s at any age or life stage. My rule is to be sensitive to religion, cultures, politics or disaster situations. I know this is vague but it works for me. I think to myself before I post something “will this offend anyone?” It’s okay to add some humor or personal touch but to continue being professional and consistent.
9. Social-media savvy is not the same as technical savvy. Social media savvy isn’t the same as being technically savvy, but anyone being hired as a Social Media Specialist should have had the training or course work to understand that any job or project that use company resources should also be measurable and produce results.
10. Social-media management can become crisis management. Any situation can turn ugly but nothing happens if nothing happens. Being a brand or a corporation has it’s risks but you must know how to handle them. It bring me back to Reason #8 where I mention I am sensitive towards certain subjects which prevent me from offending people. I also maintain a professional and relevant standard when posting anything to the agency’s social media channels. I understand I am not speaking for myself, but for the company.
11. You need to keep the keys. This should be a given and I agree that all channels should be under the company’s email. Someone such as the EVP should have access to all social media channels and passwords. A supervisor should also be an admin on all accounts in case the Social Media Specialist is no longer working for the company.
In conclusion Ms. Thomases this 24 year old Social Media Specialist doesn’t agree with you.
Why millennials should handle your social media By Lauren Rothering