I was born in the late 80s, I grew up with the modem sound, I played Pinball, I had a Playstation and a Game Boy, I left my walkman for a CD player and then turned to iPod. I played Snake on my first Nokia phone and I now play Angry Birds on my smartphone. Most people that were born on that decade can relate with me and many of us have a common digital passion.
I always loved writing and popular culture, so I started blogging on my own 5 years ago, doing what I loved. I learned about Wordpress, SEO, HTML for my own curiosity and ultimately got into online journalism. And then came social media. I started with Facebook back in 2007 and just like everybody else, I got hooked to the bait of social networks.
It was in 2012 when I pushed my limits by applying and being hired for a social media associate position. I was doing what I already knew: posting on Wordpress and promoting posts on social media.
|Image Source: Fast Company|
As I realize now, it's a brand new perception many people have at my age that we can learn and do anything. All you need is passion. If you love what you're doing and trust yourself, you can aim higher. Back to my first professional social media days, although it started as a hobby, I soon found a new perspective on the use of social media. It was not merely posting anymore, but also brainstorming, monitoring and measuring. And day after day, I realized that I loved what I was doing and I was also paid for it.
However, there is a social media generation gap that is also evident in social media management. Young SMMs might be arrogant and senior SMMs might disapprove of the younger SMMs due to their lack of marketing and business knowledge.
|Image Source: "Tweet Up" by Joseph Simony|
And the latter could be true, a 20-something SMM might not be aware of the business aspect of social media, but s/he has probably already spent endless hours trying new trends and networks, having at least personal successful social media case to show. Generation Y (which mostly consists of the young adults being in their 20s) knows very well how to handle technology, how to use every new device and social network and how to keep an open-mind on new ideas. It is the first step to a high ladder that might not be stable, but if you manage to make it to the top, you'll enjoy the great view.
The fact that Generation Y has grown up with the Internet and social media creates the problem of balance when using social networks. Especially when you're working as a social media manager, you need to find a way to maintain your casual style, but also to adopt a professional attitude when needed. I've had the dilemma of personal VS professional attitude several times and it's quite often for me to be excited to share a new pop song and after some hours sharing an article on business communication. This could be easily considered as lack of professionalism.
(Beware, I'm not talking about posting offensive and abusive content, this is not casual style).
Actually, it's not.
It's just part of our generation and the way we're connecting. You are simultaneously authentic both to friends and coworkers. Generation Y loves updating their networks (sometimes over-updating) and this means keeping an update either on your fun side, or your professional one.
At this point, I must thank so many people that have trusted me and never felt discriminated of my age. They exchanged their experience and their trust with my passion and my fresh perspective. And that's what should happen to any case of a generation gap. This balance solves all the problems.
|Image credit Frits Ahlefeldt hikingartist.com|
For any SMM in 20s that wants to succeed, there is indeed a place for you in this profession. All you have to do is prove you're worthy the chance you'll eventually be given and try to improve yourself day by day. Develop new skills, read, listen, learn and you'll make it!
Waiting for your own personal stories on how you started you careers and whether you can relate with my story!
To be continued...