By Cecily Walters
As an association communicator, you may have noticed that members of the younger generation don't always have an understanding of Twitter and the role it can play for them professionally.
I recently talked about this with Maggie McGary, online community and social media manager for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, who has experience with leveraging social media. She notes that with the increase in younger people using Twitter comes some careless behavior at times. In her experience, today's high schoolers seem to be migrating away from Facebook and toward Twitter and Tumblr. Many of them, however, "have no concept of privacy," she notes. "They are used to the relative safety/closed nature of Facebook and don't seem to realize Twitter is public."
McGary believes that many young people will have a hard time transitioning to using any social networking platform for business because they're used to using it in a purely social, filter-free context. With the tendency of many young users to publicly overshare on Twitter, should today's association industry be concerned how that mindset might trickle into their own organization's communications as new grads enter the workforce?
What have been your experiences in creating a work and non-work social media presence for yourself? Is your association equipped to help young people transition from using social media for purely social reasons to using it professionally? What should associations who will be hiring today's younger generation do to ensure that they are bringing in effective social media staffers?
(Editor's note: Read more about Walters' interview at Association Media & Publishing's e-newsletter, Final Proof
Cecily Walters is assistant editor for the School Nutrition Association's School Nutrition magazine. She is a member of Association Media & Publishing's Content Creation Committee.