Viewpoint: 11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media

Sure, she understands Instagram. But do you really want a new grad controlling your brand online?

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Pardon the generalization: I don’t mean to attack 23-year-olds specifically. Nor do I believe there are no young people capable of managing a business’s social media responsibilities

I am, however, trying to make a point: Just because you don’t understand social media doesn’t mean you should forfeit all common sense and hire your niece, nephew, or any other other recent college grad (say, your best friend’s sister-in-law’s kid) because “they’re really good on Facebook.”

If your business targets the young and hip, most definitely look to a recent grad or young social media nerd to help your business. But don’t assume either that you need to hire someone young to manage your social media “just because.”

Frankly, this kind of logic makes me crazy–and yet I’m seeing it more and more these days. But you really shouldn’t be entrusting your entire social media efforts to a newly graduated intern. Here’s why.

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1.  They’re not mature enough. Compared with young people 50 years ago, who were eager to enter adulthood and settle down, today’s youth are not only not eager to do so, but most do not feel that they’ve reached adulthood until late into their 20s or early 30s, according to research from Clark University. Instead they tend to feel unstable, self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives. This is great for them, but not so great for you, their employer–particularly since social media is all about communicating with your audience in mature and accountable ways.

2.  They may be focused on their own social media activity. Because of the above, if you hire a young person to manage your social media, you may also need to need to worry about how they’re actually spending their time. Will you need to be monitoring them?

3. They may not have the same etiquette–or experience. Your recent college grad may have experience with Facebook and Instagram, but make sure you check out the substance of their updates and posts. You need to make sure your posts reflect your brand–and that you don’t wind up with a late-night smartphone photo landing in the wrong account.At the very least, ensure you have a social media policy in place.

4.  You can’t control their friends.  This isn’t exclusive to recent grads, of course, but it’s a risk to consider: Even if you hire a real winner, be sure that his or her friends won’t post inappropriate content to your company’s social media accounts.

5.  No class can replace on-the-job training.  Social media for business is really so many things wrapped into one:  marketing, customer service, public relations, crisis management, branding. How deep is the experience of a young person in delivering any of these things?

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6.  They may not understand your business.  You are handing the keys to your social media kingdom to a newcomer, but there’s plenty that they need to understand beyond the social tools themselves. What are the nuances of your products or services? What makes you stand out in the marketplace? What are the typical expectations of your customers? How do you troubleshoot issues or cajole customers into working a bit more with you? What does your company stand for? No new hire will be able to absorb these issues overnight, of course–but a brand-new graduate will have an even steeper learning curve.

7.  Communication skills are critical. Communication is critical to solid social media execution. Before you let a young hire take over your company blog posts, take stock of his or her writing skills. Also: Many young people have not yet learned the “art” of communicating. Make sure they know how to read between the lines, rather than taking  things too literally.

8.  Humor is tricky business.  People like to be entertained, on social media as well as elsewhere. Will a young hire understand the boundaries of humor and entertainment appropriate to your target audience, or could your audience wind up being offended?

9.  Social media savvy is not the same as technical savvy. Good social media requires a combination of both.  Successful social media management involves production requirements, tools, analytics and other aspects of work.

10. Social media management can become crisis management. The real-time nature of social media can quickly turn fun engagement and conversation into apublic relations disaster, especially if the person behind the wheel isn’t thinking a few steps ahead. Are you really willing to take that risk?

11. You need to keep the keys. If you do go ahead and hire a new grad, make sure he or she sets up the social media accounts using your company’s email, and shares the passwords with you. Otherwise you could wind up with no access to these social media accounts–and no way to take them over.

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Social media is not the be-all and end-all. It’s a marketingtool–part of an ever-growing arsenal of ways to bring your company to your prospective customers’ attention.

Thinking of it this way, perhaps you’ll slow down and consider more closely who you’re hiring–and why.

Hollis Thomases is the President & CEO of Web Ad.vantage, which provides outcome-based digital marketing and advertising services to up-and-coming brands. She is also the author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and a contributing expert to Social Media Marketing Magazine. @hollisthomases
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57 comments
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misscolettep
misscolettep

I am a 21 year old social media manager with a Communications degree and a variety of clients. I think the better question is do YOU understand brand management, because you've done TIME a huge disservice with your Gen-Y tirade. The fact that they actually approved what should be a parody has put me off them more than I can explain, I'll be looking elsewhere for intelligent discussion in future.

AllisonDB
AllisonDB

I agree with most of the comments I'm seeing here in that this article is an overbearing blanket statement. These are just guidelines for hiring young people in general - just because someone is "good at social media" doesn't mean they'll be an irresponsible worker. And may I just say, on behalf of everyone in my age range who just graduated and is desperately seeking work, how do you expect us to gain any experience (social media, marketing, branding, anything really) when you won't hire us because we don't have experience yet? Give us a chance. We're eager to learn on the job and discover new tools and use them effectively for you.

AllisonDB
AllisonDB

I agree with most of the comments I'm seeing here in that this article is an overbearing blanket statement. These are just guidelines for hiring young people in general - just because someone is "good at social media" doesn't mean they'll be an irresponsible worker. And may I just say, on behalf of everyone in my age range who just graduated and is desperately seeking work, how do you expect us to gain any experience (social media, marketing, branding, anything really) when you won't hire us because we don't have experience yet? Give us a chance. We're eager to learn on the job and discover new tools and use them effectively for you.

AllisonDB
AllisonDB

I agree with most of the comments I'm seeing here in that this article is an overbearing blanket statement. These are just guidelines for hiring young people in general - just because someone is "good at social media" doesn't mean they'll be an irresponsible worker. And may I just say, on behalf of everyone in my age range who just graduated and is desperately seeking work, how do you expect us to gain any experience (social media, marketing, branding, anything really) when you won't hire us because we don't have experience yet? Give us a chance. We're eager to learn on the job and discover new tools and use them effectively for you.

AllisonDB
AllisonDB

I agree with most of the comments I'm seeing here in that this article is an overbearing blanket statement. These are just guidelines for hiring young people in general - just because someone is "good at social media" doesn't mean they'll be an irresponsible worker. And may I just say, on behalf of everyone in my age range who just graduated and is desperately seeking work, how do you expect us to gain any experience (social media, marketing, branding, anything really) when you won't hire us because we don't have experience yet? Give us a chance. We're eager to learn on the job and discover new tools and use them effectively for you.

Sally Lambert-Warfield
Sally Lambert-Warfield

I think the author of this article needs to grow up, and that's coming from a 32 year old. Rather than relying on ageism as a hiring policy, how about we hire mature responsible parties who have the qualifications necessary for the job. Oh! And if you're in charge of a department or company, research new technologies and communications strategies so no one makes you look like an ass without your say so, whether they're 23 and posting in SMS or 53 and POSTING IN THE CAPSLOCK. Honestly.

Kellie Geist-May
Kellie Geist-May

As a 26-year-old who does social media and communications for a medium sized organization, I'm a little peeved at this article. Age isn't a prerequisite for almost any of these - especially number one! Just because we are millennials doesn't mean we can't tackle the challenges before us. 

Instead of having this article be why you shouldn't hire a recent college grad, it should just be about what to look for when you hire a social media manager of ANY age!!! Ridiculous.

Prabhakaran Krishnan
Prabhakaran Krishnan

Hi,

It's a thought provoking article. A few valid points were being raised. But it should not be generalized as it takes away the sheen of a creative person who is young amp; enterprising!!

http://about.me/karanpalki

Diana Urban
Diana Urban

Some of this is such a stretch that it makes me think the author made one unfortunate hire and decided to take it out on an entire generation of young professionals. Friends posting on your company's social profiles? Really? I don't think that's particularly common.

I wrote a rebuttle here http://ustandout.com/career/11... because I think that 20-somethings deserve a lot more credit.

Annetta Powell
Annetta Powell

The next thing I am going to do is fire my 25 year old Social Media manager and hire you! By the way...how old are you? If you are above 75, you have greater chance of getting this job as I am looking for someone who is around 80. 

Nicole Keimer
Nicole Keimer

By the time I was 23, I had been managing social media for one of the top 10 blogs on the internet (which currently has 5 New York Times #1 best-selling books) for four years (and counting), and I had earned a job managing the entire social media presence of Inc. 500's #1 fastest growing company. Only a year later, I am now managing the social media presence for one of eBay's pages and working with several other major companies.

But hey Hollis, if you don't want to hire me because of my age, I guess you're the one who loses out.

Katie Beckmann
Katie Beckmann

As one of many who are in their twenties and managing several social media pages- I found the Time.com piece offensive. Many of my friends who have recently graduated from college are working in the communications field, managing social media pages and have done an outstanding job with it. Sure, our whole generation isn't going to run every social media page but it doesn't mean that we aren't able to. I have been in several situations where my age was questioned in being able to manage social media networks, but after showing my understanding of the topic, as well as my professional attitude and work ethic; I have been able to disprove any doubts. Also, with social media management- you need to make sure that the person who is managing it truly understands it (even it is a....gasp.... 23 year old).

Benweis
Benweis

Hey there Hollis! 

So pretty much all you've done here is said that every hiring manager that has hired a 23 year old for their social media role is completely inept. Did you not consider how many outliers there are to each and every point you make? Are you assuming that every single 23 year old is unable to digest the personality of their employing agency, and tailoring a social media strategy to fit that personality exactly? 

And for real? They may not understand your business? Why would a hiring manager pay someone's salary who doesn't understand their business? And communication skills? Here I am slowly deconstructing your argument with beautiful prose at the ripe age of 22. 

And "you need to keep the keys?" As if the young social media strategist would run away from the company and hide the passwords like a first grader hiding his or her favorite blocks? And why "she" understands instagram in the heading? Are you suggesting now that males can't do the job either? 

I think that you have only successfully proven that writing a horribly researched and ridiculously overgeneralized piece of nonsense like this will go viral because you stepped on every young person's toes. 

Hope the new followers were worth the damage to your reputation. 

Faughnan Media
Faughnan Media

As a 36 year old business owner, I am truly happy to know that people like Hollis still exist and give me a competitive edge over my competition.  :-)

kyle_mccall
kyle_mccall

Hollis, you've angered the 20-somethings who rule social media

thetecnica
thetecnica

A 23 year old have more Social Media experience and understanding than people who came long before Internet was invented and the term social media wasn't even there in existence.

And If a person can found a company in his/her twenties than why he/she can't be a  Social Media 

manager?

Ryan Crowe
Ryan Crowe

I recently did a re-edit of Hollis' article that removed  (rather, crossed-out) mentions and references to age. The piece still makes sense without 'new grad' or '23 year old'.

http://sociologyplus.com/2012/...

JALLIGAN
JALLIGAN

Should be retitled to:

"Get Off My Lawn!    ... Please?   ... I'll Give You a Werther's Original!"

Mylz
Mylz

Aww. Someone's frustrated.

Cosette Paneque
Cosette Paneque

It seems to me that Time and Hollis Thomases are trying to capitalize on the same attention and notoriety as Next Gen Journal with its similar piece by Cathryn Sloane (

http://www.nextgenjournal.com/.... It reeks of desperation.

Ryan Holman
Ryan Holman

As a 22 year old social media consultant with my own business and multiple clients, I can assure you readers that this woman has no idea what she's talking about. Her "kids these days" argument is embarrassing. 

Most recent market and sociology research suggests that this Y-generation is much more entrepreneurial and ambitious than we have seen in quite some time. 20-somethings are leading the technology world (esp social media) and this woman wouldn't hire Mark Zuckerburg himself because of his age. 

This article reeks of narrow mindedness, ageism, pessimism, and outdated mentality. 

SMW0285
SMW0285

I'm not sure which unresearched, unfounded, or unintelligent remark to combat first. Perhaps a better title for your article would be "11 Reasons An Unexperienced Applicant Shouldn't Run Your Social Media." This is the most offensive, rude piece I have ever seen on Time.com and your editor should be ashamed.

Also, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say by using the feminine pronoun to refer to your 23-year old social media professional? It sounds like you are lumping together everyone in their twenties regardless of experience, gender, or intelligence and even suggesting that someone would be unqualified because they are female. Frankly I was surprised to see that you, yourself are a woman. I mean, how do you EVEN get yourself published? You actually just pulled all of these "facts" out of nowhere. Actually.

Natalie Desiree
Natalie Desiree

Us twenty-something y/os are much different then those of 50 years ago. I don't understand where you get off trying to compare us to their generation and actually think you can make some kind of valid point. I never learned about the marketing skills of a twenty something year old from 50 years ago in any of my Marketing courses; probably because they didn't have any... With that said - GENERATION Y TILL I DIE!

lauren0225
lauren0225

So glad you added that first sentence - definitely makes the articles less offensive. 

I really wish this article was a joke. The only thing it proves is how unbelievably ignorant you are. Instead of bashing your article as a whole, I will respond to each number separately. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m an immature, lazy millennial.

1.“Instead they tend to feel unstable, self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives.” I won’t disagree with this statement, but you are putting young people 50 years ago on quite a pedestal. It doesn’t matter which generation you’re a part of at all. 20 year olds aren’t supposed to have their lives together yet. Isn’t that the point of college and internships - to help those in their twenty-somethings gain knowledge and experience? And as far as being eager to enter adulthood and settle down, is there anyone who doesn’t want that? News flash: young adults today have aspirations, too. You make a valid point: people in their twenties do want to explore who they are and transform their lives. But so do people in their thirties, forties and so on. Regardless, self-exploration and transformation have nothing to do with work performance; they are simply ways to introspect. You make it sound like 23 year olds will post personal poems on their company’s Facebook page. Find me a twenty-something person at a new job or internship who isn’t busting their a** to gain respect and impress higher-ups. Until then, stop being so ignorant.

2.See number one.

3.The funny thing about having a job is that it usually requires you to do your job. If employers fully explain their company’s voice, typical updates, and social media policy, then there won’t be a problem. And by the way, 20 year olds aren’t the only ones capable of making a smartphone upload mistake...Anthony Weiner, anyone?

4.You can’t control anyone...

5.“No class can replace on-the-job training.” Thank you for reminding us why internships still exist. First of all, I’m not sure what goes on at Time, but last time I checked interns had to have all content approved before posting. Second of all, any boss that doesn’t require this practice is an idiot, and any immature/unaccountable information posted is a direct reflection of that. 

6.I don’t even know how to respond to this one. It’s probably because of the learning curve.

7.This has nothing to do with age and everything to do with writing ability. Hopefully if you’re hiring someone to WRITE blogs, you’ve entertained the idea of hiring someone with a strong writing background. If not, please see the last part of number five.

8.As long as you don’t hire Daniel Tosh you should be in the clear for this one.

9.I’ve yet to hear of any college or university that hasn’t figured out that social media and technology go hand-in-hand. That being said, it sounds like you’re looking to hire a jack of all trades. If that’s the case, then don’t hire an intern. Hire Mark Zuckerberg. 

 

10. Great point. I think that’s why they invented applicant screening. 

 

11.The title of this article should be: How to not be an idiot boss. I’m going to pretend you didn’t write number eleven for the sake of business owners around the world.

Thinking of it this way, perhaps you’ll slow down and consider more closely what you’re writing–and why.

mouskatel
mouskatel

Um, 50 years ago, there was no such thing as "internships". You do realize that. 50 years ago, the median age for marriage for women was 20, and most women in their mid-20's had a few kids already. This was pre-Betty Frieden and the Second Wave Feminism. Take a history course so you don't sound quite so myopic. 

Nonetheless, this article is silly. People in their probably have the most experience in social media, so the points in the original article just sound silly.

lauren0225
lauren0225

I never mentioned internships 50 years ago. 

mouskatel
mouskatel

You made a general comment about how 20 year olds in any generation would never have their lives together. I'm pointing out that that wasn't true 50 years ago (the number you actually gave)

lauren0225
lauren0225

So glad you added that first sentence - definitely makes the articles less offensive.

I really wish this article was a joke. The only thing it proves is how unbelievably ignorant you are. Instead of bashing your article as a whole, I will respond to each number separately. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m an immature, lazy millennial.

1.“Instead they tend to feel unstable, self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives.” I won’t disagree with this statement, but you are putting young people 50 years ago on quite a pedestal. It doesn’t matter which generation you’re a part of at all. 20 year olds aren’t supposed to have their lives together yet. Isn’t that the point of college and internships - to help those in their twenty-somethings gain knowledge and experience? And as far as being eager to enter adulthood and settle down, is there anyone who doesn’t want that? News flash: young adults today have aspirations, too. You make a valid point: people in their twenties do want to explore who they are and transform their lives. But so do people in their thirties, forties and so on. Regardless, self-exploration and transformation have nothing to do with work performance; they are simply ways to introspect. You make it sound like 23 year olds will post personal poems on their company’s Facebook page. Find me a twenty-something person at a new job or internship who isn’t busting their ass to gain respect and impress higher-ups. Until then, stop being so ignorant.

2.See number one.

3.The funny thing about having a job is that it usually requires you to do your job. If employers fully explain their company’s voice, typical updates, and social media policy, then there won’t be a problem. And by the way, 20 year olds aren’t the only ones capable of making a smartphone upload mistake...Anthony Weiner, anyone?

4.You can’t control anyone...

5.“No class can replace on-the-job training.” Thank you for reminding us why internships still exist. First of all, I’m not sure what goes on at Time, but last time I checked interns had to have all content approved before posting. Second of all, any boss that doesn’t require this practice is an idiot, and any immature/unaccountable information posted is a direct reflection of that.

6.I don’t even know how to respond to this one. It’s probably because of the learning curve.

7.This has nothing to do with age and everything to do with writing ability. Hopefully if you’re hiring someone to WRITE blogs, you’ve entertained the idea of hiring someone with a strong writing background. If not, please see the last part of number five.

8.As long as you don’t hire Daniel Tosh you should be in the clear for this one.

9.I’ve yet to hear of any college or university that hasn’t figured out that social media and technology go hand-in-hand. That being said, it sounds like you’re looking to hire a jack of all trades. If that’s the case, then don’t hire an intern. Hire Mark Zuckerberg.

10. Great point. I think that’s why they invented applicant screening.

11.The title of this article should be: How to not be an idiot boss. I’m going to pretend you didn’t write number eleven for the sake of business owners around the world.

Thinking of it this way, perhaps you’ll slow down and consider more closely what you’re writing–and why.

lauren0225
lauren0225

So glad you added that first sentence - definitely makes the articles less offensive. 

I really wish this article was a joke. The only thing it proves is how unbelievably ignorant you are. Instead of bashing your article as a whole, I will respond to each number separately. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m an immature, lazy millennial.

1.“Instead they tend to feel unstable, self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives.” I won’t disagree with this statement, but you are putting young people 50 years ago on quite a pedestal. It doesn’t matter which generation you’re a part of at all. 20 year olds aren’t supposed to have their lives together yet. Isn’t that the point of college and internships - to help those in their twenty-somethings gain knowledge and experience? And as far as being eager to enter adulthood and settle down, is there anyone who doesn’t want that? News flash: young adults today have aspirations, too. You make a valid point: people in their twenties do want to explore who they are and transform their lives. But so do people in their thirties, forties and so on. Regardless, self-exploration and transformation have nothing to do with work performance; they are simply ways to introspect. You make it sound like 23 year olds will post personal poems on their company’s Facebook page. Find me a twenty-something person at a new job or internship who isn’t busting their ass to gain respect and impress higher-ups. Until then, stop being so ignorant.

2.See number one.

3.The funny thing about having a job is that it usually requires you to do your job. If employers fully explain their company’s voice, typical updates, and social media policy, then there won’t be a problem. And by the way, 20 year olds aren’t the only ones capable of making a smartphone upload mistake...Anthony Weiner, anyone?

4.You can’t control anyone...

5.“No class can replace on-the-job training.” Thank you for reminding us why internships still exist. First of all, I’m not sure what goes on at Time, but last time I checked interns had to have all content approved before posting. Second of all, any boss that doesn’t require this practice is an idiot, and any immature/unaccountable information posted is a direct reflection of that. 

6.I don’t even know how to respond to this one. It’s probably because of the learning curve.

7.This has nothing to do with age and everything to do with writing ability. Hopefully if you’re hiring someone to WRITE blogs, you’ve entertained the idea of hiring someone with a strong writing background. If not, please see the last part of number five.

8.As long as you don’t hire Daniel Tosh you should be in the clear for this one.

9.I’ve yet to hear of any college or university that hasn’t figured out that social media and technology go hand-in-hand. That being said, it sounds like you’re looking to hire a jack of all trades. If that’s the case, then don’t hire an intern. Hire Mark Zuckerberg. 

10.Great point. I think that’s why they invented applicant screening. 

11.The title of this article should be: How to not be an idiot boss. I’m going to pretend you didn’t write number eleven for the sake of business owners around the world.

Thinking of it this way, perhaps you’ll slow down and consider more closely what you’re writing–and why.

Bethany Hall
Bethany Hall

Age does not equal maturity. This article is offensive and unfounded. Seems to me that the author needs to spend some time studying the "art" of communicating...

M Bridget Bielinski
M Bridget Bielinski

 This article might be more effective if the author could trot out any real life examples to support her list. Then again, it's likely she didn't include any examples because she doesn't have any.  I can think one example that disproves her point and that is Melody Joy Kramer, the 27 year old who took over Fresh Air's twitter in 2010 and has been a smashing success. http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/...

WrentheFaceless
WrentheFaceless

Older generation doesnt like younger generation and their 'new fangled technology'

More at 11.

Jacobb317
Jacobb317

I, like many of the other people commenting, am 23 and disgusted by this article. I certainly understand the need to hire a well qualified individual for any job, especially marketing. However, generalizing and assuming twenty-somethings are more or less all selfish and ignorant children is a huge mistake, especially in the world of social media.  My generation was among the first to cut teeth on the incessantly changing world of the web. We have seen the rise and fall of many social media giants and I'm sure this will only continue in the future. Like it or not, many of us are mature, responsible and intelligent ADULTS that are perfectly capable of holding a social media marketing position. Age is irrelevant. Maturity is important, but it will always vary by individual. I hope you keep that in mind in a few years when the influence and power of our generations has shifted Hollis.

digiphile
digiphile

Hey, @TIME: How old are the people who have run your social media account on Twitter? (Hint: sources on Twitter who know say they were... in their early twenties.) 

aseroff
aseroff

If you're starting an article with a disclaimer, you're probably click-trolling. 

myrtle4444
myrtle4444

I am a 23-year-old who just spotted three typos (missing spaces) in this CEO's post, but I'm not familiar enough with "the 'art' of communicating" to Tweet?

audroe
audroe

Not only am I 23 and a social media manager, I'm the head content curator at our company's blog. First off, I would never let such an offensive article be the face of my organization, but maybe I'm not 'mature enough' to understand your distasteful point of view. Second, just because I'm 23 I suddenly have uncontrollable friends, a lack of humor and an uncontrollable urge to sign into my social media outlets during the workday? Wow, talk about stereotyping. Next time I suggest you write something with bit more credibility.

CarolineELee
CarolineELee

I respectfully decline to pardon your "generalization" here, Hollis. In fairness, I challenge you to print the reasons why you shouldn't hire a millennial to run your social media. A good debate shows both sides of the argument.  

Blessed78
Blessed78

This is so offensive and rude!!! If Mark Zuckerberg could make Facebook even before he was 23 and you use IT to share articles like THIS, then I'm sure we are NOT THAT DUMB!!!

Luis Miranda
Luis Miranda

It should be retitled as "why I hate millenials"

Caroline Grauel
Caroline Grauel

This article is very offensive. I see individuals of all ages making the same social media mistakes. The mistakes you've outlined are not committed solely by 20-something year olds,  they are made by people who weren't properly trained and educated in how to communicate online. That issue spans all generations. How about you discuss social media problems that are universal, and how to stop them instead. By targeting younger individuals, you are making it even more difficult for us to find jobs that give us credibility. Don't we already have a tough enough time finding jobs? There ARE those of us who take our job seriously, and do everything in our power to represent our company thoughtfully and professionally. Shame on you for posting this article, Hollis.

Jessica Lohner
Jessica Lohner

I am a 22-year-old whose job description includes social media. People in my generation have a better grasp of social media than pretty much anyone else, and if they were smart enough to be hired by a company in general (especially in today's unforgiving job market!), then they are smart enough to handle the accounts with maturity.

StickThisOnTwitter
StickThisOnTwitter

Social networking revolves around thinking with your sexual organs and creating a sandwich board for yourself. a popularity contest for a load of sheep, the only people who make money from it are the creators not the sheep 

quaymorris
quaymorris

This article is ridiculous and unfounded. As someone has pointed out, this is less about age and more about effectively screening your applicants. You have no basis for any of your arguments to pertain only to younger people. So people of this generation don't consider themselves an adult until they're 30? That doesn't mean they're not mature; maybe they just feel as though they still have much more to learn than being legally considered an adult would suggest, which is true! And knowing all the passwords and accounts for social media is smart to do regardless of age

Colin Giblin
Colin Giblin

This is less a list of why you shouldn't hire a 23-year old, and more a list of skills to be sure to screen for when hiring anyone under age 25.  Which of course makes perfect sense, and really shouldn't even be limited to people under 25.  

1. Just because someone is 40 does not mean that they are mature enough.

2. Plenty of people over 25 are still more focused on their own social media activity over their company's.

3. Age does equal skill in etiquette, nor does age equal experience.

4. You even mention this yourself, you cannot control their friends, no matter what age that person is.

5. Of course no class can replace on-the-job training, however there aren't a wealth of classes out there on social media, and even if they are 30 and have been in marketing or PR for 8 years, that doesn't equal skill on social media outlets.

6. People of any age can have a gap in knowledge when entering into a new industry.  So, the question is not how old are they, but how quickly do they learn?

7.Many young people understand better than older people the lack of nuance in online communication.  Those under 25 have lived their whole lives communicating with words alone, having to make up for the removal of non-verbal cues from communication.  Those over 30 aren't always as aware of the lack of context with anything posted online.

8. Will anyone understand the boundaries of good humor?  My guess is that one is crap shoot no matter how old the person is.

9. Tech Savvy does not equal Social Media Savvy.  That is absolutely correct, and is yet another item on this list that has nothing to do with age, but rather has to do with the person's skill set.

10. See number 9.

11. Any business owner should have access to their own social media outlets.  However, no matter how old the person is you hire, if you are going to give them the role of 'Social Media Manager' let them manage it.  There is a laundry list of reasons why here, 1.micro-managing wastes time, as the owner you have more important things to do. 2.if that person is under 25 micro-managing them will likely force them to leave shortly after arriving, have faith in their abilities, you are the one who hired them after all, 3.they are the person who has trained in this task, you are not, enter the difference between an owner and an employee, an owner is the navigator giving the company direction, while the employee steers the ship under the owner's direction.

Lesson learned?  It isn't about age when hiring, it is about maturity, and age does not equal maturity.

Allyson Pryor
Allyson Pryor

I began working at a PR firm at 23 and was hired for my background in social media. Sorry, but that first sentence doesn't forgive an entire article that questions the integrity of our generation. I see an awful lot of "millennial bashing" these days and I don't understand the reasoning behind it. You might as well say that we aren't capable of holding any job right out of college. The fact of the matter is, we grew up with smartphones and social  media. We know how to use the platforms, most of the time better than our coworkers and bosses.

KellyMesc
KellyMesc

Honestly, it's just "old" people b*tching about "young" people--it's  been happening since the beginning of time, but I think it's more visible now because of the Internet. (And I'm speaking as someone in her 40s, so I'm not complaining about old people - but I am tired of seeing the unwarranted generational bashing.)