photo by Milissa Thompson (missyt)

I frequently hear this statement, “Go find a college student/teenager/young person to do your social media. They are young. They know how to do this better than I do.” What’s your reaction to that? Does it sound right to you? If I were to swap out social media for a car, do you think it would be the same? Just because they are young and social media is new doesn’t mean they know how to use it well.

It’s your brand. Are you prepared to give complete control to a teenager?

I learned about New York City’s first digital officer, Rachel Sterne (@rachelsterne), recently. She is only the world’s second person to have such a title. The New York Times article talking about the challenges she faces highlight the new frontier that government is entering into. She is helping one of the most iconic cities in the world transform their digital face and interaction with citizens. For such an important role, I would consider her young at 28 (I’m 34 and still considered a baby by many). She is constantly asked the question why she deserves a 6 figure salary when a high schooler could do it for free. (I love her ability to graciously navigate this fairly offensive question.)

Sure, go get yourself a neighbor kid to manage your digital reputation. What could go wrong?

Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Stop underestimating the power and degree of difficulty involved in social media. Make sure you do your homework, research your target audience, craft communications that will resonate, and deploy your plan. Regardless of your tool, the strategic plan is the same.

4 replies
    • Kerry Rego
      Kerry Rego says:

      Heather, I find it’s so frequently dismissed as easy to do. I just want people to take it more seriously so we don’t enter into crisis management mode. Too many “Weiner-gates”! Education will eliminate a lot of that type of mistake.

      Reply
  1. Connor Keating
    Connor Keating says:

    I guess most people look at social media as something immature and reserved to irresponsible teens. And actually if you spend a bit of time to read about search engines, about online reputation, online marketing and some other related terms you’ll find out that social media is the train to catch these days and it’s already preparing to leave the station. It’s one of those ‘it’ll never last more than a couple of years’ and after a couple of years you say to yourself ‘why didn’t I take advantage of it?’.

    Reply
    • Kerry Rego
      Kerry Rego says:

      I did hear something interesting the other day, Connor, about audio communication device engineers or telephone operators. When the phone was new we needed help using it. Soon social media will be so ingrained in the way we communicate and do business, we won’t need anyone to guide us. But I think there will always be room for those that are able to train those that don’t understand. It’s only because it’s so new that people dismiss it. I think some of it is fear that they won’t be able to pick up a new skills so they don’t even try. They pass it off to someone that assume will understand much more easily. There’s a lot of psychology there.

      Reply

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