Should interns run your social media?

August 24, 2013 in Digital Marketing

The first rule of marketing is – go where the people are. The people are on social media, and that’s why your business should be there too.

56% of the Irish population over the age of 15 are on Facebook, and  22% are on Twitter. It costs nothing to set up basic accounts, only time, man power and whatever you spend on creating content.

One of the biggest benefits to hiring interns is bringing some fresh young ideas and perspectives into your businesses. Your intern should be plugged in and familiar with what’s trending on Twitter, to see if it’s something relevant to your business, and something you can capitalise on.

Social media is so reactive, sometimes the best examples are created in minutes, rather than weeks of planning. See Oreos’ reaction to the power cut during the Super Bowl – that picture was tweeted within minutes, and had everyone talking, without the expense of a TV ad slot, which would have cost millions.

Younger people tend to be more familiar with social media, because they’ve grown up with it. If you are over the age of thirty, you may be on Twitter and Facebook, but are you on Reddit or Tumblr with any regularity? These social media are the domain of the younger demographic, and as such you would be wise to hire a native to maximise any business potential there.

Creative engaging content is key to the success of a social media campaign. Not everything has to be created  in house. If you find a video that relates to your business on YouTube, then your fans may like to see that along with your own ads. This content can be sourced via Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest etc and by keeping your ear to the digital ground.

Your interns should not be developing your social media policy and strategy, but they should be consulted, and with a little training, should be well able to implement it. You wouldn’t get the new guy to write your press releases on his first day, so why should you make an shiny new intern the digital voice of your business?

Social media requires a more conversational informal tone than traditional PR and customer services. In the same way that you would not put a new employee front of house to deal with customers without training them to the policies of the company, the same applies online.

You should set up the profiles yourself, otherwise they could be directly connected to the intern themselves. In the case of Facebook, make sure there is more than one admin for the page. With Twitter, make sure there is a centralised email used to set up the account, not a personal email.

The landscape of social media blunders is not paved with the blood of interns, but with company employees unfamiliar with social media itself, and the appropriate tone or content for the brand.

Once the intern is familiar with the brand philosophies, and how you want the digital world to perceive you, the rest should fall into place.

*Pictured above: Daniel O’Dowd – proud Irish Daily Star transition year intern from Castleknock College