Ten Reasons Why Every Social Media Manager Should be Over 30

Services for Real Estate Pros with ActiveRain

Old manCathryn Sloane, a 2012 graduate of the University of Iowa, recently wrote a pretty juicy post about why Social Media managers for companies should be under 25 years old. The foundation of her thesis was that the under 25 age group grew up with things like Twitter and Facebook and therefor have some innate understanding of what social media is really about.

It got a lot of play on Facebook and Twitter (it should have, she sounded to be auditioning for a job) and certainly made the rounds to anyone in the social media space paying attention to more than their own brand.

Being a social media manager of sorts for ActiveRain, and being the ripe old age of 35........I felt the need to respond. So here are my ten reasons why all social media managers should be at least 30.

1. There are no incriminating photos, status updates or comments from me on the internet. (OK, this might not be entirely true, but let's run with it) Even though I was using the internet in 1993 (remember Compuserve? I know you don't if you are under 25, so don't even lie about it). By the time something I posted on the internet had the potential to spread world wide I was smart enough to know that my next boss might not be as impressed with my keg stand as the 50 people standing around the keg chanting were.

2. My life is made up of more experiences than high school and college. Now don't get me wrong, I learned a ton in high school and college. In fact, I think high school was the pinnacle of my brain's capacity to take in useless information. You should see me at Jeopardy. And college? Couldn't have been a better environment to develop my social education. But since then, 13 years later, I've been in the business world, I've connected with thousands of people that have shared their life experiences with me and I've learned more about what really matters then most 25 year olds even realize they need to learn.

3. Speaking of knowing what I don't know. I now know I don't know it all. At 24......HA! I was a classic know it all. Too dumb to know what I didn't know. Surrounding yourself with smart people and allowing their penchant (and I've learned a few big words! ha!) for learning to rub off on you is one of the best ways to realize you don't know it all. When you were 23, how many smart people did you surround yourself with?

4. I lived a real social existence before I could create a fake one online. I hate to tell you this under 25er, but you don't have 578 friends (and you darn sure don't have 3124) no matter what Facebook tells you. I used to have to pick up the phone and call my friends, or gasp, go see them in person. Is it better or worse to understand the basic tenets of something before applying those things online?

5. I know how to actually speak to people.......IRL (and I know enough short hand text messaging to be dangerous! ha!). We've built a pretty vibrant community here at ActiveRain. Want to know how the real heavy lifting was done? Picking up the phone and actually calling someone. As an under 25er, you probably don't realize how much gets lost in translation with the written word. Your :-) at the end might not have come across as a joke to the person reading it. Eventually to be a real social media manager you're going to have to talk to people.....and you won't be able to say 'dude', or 'like', or 'umm' every third word.

6. I never do anything dumb (OK, that's just ridiculous)

7. I don't live in my mom's basement. This one is really just a low blow. I'm not sure if it would matter one way or the other whether I live in mom's basement or not. But part of not living in mom's basement means I have all the coolest toys to participate in social media and I don't have to worry about mom and dad deciding they aren't going to foot the cell phone bill any longer. When I go to all the fun real estate conferences, I can pick up the tab if I have to and endear myself to all the other fun social media people that will go out and say how awesome I am.

8. I've learned over 10 years in the real estate business, the last 5 actually running a social network, how to deal with really unhappy people. Any brand worth its weight is going to have people online that want nothing more than to see your logo go up in flames like Chernobyl (look it up, it happened the year before you were born). What are you going to do when those people say the most vial and nasty things about the company you love? There is an art to putting someone in their place online and it's something you learn from experience. And guess what.....when you write something that really gets under people's skin, you have to step up and face the music. You can't just disappear from the conversation.

9. People in their 20's are highly unpredictable. You might even know this about yourself, but it's true. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but if your friends come calling at 8pm with awesome tickets to Rihanna concert tonight, are you going to be able to turn down the offer because you have an 8am meeting the next day? I never turned down one of those calls in my 20's. I've never accepted one in my 30's.......because I'm old, boring and married.......but extremely predictable.

10. I learned that top ten lists are a great way to get people to read your stuff. I could have just used paragraphs and been all journalistic, because that's what I learned in college, but I've been around a little bit and everything you learn in college can be found in a library......there is no substitute for the real world.

Welcome to the real world.

So there it is, eight reasons why all social media managers should be at least 30.........but never over 40! (haha! That was a shot at my friends Brad and Jay, the old geezers running things over at Zillow)

If you'd like to watch and listen to Kerrie and me duke it out with Eric, the under 25 social media manager of RealEstate.com, on this topic and a few others you can join us for a Google+ hangout on Thursday.

Watch along live, July 26th at 11:00 AM. You can tune in at:
Youtube: www.youtube.com/realestate
Google+: Google + Hangout

Posted by

Bob Stewart
ActiveRain Ambassador


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Re-Blogged 7 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Evelyn Kennedy 07/24/2012 08:42 AM
  2. James Locklear 07/24/2012 09:26 AM
  3. Roy Kelley 07/24/2012 09:40 AM
  4. Bob Miller 07/25/2012 02:23 AM
  5. Philip Hoblin 07/31/2012 06:19 PM
  6. mary mcdonald 08/15/2012 06:53 PM
  7. Winston Heverly 12/12/2012 12:21 PM
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Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Bob, Great post, we all enjoyed it. Age is just a number. I have met a few people who really were old a t 30 or 40 ans some of us are not yet getting old at 60.

I have noticed many young people are low on energy and have many medical problems because of their poor diet. Neither I or my wife have ever had any reason to visit a doctor. I was reading that some experts are predicting that some of us oldies will outlive our children.

Jul 25, 2012 05:19 AM #88
Christina Ehli
RE/MAX Platinum - Brighton, Michigan - Brighton, MI
RE/MAX Platinum Brighton MI Real Estate Agent

This "over 40 year old" has the advantage of having children who can show me how to use the latest technology.  My favorite line at our house is "I didn't know I could do that . . . ". I agree with you Bob: The social media manager SHOULD be over 30.

Jul 25, 2012 06:31 AM #89
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Well done!  There's a lot of truth to the with age comes WISDOM.  While the internet, social media calls for a balancing act of this wisdom and the knowledge of how to interact with all ages.

So far, we've been very evil parents not getting an XBOX til our oldest was 16.  Thank goodness, all three of our kids actually know how to have a conversation.

All the best, Michelle

Jul 25, 2012 06:32 AM #90
Amy Steele Realtor SRS CNE NHS
JP and Associates - North Richland Hills, TX
Live,Work,Play...North Texas Real Estate Group

I concur that at 25 you really don't have much of a clue about the real world and haven't had the life experiences you need to be an "expert" at anything.  I know that I didn't. I like the bit about the last minute concerts...can' go hangout til 2 or 3 am anymore at the drop of a hat. Hurts too much the next day!

Jul 25, 2012 07:06 AM #91
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Did she steal this from the Toyota commercial or what?!!  You know, the "fake puppy" line.  I am over 40 and definitely agree about social media managers needing to be under 40. 

My son-in-law worked at CompuServe!

Jul 25, 2012 08:02 AM #92
Susan McCall, Everyone needs a home
Compass Realty Solutions, Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA - Portland, OR
Quickly, professionally and with a little fun!

There's a saying that goes, all publicity is good, negative publicity is even better.  Remember Ann Coulter?  She got her 15 minutes and more.  People would spend hours researching rebuttals to what was the latest misinformation that she spewed forth in the media.  It worked too!  She got all the attention!  Wore the same style little black dress in all the TV interviews - and looked really good doing it!

Jul 25, 2012 10:10 AM #93
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Bob - Great post!  It's hard to believe you're considered old at 35!

Jul 25, 2012 12:05 PM #94
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Ummmm, like, Bob, as a 46-year-old social media manager, I think this is really funny! :-) 

Jul 26, 2012 01:05 AM #95

I absolutely LOVED this article! But, seeing as I'm only 28 I suppose I should let my clients know I'm not best suited for the job I've been doing for the last several years. You know, since I'm two years shy of the older than 30, younger than 40 rule. Great post, this is definitely my favorite in response to Cathryn's. 

Jul 26, 2012 01:31 AM #96
Warren Schutt
Warren Schutt Real Estate - Danbury, CT
Helping People with Their Moves for over 36 Years

A funny post. I was the new tech guy when I got into the business back in 1980 and had a computer on my desk. Now as an over 60, I long for the days with a little less tech and when I could pick up the phone and have an actual conversation.

Jul 26, 2012 11:00 AM #97
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

Great post, unfortunately most won't listen.  I've had the same discussion with my kids, social media and that dam text messaging during work hours.

Appears the only way to learn is get fired from a good job and then see how hard it is to rebuild your reputation.  Once you post it, it's for the world to see.



Jul 26, 2012 09:57 PM #98
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Bob I think my 25 years of work  in other  fields helps me be a better agent.  I see beyond the close and the other aspects around it.  I heard it said (and maybe it was you) that young people are not experts with technology.  They know how to play with it; but they do not know what makes it work.  

Jul 27, 2012 08:25 AM #99
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

I hadnt read the other post, but now Im going to have to read it based on your post. Great stuff... just wait until you are 40 and have a better list. :-)

Jul 31, 2012 02:53 AM #100
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Where is the original poster's rebuttal or follow up post? It is very important to own up what you did or wrote in the real world, but in the 'young' social media world, probably not so much. As Phil mentioned, her editor defended her online, is the editor over 25 and an adult?

Jul 31, 2012 04:08 AM #101
Philip Hoblin
Petrie International - Manhattan, NY
Founder of The Hoblin Institute, a firm that speci

I just loved it!!! Great piece!!!

Jul 31, 2012 06:16 PM #102
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Bob, it takes time to acquire wisdom, though not all people acquire wisdom over time.


Jul 31, 2012 07:05 PM #103
Miranda Opiela
Prudential PenFed Realty - Fairfax, VA

Excellent response to her article!  I'm over 30 and I was laughing the whole time I was reading your article.

Aug 01, 2012 04:56 AM #104
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

My son will be obtaining an iPad this Christmas to conitnue his computer knowledge.

Aug 01, 2012 05:43 AM #105
Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Bob-

This post has so much about which to think. I know some truly brilliant, innovative and responsible people under 35.  I admire them and love hearing their ideas and learning about what they think and do.  I look forward to knowing them as they become older and even more interesting.  Some are into social media and some are not.  It isn't a given because of their age group.

If there is not a richness of experiences, social maturity, and perspective that we gain as we get older; then individuals would be in suspended animation (ok, so we all know some who are...), and the business world would be in even more trouble. Scary thought!

--Sara in San Antonio

Aug 19, 2012 01:05 PM #106
Tony Cappaert
Contactually - Washington, DC

I don't think there's necessarily an age that corresponds to this, but I do see the point. What your social media manager needs is experience and accountabilty. It's found more with older people, but there are also plenty of young people who can fill that role.

Interesting post!

Aug 29, 2012 01:45 AM #107
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