Why every social media manager should be over 25
I wonder how many people have written an article with this title in the last few days? A lot, I imagine. The reason being, if you haven’t already heard, that there’s an article going around the internet claiming the exact opposite – yes, that social media managers should be under twenty five years old.
Well, pardon me for being English for a moment, but what bollocks. Which makes me wonder if the writer – and those who agree – also believe that social media managers ought to be American? Actually, if you follow her logic, she probably does. You see her argument is based on this:
… we spent our adolescence growing up with social media. We were around long enough to see how life worked without it but had it thrown upon us at an age where the ways to make the best/correct use of it came most naturally to us…
Oh, I see ! To make the use of a marketing and promotional medium, a professional has to have used that very medium when they were adolescents, right? Huh?
The basis of her argument is that they started using Facebook (yes, another social media ‘expert’ who thinks that social media = Facebook) when it first began. By some mystical means, this makes them effective, experienced marketers. I’m going to say it again. Huh?
The writer admits herself that when Facebook started, she and her generation were in high school. What was I doing at that time? Let’s see. For one thing, I was running a highly successful social media site that I had created five years previously, plus another that was a mere two years old. I had a proven and successful career in marketing, advertising, promotion and PR. I was building search engine-friendly websites, writing great copy … internet marketing, in other words. Oh, and I was using social media – a lot. You see dear, what you call the ‘generations above us’ were also alive at that time. We were also aware of what was going on in the world, possibly, probably, a lot more than kids who were in high school. Our expert then goes on to say:
The key is that we learned to use social media socially before professionally…
Didn’t we all? I don’t understand why that is the preserve of the under twenty-fives. Let’s say it’s 1974. I am twenty. I have been watching television throughout my adolescence. I’m smart enough – I have an honors degree. But does that mean that I can make a better TV ad than an experienced advertising professional who is more than twice my age? Of course I can’t. Why is social media so different? The truth is, it isn’t.
I had intended to finish this rant with the obligatory bullet points – why social media managers should be over twenty-five. Then I realized that I don’t have to. It’s obvious. The author of the piece shot herself in the foot by alienating anyone over twenty-five – people who might be potential employers or useful contacts in her future career. After all, when speaking of people older than her, she says ‘the ways in which the method should be used is usually beyond them‘.
But actually, it gets funnier. I just checked out her own Twitter account which, incidentally, started in March 2010. Even non-experts know that any social media message should add value to the recipient. I didn’t look at all her messages but telling me that going to the pool without your sunglasses means that you get the sun in your eyes added no value to me. You see, I knew that when I was in high school, which was probably a good twenty years before she was born.
And it gets better. She is following 136 people and has … 134 followers. Yet another social media ‘expert’ bites the dust!
I admit that I’m chortling …
Edit: A few days later …
I thought that I was being a little unfair really – judging her by her Twitter account only. After all, she may be incredibly popular on other social media. I checked them out. The first thing I noticed is that she has picked up a few Twitter followers and I rather imagine that they are people who would ‘like’ to ‘discuss’ her article with her further.
The second thing of note is that she hasn’t commented, on any social media, at all, not once, since her article was published. If anything were to prove that under twenty-fives aren’t suitable as social media managers, this is it.
On social media, your company is going to be mentioned. Mostly, comments will be good. Some won’t be. A social media manager has to react, instantly, thoughtfully and correctly. She has not commented on any of her social media accounts for five days. A social media manager cannot have five days off. See her expertise in the screenshots below.