How Old is Your Social Media Manager?

How Old is Your Social Media Manager?

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  1. There have been a few articles circulating the Internet recently on the subject of hiring social media managers. Some stating that your social media manager should not be over the age of 25, others saying they should be older. I, of course, can’t resist adding my two cents to the topic.

    Since when is it okay to hire based on age, anyway?

    Isn’t it borderline illegal? You know, age discrimination. I’ll admit that when I was just finishing my bachelor’s degree my classmates and I were all looking forward to applying for social media jobs and counting on getting them because of our age. After all, we were the first and the best. Facebook came out while we were in college, and we were the first to adopt the technology, so why wouldn’t we know best? That was before organizations had a full understanding of the power and necessity of social media.

    Age discrimination aside, I’ve also heard the same commentary from several CEO’s and CCO’s stating that when deciding who in the company should be in charge of social media, you should walk around and see who’s logged on social media during the day. Well, I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people who are on Facebook all the time- and they aren’t necessarily the most tactical, or socially savvy people I know. Just because you know how to use the tool, doesn’t mean you know how to use it to your organization’s advantage.

    Side Note:   Social media is a tool. Well, maybe social media can be the tactic, but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all tools. In case you didn’t go to school for this stuff, or you slept through that course, the hierarchy is: strategies, tactics, tools. Your strategy could be to connect to a particular audience, your tactic could be to connect with them via social media, and the actual social media, Facebook for example, is the tool.

    Back to what I was talking about.

    When hiring a social media manager, why shouldn’t it be like hiring any other manager? They should: understand the organization, its objectives, and its key publics; have the necessary skills to communicate effectively with these key publics, including the technical skills necessary to use the technology; have management skills that include planning and implementation; and have an understanding of public relations and communications strategy.

    Those are a lot of things to keep in mind. And they are a lot more important than how old the candidate is, or how often they sign on to Twitter.

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