Should Interns Handle Your Social Media?

Interns can be great additions to your small business. They provide a built-in talent pool for future employment and often make economical staffing solutions. They bring fresh perspectives that help you grow the business and can rejuvenate methods and processes that may have grown stale. However, use caution if you’re thinking about delegating social media to your interns.

Social Media is the Voice of Your Brand

Your business conveys tone, attitude and friendliness (or lack thereof) through the ways in which it uses social media. A plumbing company that emphasizes do-it-yourself videos and blog posts projects a different voice than one that focuses on customer testimonials, common plumbing problems and how technicians can resolve them. Both approaches are valid, but it’s important for your social media presence to project the image you want. In that vein, the person doing your social media marketing is, in effect, the voice of your brand.

Choosing the Right Person

For social media, you want someone who will represent your business with a consistent tone and is well versed with the business culture and brand, as well as its philosophy and history. Interns are new to the business and may not be familiar enough with the topics that resonate with your audience or with the best ways to connect with them.

Interns may also be dealing with too much. They may need to type reports, design plans, take meeting notes, fetch coffee–and perhaps do social media on top of it all. In that case, it’s your responsibility to ensure they have the time they need to complete their tasks.

What to Look For When Picking Someone to Handle Your Social Media

  • Deep knowledge of your business culture and target customer base
  • Capable skills in marketing, communications, PR, managing crises and branding, as social media combines all of these
  • Broad experience with various avenues of social media marketing

How Interns Can Help You With Social Media

That doesn’t mean interns shouldn’t have anything to do with your social media. In fact, they can prove quite valuable. You just need to use them correctly. Ask them to make you, or the social media coordinator, aware of new social media sites, new features on established sites and social media trends in general. Listen to them if they come to you with ideas. Interns can also help develop apps for phones and tablets to boost the presence of your business on those devices. It may be useful for an intern to work under supervision in a very limited role in one aspect of social media, but use your judgment–and train your intern. Make your expectations and metrics clear.

 

Have you hired interns to handle your social media? How has it worked out for you? Tell us in the comments!