Should Only People Under 25 Engage in Social Media Marketing?

A recent article titled “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25” drew much criticism and fire from marketing professionals of all ages. In retrospect, hopefully, the inexperienced author probably wishes she could retract her negative and inflammatory comments. A number of the posted comments are worthy of sharing.

“So, by that argument, once social media is replaced by the next big thing, everyone your age should be unemployed and replaced by the generation that grew up with that technology. Given the pace of change in the tech. industry right now, that gives you a career of maybe 5 years, if I'm being generous.”

“Social Media is a form of marketing. And marketing requires knowledge of brands and products that take years of education and experience to obtain. Marketing also requires and in-depth knowledge of your target audience.”

The author obviously missed the part of marketing being about knowing your market and creating a strategy across multiple platforms (which could include the old fashioned telephone) to engage your customers. After all, before social media and in the early days of the Internet we as marketers learned how to master ad-serving and email marketing platforms. And pre-Internet there was direct mail marketing and lead generation to call centers where teams of eager college graduates would answer product related question in an effort to get prospects to sign up. Learning how to use a new technology effectively takes time, but anyone with a thirst for knowledge and a technical knack can master it. The marketing peace, like good wine, takes years to ferment.

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Tags: Jon Rock, marketing, under 25

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Comment by Jon Rock on August 7, 2012 at 10:28am

I couldn't agree more, Kalisha. My stepdaughters (18 & 20) are a heck of a lot smarter (intellectually) than I was at that age, but I wouldn’t open the floodgates and let them run my social marketing campaigns. However I would certainly welcome their input in the planning / execution of social media and mentor them in the area of  proper customer messaging.

Comment by Kalisha Blair on August 6, 2012 at 4:13pm

I was shocked when I heard about this article.  Companies who hire younger people just because they are so good at texting and facebook could be setting themselves up for potential PR nightmares.

I would suggest that companies not hand over the social media reigns to any one person, especially if they haven't proven themselves to be able to handle delicate situations with grace.  One missplace tweet can blow up in your face in a matter of seconds.

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