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Inbound Marketing

Why a 23-Year-Old SHOULD Run Your Social Media

Dear Hollis Thomases - Thank you for writing your thought provoking article Viewpoint: 11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media. It was inspiring enough for me to offer some counterpoints on why a 23 year old should run your social media.

Firstly, if you start an article by apologizing for offending a subset of the general population, you will likely, by default, offend them. Just an FYI for future (potentially offensive) articles.

Secondly, many of your points focused on maturity, etiquette, and experience. Perhaps we should start by focusing on CEO's behaving badly as opposed to line employees. Ultimately, the C-suite within an organization should set the culture and serve as an example for the rest of the company on a variety of fronts. If your company leader is arrested for driving drunk and claiming Taylor Swift is his girlfriend, you have bigger problems than worrying about errant Tweets from your 23-year-old social media community manager.

Thirdly, it's important to realize that the buck stops with you. 'You' could be the CMO or the CEO, and 'you' could be 20 or 50. If your 23-year-old social media expert falters, don't blame him. Look in the mirror. Was your hiring process flawed? Were your corporate training programs lacking? Were appropriate social media guidelines not in place or not made clear? Don't blame the person - identify the systemic failure. What internal processes that you, a corporate leader, are ultimately responsible for were not in place? A 23-year-old is a digital native and understands the context of a digital world and has technical and social media skills a 40 or 50-year-old likely doesn't have or doesn't want to learn. Your job as a CMO is to provide an effective infrastructure within which a digital native can work and grow and serve as an asset to your corporate brand.

Oh, and as Columbo would say, just one more thing. There's this guy, a young guy - he's 28, I think. A true digital native of sorts. He built a social media platform. It's gaining steam, growing in users - could bring in a lot of advertisers. You should check his platform out sometime. Just a thought.

Social Media Community Manager Playbook

Photo: wharman