Every year at this time companies, often small businesses or owners that do not understand social media themselves, hand over the reins to their social media program to their intern. After all, if you are twenty-something, you must be a social media expert. At least that seems to be the thought process along with the money you can save because they are far less expensive than a business professional with experience in the work world.

And if you look at some company social pages, you may notice a large, dormant period of time with no social media activity…about the same amount of time that the intern has been gone and back to school.

It’s easy to forget that there is so much more to social media than simply posting and “doing social media”. Your brand is connected to these efforts and that often gets lost in all this.

Things to consider when you are thinking about assigning an intern to direct your social media program: 

  • Social_Media_StrategyAn intern is looking to learn from you and other employees when they take on this internship. This is their first “real” job. If you cannot answer questions on social media or do not understand it yourself, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Have you fully trained the intern on your brand, in its entirety, from beginning to end? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Do you have a social media plan already designed/created by experienced marketers or experienced employees in your company, in which the implementation tasks are clearly defined? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Do you have a defined social media policy, clearly stating what can and cannot be done in order to follow your brand guidelines? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Have you defined the qualifications of a perfect social media manager to be – 1.) They are young, 2.) They have a lot of friends/followers/connections, and 3.) They know how to post? If these are your key reasons for their complete qualification, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.  
  • Do they understand the complete marketing plan, business plan and all the business goals of the company overall and how this segment of the marketing plan will contribute to the goals? If they do not have any way of knowing these things, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Would you ask your intern to be the head person in charge of your sales program, lead generation program, PR program, business plan, brand development and the lead in meeting with clients? If the answer is not no to all of these questions, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.

your brand online reputation managementTake the opportunity to learn the technology and the “how to” aspects of social media from your intern, while you have the chance. Take the time to review the company goals and plans and work on the strategy of your social media program together. But do not merely hand over the reins and say “run with it”.

Your brand is much more valuable than that and your intern deserves a great learning experience.

Here are some good articles on the subject:

http://www.business2community.com/social-media/why-putting-the-intern-in-charge-of-social-media-is-a-recipe-for-disaster-0476536

http://tishgrier.com/2012/04/13/would-you-put-your-kids-in-charge-of-your-companys-social-media-program/

http://blog.socialmediahq.com/social-media-interns-3-steps-to-a-successful-intern-program/

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/07/21/how-to-use-interns-in-your-social-programs/

http://www.customerthink.com/blog/should_an_intern_be_handling_your_social_media

Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: https://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com