Is your young nephew, niece, child or a college intern leading your business’ social media marketing charge? Seems a little silly when you see it in writing, but I hear it all the time.
You see, most business owners (unless you own Facebook) are not in their 20’s. 77% of all U.S. business owners are between 35 and 65+, with the highest number on that scale – 32% – being somewhere between 45 and 54*.
These entrepreneurs, while not necessarily un-savvy when it comes to technology, have only just begun to understand the reach, impact and importance of social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – they hear the buzz and know they need to be there, but they don’t know exactly how to get there. So what happens? That 55 year old business owner turns to the person he sees utilizing social media the most for help – his nephew.
Now, I don’t want to knock the knowledge of someone in their teens or 20’s. They certainly do understand social media tools better than most. They practically post photos and information to Facebook in their sleep. They’re hardly ever disconnected. But understanding the medium, and using it to represent your company brand are two completely different concepts. Look at it this way. Your high school senior may get straight A’s in math, but would you put her in charge of your accounting department? I don’t think so. While the basic understanding may be there, the ability to use it properly to move business forward comes from experience. Not just experience using the medium, true business experience.
This phenomenon is like déjà vu taking us back to when the internet was brand new. It was such a foreign concept. Business owners didn’t get it, and many were slow to adopt it. And when they finally realized they were falling behind, many of them turned to those that they believed understood the medium best – teens. The result? A worldwide web littered with poorly written, poorly designed websites with flashing text and really, really bad animated clipart. Cool! It took a few more years for business owners to fully realize that their website was the face of their brand and needed to reflect their core business. Now, you wouldn’t dream of trusting something as important as your website to an amateur.
So here we are at the crux of the next big thing for businesses. Who will you trust to lead the charge?
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