Many, many companies when faced with starting a social media marketing program are tempted to put the nearest 23-year-old in charge and then trust them to produce a “viral video” and Twit stuff.
But social media is fast becoming an integral part of any marketing plan and may even become the most important so handing it over to an employee solely because they know what LMAO means may be a mistake.
Unless your Gen Y (sometimes also called Millenials or to my mom, “those young people”) employee is a trained social media professional you may be handing a major advertising tool over to someone who just posted pictures of themselves in drag on Facebook.
Not only is this no the best idea it’s also incredibly unfair to expect someone who was very recently still in college to be your face online. They can’t be expected to know and support your goals and expectations anymore than they could argue a case before the Supreme Court.
A young employee could certainly have a point of view and online savvy that would be of great help for online marketing efforts. They’ve basically grown up using the internet and they navigate it with ease.
However this shouldn’t be the reason to give them free reign. They won’t have your business experience. It’s not their fault they’re just new here.
By putting them in charge you’re asking them to present your brand to the world. So ask yourself this:
- Do they know how you want to position yourself in the market?
- Are they capable of making decisions in your place?
- Will they be working with other offline marketing efforts to present a unified voice for your advertising?
- Will they be the one to respond to negative comments on social media sites? Do you want them to?
- Do they have a clear vision of your capabilities that they can present?
- Are they posting what they want or what you want?
Your online message should be aimed at your customers or soon to be customers so your social media manager should know the “voice” you want to speak in. So managing your efforts, profiles, outreach and content is a big responsibility so handing it over to someone just because they’re under 30 isn’t good for business and it’s really unfair to the employee.
Draw your plan, decide a plan of action and move forward together. And as they (and you) become savvier and can move deeper into the world of social media marketing, including analytics and SEO and more, you may find that you’ve created an online marketing champ. But even careful planning may not create prevent the occasional social media, um, incident. But even the big brands mess it up now and then.
If you find yourself and your young team member just wandering about together give us a call at DataComm Plus. We can guide both of you with social media training that can reveal the world of successful online marketing. From Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to SEO and analytics and blogging we can get your staff up and running.