The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Member Blog: 5 Reasons Why Asking Just Any Old Young Person to do Your Social Media is NOT Best Practise

By Joanna Booth - Owner of Social Media Makes Sense

If I had a pound for every time a business owner told me ‘I don’t need Social Media training, my son/daughter/neighbour’s child/junior staff member does it for us’,  I would  be well on my way to being a millionaire.  See, the main problem with the social media industry, is most people believe it’s:

A) Just for young people and

B) Therefore young people are the best people to manage it.

These two points are the main reasons thousands of businesses are losing thousands of pounds of potential new business each year.

This type of thinking and attitude are my biggest pet peeve because it hinders so many SMEs from maximising their online potential.  Social media is a fantastic, mostly free, marketing tool that can attract business from local to global markets.

So why do I say that asking any-old young person to do your social media is NOT best practise?


1) Unless you’ve specifically hired a young marketer (bravo if you have), then this young person isn’t going to understand marketing your business. It astonishes me how many businesses, including the giants, who place a young person as their Social Media Manager without checking they understand any marketing principles. You wouldn’t come home and ask your child to design your new brochure would you?  You would at least check they understand what it is you do and how to best represent that.  Social media is no different.  It’s your online shop-window and it must act accordingly if you want to see results.

2) Granted, there are many young people who are far more mature than plenty of adults.  However, it’s important you ensure the person running your social media is mature and mature enough to cope. They must be able to sound professional, act professional and ultimately be able to handle anything thrown at them. Running a social media strategy (hopefully you have a strategy) takes time, understanding and appreciation.  It also means they have to have the maturity to handle enquiries and especially the odd complaint.

3) In order to run your social media within UK law, they must also understand the legalities.   Simple things like data protection need to be considered, as well as more complex matters like Impressums (displaying your VAT Number, Company Number, etc). Not to mention libel and other pesky potential legal pitfalls!

4) As well as being a marketer, the person implementing your social media marketing should understand sales.  As I said earlier, your social media platforms act as a shop-window, is your Social Media Manager capable and happy to make sales for you?

5) And finally, and possibly the most common issue with asking a young relative or junior staff member to handle your social media, what is their level of commitment?  Any successful social media strategy takes commitment, patience and consistency.  Is this person dedicated to your business’ success?  Do they appreciate the value to you of your social media marketing? Can they dedicate the time to implement it?

All that being said, you’ll notice I highlighted any-old in the paragraph above to emphasise my point. There are many, many qualified, quality young people who will do a fantastic job of your social media.  In fact, young people typically do have a better grasp of the technology and principles behind social media.  What’s most important is that you select the right person for the job, spend time training them and supporting them within the role.  We use young people all the time for implementation but we also spend the time making sure they are confident and competent before doing so.  I myself am only 25, after all!

Joanna Booth is the owner of Social Media Makes Sense, Social Media Training Company. Joanna and SMMS have just finished their massively successful social media campaign for the BBC’s hit series Poldark!

Contact her on: 07935 636 839 or on Facebook/SocialMediaMakesSense

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