Last week, Cathryn Sloane of the University of Iowa published an article that insisted that every social media manager should be under the age of 25. On the surface, it may seem that social media is a “kid” thing — but if you look more deeply into the game changers in this industry, it's apparent that it's an older generation that really understands the power of marketing through a social media technique.
The thing is, Sloane isn't the first person to believe this notion or talk about it publicly for that matter. In fact, Daniel Saynt was quoted saying in an interview with Signature9 a year ago:
S9: For bloggers who function more as editors or writers, do you think we’ll see more brands looking to blogrolls for long term hires and the people who coordinate campaigns?
Saynt: Yes. Yes I Do.
Bloggers are the next generation of fashion. We are growing in revenue and gaining more experience. We’re connected to the industry and anyone above the age of 30 listens to us because they have no fucking clue what they are doing online.
So, is it true that social media “gurus” need to be in their twenties? Not even close.
Two days after Sloane's piece was posted, a rebuttal was written by 47-year-old Mark Story, who works in social media for a government agency, which included this point,
“First, you confused familiarity with using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter with the ability to turn that into offering actionable, solid communications advice for internal or external clients. There is a BIG difference between posting Facebook Timeline updates and telling General Motors what to do with their own social media presence in the midst of a crisis… Moreover, you will have to explain and sell social media wherever you go, and that means having enough savvy to turn your knowledge of the tool into a strategy and set of tactics that resonates for someone higher-up than you. And then make it work not for 25 year-olds, but for whomever the target market of your employer is.”
Story's got a point — think about some of the most powerful “social media experts” that we've had on IFB, including Peter Davis and Steven Rojas, who are both over the age of thirty. Even more, what about 37-year-old social media queen DKNY PR girl? Or 30-year-old OscarPRGirl?
[Image credit: Mikaela from Framboise Fashion, Leandra Medine, Shutterstock]