It's gotta be tough being a Millennial these days. Everyone crapping on you from left and right, claiming you're all a bunch of selfish, lazy-ass know-it-alls who refuse to fit in. Of course,
that's a blatant generalization, but as with all stereotypes, there's always a tiny bit of truth within the accusations.
Some question the intelligence of upper management charging Millennials with the management of a brand or agency's social media efforts. Hootesuite Director of Education Strategy William Ward says Millennials "aren't the social gurus you think they are," have "social ADD" and "whimsically jump from Twitter to Instagram and then onto Snapchat."
Again, a blatant generalization -- but if you add to Ward's assessment the opinion of Hill Holliday Director of Digital Strategy Mike Proulx's notion that social media is now just regular marketing, then the assessment makes more sense.
Writing in an Ad Age op-ed, Proulx said: "Social media is largely a media planning and buying exercise -- emphasizing viewed impressions. Brands must pay if they really want their message to be seen. It's the opposite of connecting or listening -- it's once again broadcasting."
He adds: "Marketing on social networks today requires a shift in mindset -- one that considers social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, as any other ad-supported media properties."
So if Proulx's notion is that social media is basically an integral form of brand marketing which entails the implementation of well thought out, deeply-researched strategies then handing that responsibility to a minimally experienced 25 year-old may not make all that much sense. Again, no one is saying Millennials are dumb. Not at all. But like any other 25 year-old from any other generation, 25 is 25 and, in general, expertise comes from experience and experience is, generally, gleaned from spending significant time on this earth. Perspective. Wisdom.
Making the argument that GenX or Boomers are too old to understand the intricacies of social media is, however, dumb. After all, social media has been around for less than ten years and unless I'm bad at math, GenXers and Boomers have been alive and well and working on this planet for the past ten years.
Sure, one could argue that the adoption and usage of social media swings heavily to younger peoplem, but usage and implementation of a thing for the business purposes of marketing a brand are two very different things. A person doesn't have to be a heavy user of Snapchat, Meerkat or Periscope to seek out and understand their potential benefits to a brand.
Can Millennials be charged with handling a brand's social media? Sure. Can a 55-year-old? Absolutely. Age is irrelevant. On the other hand, experience is not irrelevant and can play a heavy role in the successful implementation of a brand's marketing program. And social media is marketing. So think twice before you fully hand over the marketing reins of your brand to a 25-year-old.