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No one is old enough to handle your social media

Am I old enough to handle your social media?

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about what the right age is for your social media manager.

For the past couple weeks many of the major social media influencers have been discussing a two articles. First someone says that every social media manager should be under the age of 25. Then someone else says your social media manger should be older than 23. And then the whole Internet gets into a pissing match over an argument that can’t be won.

As a social media professional, and a young one at that, I think it’s important for me to share my overwrought and extremely important opinion without having read either source article.

How on earth should you, a marketing or corporate communications professional, know what the right age is to hire? How are you going to know who the right person is to manage your social media channels? If you don’t know their age, how can you decide if they’re the right person?

What’s even worse? As the hiring manager, you can’t ask someone their age here in the US. So how are you going to know who’s old enough and young enough to manage social media properties?

The answer is simple. There is no one old enough and young enough to manage your social media properties.

If you need to hire social media professional today the better answer is to not hire a social media professional. You will never find someone eho is simultaneously old enough and young enough with the perfect skill set to be your social media manager.

I know how hard it is to accept that. Once you learn that no one can manage your social media appropriately you’ll learn that it’s better to live your business life without social media.

Still, if we as social media bloggers focus on the age of social media managers, we will never discuss the real things that matter to social media professionals and the businesses they work for. Things that matter, such as measurement and enterprise social media scaling. Things that could get you hired, like real and demonstrable skills. Or things that change the very nature of our work, like the convergence of social messaging and social advertising into paid, owned, and earned media.

But that shit is boring and doesn’t get page views.

So fine. Let’s just focus on age of social media managers. We don’t want to get anywhere productive in our social media conversations. Who seriously wants to discuss what the right skill set is for an entry-level social media position?

And if you’re going to seriously discuss that, I’m going to need a drink.

 

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11 Responses to No one is old enough to handle your social media

  1. KarlSakas August 20, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    “Still, if we as social media bloggers focus on the age of social media managers, we will never discuss the real things that matter to social media professionals and the businesses they work for.”
     
    Yes! But that’s the nature of news in general, isn’t it? A car crash is local TV news… but who’d watch the 7am or 11pm news to learn that thousands or millions of people safely commuted to work without incident?

    • JayDolan August 20, 2012 at 10:58 am #

       @KarlSakas But there’s a difference between news, which shares information (such as a car wreck), and journalism (which investigates why the car wreck occurred) Very few bloggers release legitimate news, which gives us the time to think critically and evaluate. Or be snarky.

  2. CamiloOlea August 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    “I think it’s important for me to share my  overwrought, and extremely important opinion without having read either source article.”
     
    The internet wasn’t the same without your posts. Thank you.
    Also, I’d like a drink too. Hey, Monday.

    • JayDolan August 20, 2012 at 11:00 am #

       @CamiloOlea The internet will carry on regardless if any one of us stops posting. But yeah, I missed being snarky.

  3. andi_fisher August 20, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I think these are important entry-level skills: ability to do research (for more than 10 minutes without getting bored); grace under fire; patience; writing skills and good multi-tasking abilities.

    • JayDolan August 20, 2012 at 10:59 am #

       @andi_fisher I’d say writing skills. And then more writing skills. Followed by analysis.

  4. wagnerwrites August 20, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    As one of the few authentic (vs. “branded”) social media grandmas, I thought this age debate stank. Thank you for calling it out. And as a writer, I agree with your comment below about writing skills. I also find it puzzling that some businesses I know are hiring “social media managers” who have no proof of concept in their own active Facebook pages, Twitter or Pinterest accounts, etc. I know some people working in social media who don’t even like it. I think liking it to some degree (there will always be frustration, of course) and using it personally should be a requirement.

    • JayDolan August 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

       @wagnerwrites After working in social media for two years professionally, and even longer personally, it’s easy to get burnt out, jaded and bored. I agree that like any job, ideally you should like some part of it, but at the same time, you need to balance that with the need to just get a paycheck.

  5. suzen4340 August 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    i hope you don’t find that i’m doing this sleazy. please don’t…i love your blog. it just occurred to me that the reason i love your blog, besides your God like irreverent attitude is that we have a similar attirude…i’m just not as brave as you, probably because i’m old enough to be your mother, but at the risk of being presumptuous, check out my blog from a few weeks ago : http://omaginarium.com/blog/?p=575
    …if you feel like it

  6. LukeBailey September 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    I have read your article a several times and find it disorientation par excellence. Your spelling and grammar is beyond understanding and a testament to the #illiterate #egoism of social media ‘experts’.

    • JayDolan September 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

       @LukeBailey You’ve never made a mistake, have you?