Dear Brand XYZ,
It is your old friend Jack here to share some common sense advice with you. With few exceptions most of you would never consider using a 20 year-old intern as your company spokesperson.Â Don’t give me stories about how some 20 year-olds are brilliant, eloquent and bestowed with exceptional common sense because we are not talking about them.
We are talking about most 20 year-olds who have limited life and business experience. We are talking about people who probably aren’t seasoned enough to deal with some of the really hard questions and situations that businesses often have to face. Yet you the fine executives at Brand XYZ who won’t allow these younger people to serve as the “public” mouthpiece shoot yourself in the foot by placing them in charge of social media.
As ridiculous as it might seem, some of you haven’t figured out that Facebook, YouTube, Blogs and Twitter are all public. You haven’t figured out that you just gave the kid a microphone and license to use it. You haven’t figured out that they might have a different definition of what is appropriate and proper than you.
If you are smart you’ll make the appropriate changes very quickly or you might find yourself as the newest case study in what not to do. If you are really lucky you won’t have enraged a social media expert who is well connected and ready to unleash a 24 hour campaign of social media terror upon your company. Remember, it may not be right or fair but once the barn door is open it is really hard to get the horses back inside.
The best thing you can do is be proactive. Take steps to make sure that your social media plan is being handled by someone who has the experience and savvy to prevent you from dealing with a crisis PR situation.Â Doing nothing makes as much sense as tryingÂ to build a parachute after you have jumped out of the plane.