Age is just a Number

17 Sep

After reading the article “Why Every Social Media Manager should be under 25” I initially could not agree more. I like the author’s initial points of growing up in a world pre and post social media. I also thought she brought up a good point of how our generation learned how to use social media socially before professionally. I think if any generation knows how to properly engage and converse within this new medium  it is us. That is what we initially used it for, to talk to each other. And isn’t that what the new marketing world is about, having a conversation with your consumer?  I don’t think I have gone through a PR, media, B2B or marketing class where I haven’t heard about customer relationship marketing being the new way to market to your customers. So in this regard, yes. Who else would be better at talking with your consumer and engaging them through this channel than the people who use it to communicate themselves.

However the rebuttal articles and comments that professionals brought up had valid points too.  There is a general lack of experience my generation has compared to the professionals that came before us. We still have plenty of mistakes to make and lessons to learn before we can call ourselves experts. I can also say that as a 20 something year old hopeful PR professional I do still have a lot of maturing to do. There is a level of maturity that comes naturally with getting older. That is something that cannot be learned or rushed, it just happens. So in this regard yes, older professionals who have more experience, wisdom and maturity should be in charge of the content that reaches your consumers. They have a better grasp on what messages should be sent out and which ones should not.

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My personal opinion on the issue is why are we making this a competition. I feel that this issue has turned into an us against them. This social media explosion had turned into a battle of who knows better and who has more experience. But my question is why are we making this a competition when it should be a chance for both sides of the argument to learn. I’m sure my age group could learn from the experts and the experts could learn some new tricks from us. Granted a lot of companies don’t have the resources to currently have multiple people as their social media experts but it is something companies could grow into. The industry should see this movement towards social media as a chance to learn. In the end I don’t think age should be   a criteria in deciding who should be the next big social media manager. It should be based off the common criteria of experience, skill and basic work ethic.

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One Response to “Age is just a Number”

  1. coastercubs1 September 17, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    My opinion in general can fall back to the ideas of capitalism. Capitalism works and can benefit someone for whoever can manufacture or perform a service the best over the competition. In the same regard, why does it matter what age we are when we work social media? Sure, I agree that our generation has the upper hand in regards to social media and how to use it and that there are probably more younger people who can be proficient in social media than the generations before ours. That being said though, who is not say to say that someone in their fifties who can Tweet something on Twitter more efficiently than a recent college graduate should not have the social media responsibilities at the office?

    The only way I could see age being a factor is if social media, something that is generally easier to handle for our young ages, would be a responsibility best suited for us, given that it would give us something to do at work and could leave more free time for someone who is older and higher ranked time to work on more important things.

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