As the owner of a busy company, social media can become just one more thing you have to fit in.
This is why many business owners decide to hire someone to manage their social media for them. This person is usually responsible for all aspects of social media – and sometimes content marketing as well. Their tasks and responsibilities may include:
- Coming up with new content to share on social media
- Regularly creating new blog posts
- Managing the company’s online community
- Answering questions/responding to comments
- Monitoring relevant conversations on social media
Often, the social media manager will also be responsible for higher-level tasks like defining goals and tracking KPIs, coming up with a social media strategy, managing the company’s online reputation, etc.
As you can see, we tend to expect a lot from our social media managers!
Not surprisingly then, it isn’t cheap to hire a dedicated, experienced social media manager. According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary for a social media manager is around $47,000…and this doesn’t include benefits and bonuses!
To work around this, some business owners decide to hire an internet-savvy teen to manage their accounts. After all, they know how social media works, right?
Sometimes it’s a nephew who’s great with computers, or a local high school student who’s a whiz with social media. In any case, they tend to have one thing in common: they’re CHEAP!
But as in all areas of life, we often get what we pay for.But as in all areas of life, we often get what we pay for. This is especially true with social media!Click To Tweet
This article shares why hiring a teenager to manager your social media is a big no-no!
Social media experience doesn’t equal business or marketing experience
While many teens are great at knowing the ins and outs of various social media platforms, this doesn’t make them business or marketing experts.Teens may know how to use social media but this doesn’t make them business or marketing experts.Click To Tweet
Using social media for business purposes is FAR different than using it as an individual user!
An experienced social media manager will know how to:
- Use social media to meet specific business goals
- Use the business-related functions of different platforms (analytics, social ads, etc.)
- Monitor the ROI of social media campaigns
- Optimize accounts/posts for SEO
These are skills that just don’t develop without lots of business experience and training!
Consistency is key with social media management
Fully understanding how a brand works and what it stands for can take a long time. For this reason, anyone you hire to run your social media should be willing to commit for the long term.
So, what happens when your teenage social media manager graduates high school? Or wants to take the summer off to hang out with friends?
Training someone to represent your brand online is a big investment of time and money. Hire someone who’s willing to commit to the job for at least a few years, or you could be back to square one sooner than you’d like!
A social media manager must be able to handle social media crises like a pro
When everything’s going well, a teen may be able to competently handle basic social media tasks. However, if things start to go sideways, you need someone in there who knows exactly what to do, what to say, and how to react.
Take this well-known social media snafu as an example: A Red Cross employee accidentally posted a personal tweet from to the organization’s official Twitter account. It read:
“Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd”
Fortunately, Red Cross didn’t miss a beat.
One has to wonder if an inexperienced teen could have come up with such a direct, clever and humorous response!
Your social media manager needs to be on top of industry and platform changes
Social media management isn’t just about posting random updates on Facebook or Twitter. What you post and how you post it can be greatly impacted by changes in your industry and in the individual platforms you use.Social media management isn’t just about posting random updates on Facebook or Twitter. Click To Tweet
Is your teenage social media manager likely to monitor what’s happening in your industry? To follow industry sites, attend workshops, etc.? Is he or she likely to pay attention to major shifts on platforms? To know which ones your audience is most likely to be on? To stay on top of changes, new rules, policies or guidelines?
A teenager may not have the necessary filters in place yet to manage your social media
Your social media manager is the face and voice of your brand online. This is a HUGE responsibility!Your social media manager is the face and voice of your brand online. This is a HUGE responsibility!Click To Tweet
An inexperienced teen is far more likely to behave or respond in ways that aren’t flattering to your brand.
For instance, what if a disgruntled customer makes a particularly mean or rude remark? An experienced social media manager will have faced this many times before, and will know exactly how to respond to diffuse the situation. A teen, however, may be more likely to respond quickly and without the appropriate level of professionalism.
And since social media posts have a way of sticking around – even if you delete them – the impact of an unprofessional post or comment can impact your business for a very long time!The impact of an unprofessional post or comment can impact your business for a very long time!Click To Tweet
I hope this post has convinced you that hiring a teen to manage your social media just isn’t a great choice. The benefits (namely, the low cost) don’t even come close to outweighing the risks.
If you decide you need to hire some outside help but just aren’t able to pay a lot, I’d recommend hiring someone more experienced for even just an hour or two a week.
Of course, if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves a bit, we offer tons of resources so you can DIY! You may find the following helpful:
And the best for last:
Have you ever hired a teenager to manage your social media? How did it work out for you? Share below!