11 Reasons Why You Should Hire Us: A Rebuttal

Recently, Inc. ran a piece titled, “11 Reasons Why a 23 Year Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.”  Being a 23-year-old myself and quite infatuated with social media, it caught my eye.  Also, I’ve included a picture that is equally stereotypical.

While I do appreciate Hollis Thomases’ early disclaimer,“pardon the generalization of 23 year olds,” I’m still pleasantly offended.  So, instead of writing this rebuttal essay style, I am going to give you 11 reasons why you should hire someone as shallow and unprofessional as a 23-year-old.

1. Many of us are not mature enough?

In fact, a lot of us are. I could care less about research from Clark University, as the article cites. “Instead, they tend to feel unstable and self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives,” states Thomases. Personally, I feel quite stable enough to draft up a social strategy and run multiple social accounts for a variety of brands and not to mention a mayor of a very nice sized metropolitan city at one point.

2.  Yes, we may be focused on our own Social Media activity.

As much as society frowns at our ability to multi-task, the truth is…we can.  Will your 23-year-old community manager be looking at their own sites periodically? Yes. Wouldn’t you? Yes.  How about a 45-year-old? Probably, but they’d be using Internet Explorer so they would take five times longer to post an update that is socially irrelevant.

3.  Most 23 year olds have seen life before social media and have grown with it.

Therefore, our experience in social media and connecting people online tends to be better than those who are still adapting. Social media is something that comes very natural to those under the age of 35.  We are often thinking of ways to cite, link, and mention others in the content we post before our older, more traditionally experienced boss can log in to their Hotmail account.

4.  We all have crazy, intoxicated friends?

This may be more or less true for certain people. I don’t see this excuse only pertaining to persons of a certain age. My own mother has posted more embarrassing content than some of my best friends.  Personally speaking, most of my friends have better things to do than derail a social strategy.

5.  College doesn’t prepare you for work?

News to me! I’ll be sending back my degree once received I suppose.  Sure there are no classes titled, “How to respond to political radicals on Facebook”  but that is where critical thinking and general intelligence come into play. That is also where countless Public Relations courses or common sense come into play.  Most grads are more than the sum of their courses.

6.  We may not understand the employer’s business?

In some ways, this may not be our fault.  Perhaps the higher up executives or managers have not made the company’s missions and mantras easily readable or accessible.  Most social media positions are highly underestimated and rest at the bottom of the pyramid. What better way to expand your company’s inner culture and passion than through communicating it with all employees?

7. Since when do young people not know how to communicate?

Hollis states we have “yet to learn the art of communicating.”  I’m sorry, let’s look at the ages of most social media entrepreneurs. You know, Zuckerberg and his fellow game changers.  Maybe we’re too busy with our gigapets to learn how to communicate?

8.  Millennials are not funny! Not at all.

It’s true that some brands do not benefit from humor. Funeral homes for instance, I’d hate to be in charge of their online presence.  I know I am biased but most twenty somethings are pretty damn witty. This is more clear on the internet than any other vehicle.

9.  Social Media Savvy & Technical Savvy are not the same?

Any honest, intelligent social media manager knows the benefits of analytics.  In fact, it’s the thing we thrive on. If your intern is mindlessly posting random content at random times of the day, then yes you have hired the wrong person. Don’t group us together.  I’ll sit down and discuss insights any day or I’d be happy to write a 10 page report for you.

10.  A 23-year-old who works strictly 9-5?

Yeah right. Any true job involving social media comes with the 24/7 requirements.  I know that I am basically on the job at all hours of the day. The internet never sleeps and neither do we.

11.  Don’t give us your personal passwords

Duh. I don’t want access to your own personal Facebook and YouTube account.  Any professional social media policy has these rules in practice. Trust me, any smart community manager doesn’t want your personal information. It’s hard enough keeping track of our own then add in the brands’ information.

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4 thoughts on “11 Reasons Why You Should Hire Us: A Rebuttal

  1. Great rebuttal! I read the original article by Hollis Thomases, and I think it is a perfect example of when someone is trying to install fear of change. What proof does she have that people of 23 are negative for a company’s image and have no place in social media community management?
    Like you point out in your post, people in their 20s should be treated no different to people of an older age, as we are the ones who actually grew up with social media. Just because people aged 35+ working in business ‘know marketing’, it does NOT mean they know social media, as it’s almost an entirely different field.
    A majority of the issues that Thomases pointed out were, as you discuss, completely to do with common sense. An employer can choose to give out as little as much information/power of the social media use as they want. If they give too much to someone who is computer illiterate, then don’t be surprised when negative results follow.
    Thanks for the good read,
    A 23 year old Community Manager.

    • Thanks Matt! I agree with the line between ages! Both sides can come to battle with many different arguments. Let’s stop using gender and ages to set us apart. We need to get together!

  2. I can’t help but read this and be reminded of Cathryn Sloane. Voices like hers, upon entering the conversation and attempting to hijack it, have made life difficult for a lot of Millennials.

    To be clear, I agree with you; there are a number of Millennials who are mature enough, who understand analytics and other business strategies necessary for branding campaigns, AND who understand social media. I’m not one of them. I don’t think Sloane is one of them. I don’t think a lot of Millennials belong to that group – but only because they haven’t tried to learn the ins and outs of the field yet.

    The issue is that Millennials and earlier generations are coming in on the two sides of this conflict talking about separate issues. Most Millennials base their arguments in fresh degrees or knowledge of social media. Most Gen Xers and Boomers talk about workplace hierarchy, experience and respect, and knowledge of business strategies.

    Here are the facts: a degree does not constitute work experience and running a Twitter account doesn’t constitute knowledge of branding and marketing. HOWEVER, being 23 doesn’t constitute a personality based in self-absorption and business experience doesn’t constitute knowledge of social media. We all have tools that can be used together to create better social media campaigns.

    For once and for all, I think we need to drop the age argument. Where are posts featuring the actual substance and duties of the job, rather than just pop psychology analyses of the generations? That’s what we need to see.

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