Sunday, May 29, 2011

A university student is NOT your social media solution

It feels good when you discuss social media with communication experts who didn’t have the chance to get engaged yet and they confirm to you that, with your help, they are aware of social media and have a good idea on how they can use it to promote their company or service… What’s doesn’t make you happy though is when you find out that the same expert is looking for a university under/graduate to help manage his social media scene! That might be the case in US and EU, but in my opinion it can’t be the situation in the Middle East .

Although I mentioned earlier when I talked about web experts taking the role of communication experts in “who’s doing your social media?” last April, I want to reaffirm the point by extending it to internet addicts who are mostly amongst high school and university students in countries such as KSA, Egypt and Jordan. The first thing that comes to a mind of a client who is trying to engage clients on social media is “I’ll get a university student, they'l do the job…” well, I don’t think that this is the wisest business decision. Below points are debatable, please do get back to me if you don't agree.
·         A student doesn’t have enough consumer experience to take it to your customers.
·         A student might be very active online, but not offline (the real world) and that doesn’t attract/engage the majority of social media users (the new comers) who are still active socially offline.
·         A student doesn’t have the maturity to understand brand messaging and brand DNA and might improvise what doesn’t suit the brand he’s promoting.
·         A student is an individual and it will not be smart to trust with your company’s communication strategy/plan.
So after all, the experts who will be doing your social media are still PR experts but they need to represent the communities you are trying to engage with. Therefore, the extracurricular activities part in the resume of a PR professional is the most insightful part about what communities he/she can engage with and help bring to your website/brand/shop… so better start looking at that and discussing it with your candidates.
I would love to hear your different opinions and hope I was able to highlight an important point. Please do comment and write back.

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