According to Cathryn Sloane who attends the University of Iowa, every social media manager should be under 25.
In her post titled "Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25" on NextGenJournal.com she argues:
The key is that we learned to use social media socially before professionally, rather than vice versa or simultaneously.
The specificity of the ways in which the method should be used is usually beyond them [companies], however. The typically tired commercial statements or aggressively slang-imitating phrases companies tend to use on their sites do not match the witty, honest, energetic atmosphere these social media outlets offer.
The mere fact that my generation has been up close and personal with all these developments over the years should make clear enough that we are the ones who can best predict, execute, and utilize the finest developments to come.
Her post unleashed a fury of comments - some hateful. The editors chimed in - here are some highlights of what they had to say:
Applying this to Cathryn’s article: whether you agree with her or not, she was describing a belief that a number of young people share. In conversations across college campuses and with young professionals, these ideas often come up: that young people naturally grasp social media more effectively, that members of our generation are best suited to fill positions in the rapidly expanding social media profession, and that employers too often value prior work experience above all else.
In a time when 1 in 2 recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, those sentiments are understandable.
1. IMO this is like saying only people who were raised in a city are qualified to take positions with the city. Would offer that on a case by case basis there may in fact be some young people well qualified but lumping all others in the other category is like most generalizations.
2. Yes always have and probably always will. That is not to say that other skills are not important (communication skills, programming skills, etc.).
3. The same way that that the baby-boomers were prepared and trained by the "greatest generation", and the baby-boomers trained and prepared the Generation X's etc. etc.
I would refer Cathryn to our EEO laws first and foremost.
Then to blogs or sites that focus on Law 2.0 (popvox, lexpop, etc.) and more complex issues that require quite a bit of time and experience to effectively manage.
Add to this trends that show an increasing number of over 70s joining social media and I would say:
No. Sorry. Another urban myth debunked.
In terms of jobs for inexperienced workers most companies and gov't Agencies offer student internships and other processes for phasing new employees into their systems.
Or they could follow in the footsteps of the 20-something startup CEOs and make it happen that way.
Nearly 400 comments and counting.
I have a couple comments on this one:
1) Obviously the original article is wrong. You shouldn't have to be under 25 from EEO reasons to just common sense. Social media is different but it's also just another channel like radio, email, media, etc and you need to understand the communication basics.
2) I think her argument is also wrong in that there is one "right way" to do social media. As the majority of users of social media are above 25 now, I think there are more ways to do social media right not just what works for younger audience. Different audiences use social media differently and now everyone is there so have to think of your strategy
3) One point I would give to her is the question of how much prior work experience matters - as my father once said "do you have ten years of experience? or 1 year of experience you've done 10 times?" For a lot of roles, I think a really amazingly talented and hard-working person with just a couple years experience could be just as good if not better than an average person (in talent and hard-work) with "1 year of experience done 15 times" - agree? disagree?
Just want to give a shout out to your dad. I have been repeating what he blogged about regarding experience ever since I read it the first time a couple of years back. Until I read this, I almost had forgotten where I first heard it. Probably the most insightful comment I've ever heard about experience and something I live by and try to hire based on.
Not so fast there, young lady:
May I suggest that the University of Iowa consider adopting a critical thinking program like several other universities have done? This will prevent their graduates from making such stereotypical and poorly-supported statements such as Ms. Sloane's assertion.
No but every Social Media manager should be very open to new ideas
Yes - Social Media Mavens should have the heart and spirit of a Millenial, regardless of their age.
As a 25er, I can't help but giggle at how silly Sloanne's arguement is. It's too one dimensional. I've been professionally practicing social media for three years now. In that time I've had to explain it's essence and basic application to 40-somethings AND (hold on to your iPhones!!) early 20-somethings. And I've learned new elements and better practices from folks well over 50. Being a "Digital Native" doesn't guarantee one knows squat about how to really use social media. It's about constantly educating yourself and the willingness to learn from others to become better.
Great answer...I think your point that early-20 somethings can be just as bad is something that isn't talked about but I see all the time.