Social media expertise has become one of the hottest things to add to your résumé as of late, especially with the development and integration of the various new platforms. And search engine optimization, once viewed as something that was handled by the computer savvy, seems to be intriguing even the most basic blog users. But with such, I’m finding that there is also an issue with the older members of Generation Y (i.e. those having graduated in the early to mid 90s) and of Generation X, and their interaction with the college aged Generation Y. The members of Gen-Y still in high school and just finishing college have little to no work experience; the end result is that that students get their experience and companies pick the savvier’s brains. Of course, that’s nothing new – but what is new, though, in terms of this relationship is the impingement on the what was once perceived to be the “personal” sphere.
Let’s take a look at a sample at one of the many of the postings that I’m seeing these days on websites that students use to find their internships (this one’s taken from ed2010.com):
Fast and reliable Internet connection is necessary for easy access to e-mail. Knowledge of AP style, SEO, and other social media marketing tools is preferable.
- Manage and develop story ideas with writers; make sure writers turn in stories on time
- Light copy editing and fact checking
- Manage posting on WordPress (make sure images are resized appropriate, for example)
- Promote stories using social media marketing.
The first three criteria are standard, especially with WordPress’ new release, which will sure to make the platform a much more viable choice for professionals. The last “responsibility,” though, has me wondering what the social media marketing aspect would require of the candidate. I bring this up because I had once applied for an internship found through NYU’s study abroad department (the copy read that traveling expenses could be covered in some cases, which I would later find out to be more than a year of writing for free and after finishing my study abroad; in which case, I would have to go abroad again and would have to pay for my living expenses with some traveling paid for) that asked for candidates well versed in blogging and social media.
What bothered me was not the fact that the position had asked of me to market via social media by linking to the week’s great articles, but rather, the lack of option I had. When I start a position, I do not want to be marketing for the immediately through my Facebook account; I would like to keep some distance and privacy because of the fact that the affiliation is only budding. I do realize that it is funny for me, of all people, to say that I would like my privacy. But I have to make a note here that I do not agree in using my personal Facebook account to blindly advertise. Not only am I not paid, but I don’t find it fair for all whatever number of friends I have to read these daily updates of things that I have not written or even familiar with. And while I do post links to my blog and occasionally to the companies that I work for (in this regard, I prefer to tweet; explanation seen further below), I approve of this practice given that it is an expression of my productivity, in addition to the fact that I have developed a relationship with the company to whom I am linking.
Of course, if I’ve worked with a particular company for several months and was then asked, my reaction would be different from the stark “no” that I had given. So employers (this is a reference to the aforementioned but not quoted verbatim), do not try to reason with your potential employees by stating in the interview, “but that’s an integral part of our marketing, everyone has to do it. It’s great you know other networks, but this one works best.”
Other social media networks, though, in my personal opinion are more corporate in their nature and use, such as Twitter (which has been used as an enhancement to customer support for many corporate companies) and LinkedIn. I find these two networks in particular to be great gateways and mediums for someone to market via their own personal account without compromising a whole personal network. Also, these two platforms came long after Facebook, which had originally been seen as personal. Twitter and LinkedIn, though, have a cleaner slate in the sense that they are not as wrought in the conflict of when to market and when to privatize.
Fellow Generation Y’ers, voice your opinion on social media by asking on the job or during the interview the particular specifics of what a particular company means by “social media marketing.” If you feel uncomfortable because it is impinging on your personal space (keep in mind, though, that social media marketing may simply refer to the company’s accounts), express your concerns and don’t go ahead with it. If your boss isn’t willing to listen to what you have to say, then ask yourself if this job is worth it, if your employer doesn’t seem to value your words.
To sum it up: give me time to get to know you, like any relationship, before I talk about you to others.
Image via Internetmarketingstrategy.us