10 Mar

When Hiring a Social Media Intern Pays

As a I mentioned in part one of this article (Social Media Management: Why You Need More Than an Intern), interns can be great but do I think they should be the sole person at your company responsible for managing your social media marketing efforts? Absolutely not. Hire a social media intern to help support your social media strategy, but never own it.

As a business owner, you know your company better than anyone else. Whether you have a marketing manager train your intern on the mission of your company or you do it yourself, an intern (or any new marketing employee for that matter) needs to understand your business and needs a support system. In addition, you or your marketing manager need to have enough social savvy to know what could hurt your business. Consider:

brand identity

With the right support, guidance, and motivation, an intern can be a star.

Marketing Director Approved Tasks for Social Media Interns

1. Have them monitor your social media channels. Your customers deserve a quick response. While you’re off running your business, let your intern monitor what’s going on in the social world, from keeping an eye on mentions of your brand to letting you know when there’s a comment that needs addressing. I’m a big believer in small businesses responding to most comments (which include the positive ones) left on social media. What this does is show your customers and targets that you are listening and you care. Simply ‘liking’ a commstar internent they make on your Facebook page, RTing a post on Twitter, or Plus 1ing (is that even a word? Oh social media …) on Google Plus can go a long way. Your intern can handle this. In fact, what I would do when a negative comment comes in (it’s bound to happen and it’s how you handle it that matters) is ask your intern how they think it should be handled. What would they do? What would they say? Review their approach and reply to the social media user accordingly. It could be a good learning lesson for the intern!

2. Research, research, research. I don’t think the majority of the population realizes how much time it takes just to come up with ideas for social media content, let alone put it together with engaging copy and graphics. An intern can be a great resource for doing research. Have them stay abreast on:

  • The latest trends in your industry.
  • What your competitors are doing.
  • What’s hot and what’s not in social media including what’s new and useful for marketers.
  • How to maximize results and continuously improve your social media strategy.
  • Curate worthy content.

3. Write copy. “What’s catchy and creative that you would find valuable if they did not work for this company?” Have them ask themselves that question as they draft up social media post copy. Be sure to review all copy prior to go-live

4. Design graphics. Branded custom images are so important on social media. Give your intern final post copy and let them design away. You’ll also want to review these images prior to go-live.

5. Offer new perspectives. Include them in your brainstorming sessions. They can offer fresh and exciting insights into areas your company may be lacking.

What are some other tasks you can think of that social media interns would be perfect for?

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