The recent target=”_blank”>article about social media and its close relation to Generation “Y” titled, “Why Social Media Managers Should Be Under the Age of 25,” by a recent University of Iowa graduate Cathryn Sloane, has received its fair share of controversy thus far, so it seems like a great time to address some of the points that this article brings up.
Sloane asked following question: Why do marketing/communication/PR firms insist that all potential candidates have 5-10 years of professional experience? In this case, isn’t social media experience in general (which she argues Generation Y has the most of) just as valuable?
It would be helpful for those looking to hire a social media manager to realize that everyone presently under the age of 25 were in various years of high school when Facebook first came out in 2004, and when Twitter was launched in 2006. Having the minimum years of experience required for most job qualifications (5 years), would plant them smack dab in the middle of sophomore/junior year of college or in freshman year of high school (10 years)! There is simply no way that this generation could have 5-10 years of experience as most job ads prefer.
Perhaps those hiring should consider what Generation Y can bring to the table, and make their hiring decisions accordingly.
Below are some of the things that Generation Y can teach older marketing and social media professionals:
1. Generation Y began using social media before businesses were bombarding it with direct sale messages and spam. We used Facebook and Twitter socially before professionally, which not many people can say.
2. We know these social platforms better than anyone because they came out when we were 15 and 16. We were right in the middle of the social shift, and it is really one of the ways with which our generation is defined.
3. We’ve known Facebook since before the timeline, the cover photo, chat and even before notifications! We’ve seen all the changes and USED all the new features so we are better equipped to predict, adapt and make use of any and all of the upcoming developments in the social media realm.
4. Those under 25 have recently graduated from college, having learned the latest marketing and social media tactics with fresh and innovative ideas that may be different from those of a seasoned professional. New ideas, no matter who they’re from, should never be overlooked.
Though the author of the original article may have simply skimmed the surface of this debate, and some of her points are undoubtedly debatable, the most important thing that she implied is that Generation Y is not getting a fair chance in the job market, especially when considering how they can help a company.
Would you considering hiring someone from Generation Y to manage your brands’ social media accounts? Why/Why not?