Five reasons to and five reasons not to hire an intern for your social media

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There are ongoing debates about hiring an intern to handle your social media presence or to handle your companies social media account. Some may say that they should hire an intern because they know Facebook, and because of that they will make them a great social media manager as they are the experts.

However, that is not true, although most of these teenagers really do know how use to Facebook of course, they use it for personal reasons such as relaying their movements to their friends, connecting, posting news updates, and stalking other peoples’ friends . (Don’t pretend you don’t do this!). I imagine very few interns use Facebook for business usage.

Interns don’t use Facebook for business; they use it to look at chicks in bikini pictures – @garyvee

Hiring an intern or getting them to do all your social media activities is a bad idea, due in part to their lack of the foundation, such as crafting and creating a social media strategy document, as interns lack the basics that marketers have years of knowledge and business experience doing. However, it may not be a bad idea to get an intern into the team, although these people don’t understand marketing or strategy, they do understand how Facebook works and can give examples of how they have participated and may help in crafting a social media campaign for your brand.

Last year, I met Kathleen Tan, AirAsia’s regional head of commercial at iStrategy Singapore where she spoke, and I got to learn from her that she learns Facebook from her niece and nephews. At Media Contacts Singapore, the company which I had my internship with, makes an effort to learn and ask questions from their interns. We combine teamwork with the generation-Y to understand social media such as the function and features. Top management learns from the generation-Y and the generation-Y learns from them.

FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE AN INTERN:

1. They understand conversations. Conversation works on social media. Don’t market to your customers, instead talk to them in a conversational way and interns can help you with that.

2. They can make good community managers that can help you to respond to people. However, you will need to make sure that the posts are approved by a supervisor. You shouldn’t depend on an intern to monitor your feed after work, just in case of an emergency. Have a team!

3. Interns bring fresh ideas into the team. Although the ideas may not be perfect, it can be polished by your marketing team who has more experience.

4. You can use your intern to come up with a content calendar for your profiles on social networks. They can do a few months in advance like what we had done for one of our clients. An intern wrote an amazing three month content calendar for one of our clients.

5. They are fast learners and (presumably) passionate.

FIVE REASONS NOT TO HIRE AN INTERN

1. Interns aren’t forever, they may leave the company after their internship. They might return to school or join another company.

2. Interns don’t understand your company or product when they join.

3. Interns don’t understand metrics or KPIs or they have not had much experience with it or simply don’t have business or professional experience.

4. Interns won’t monitor your social media presence 24/7 as they may not be around after their work is done.

5. Interns can’t handle responsibilities; it is the top managers who handle the responsibilities.

Some businesses recommend you hire an intern because they are cheap, but that is not the best way to compete as you still need competent and skilled people who have the experience to compete on a marketing level. However, interns make a great team when they are guided by experienced people. The topic is open, should companies hire social media interns?

This blog post was Sponsored by Sprout Social. A Social Media Management tools that enable you to find new customers and to grow your business

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  • http://justicewordlaw.com/ Justicewordlaw

    Companies should hire on interns when they have a laid out guideline fo what they’re expecting from those interns. Not, just say “monitor all social media accounts” because that is not doing anything. Anyone could do that but you want to have someone that could implement and setup a key strategy to help you engage and build your following on your social media accounts. Interns are a great asset to a company when their responsibilities are laid out and they understand what they’re going to be helping the company with. Not just trying to reach 1000 likes by the end of fall.

  • Larissa

    @Justicewordlaw I totally agree. I also would like to add that I personally know some very responsible interns who took their work very seriously. The only thing that you should do is give them the feeling that they contribute a lot to the company…but actually that’s the kinda feeling everyone should have, no?

  • http://justicewordlaw.com/ Justicewordlaw

    @Larissa If a company is not making you feel like you’re worth something and your working for free then I wouldn’t want to be apart of that company. I would rather spend my time focusing on either my own brand or assisting another company be better.

  • cammipham

    Most common problem is company does not bother to understand social media. They just hire an intern and tell him/her to do everything. It is like giving a stranger your baby and tell him/her to love and take care the baby. It cannot happen over night. This is not just not apply to intern even agency. Most agencies out there are doing HORRIBLE jobs.

    My father always tells me, if you want to manage people you need to know how to do the job better than them no matter how small the job is. It applies to social media. Don’t just hire someone intern or agency, and believe they will do a great job. If they don’t, the only person to blame is yourself. Social Media is your business reputation, you need to understand it no matter if you are doing it or someone’s else.

  • AskAaronLee

    @cammipham Wow, Cammi I love your metaphor! great thoughts. Your dad is a wise man too! I remember when i was interning, i was told what to do as well. Of course I followed. Thanks for dropping by

  • AskAaronLee

    @Justicewordlaw Wise thoughts and thanks for sharing mate!

  • http://ww.rsacourseonline.com.au/rsa-certificate RSA Course

    I certainly wouldn’t leave one of my most important social media aspects to an intern without plenty of questions and ensuring they understand using social media and a sales and marketing tool – which most do not.

  • http://www.mindrisehypnosis.com/ mindrise

    I am still getting my mind wrapped around social media.once its crack it seems such a powerful tool.

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  • http://www.livefyre.com/ jasonwonline20

    It’s not just interns–companies tend to put full time employees at the helm of their social accounts just because they know how to use the tools and not necessarily because they know what to do with those tools. I believe learning the tools is the easy part.

  • AskAaronLee

    @mindrise Indeed it is, its powerful as ever.

  • AskAaronLee

    @jasonwonline20 Yeah, that is quite true, companies will be surprised they have tons of twitter or social media rockstars in their company. Rather than banning them, they should empower them. One of my friends on twitter just moved from to the social part of his company.

  • LoyaltyOfDogs

    Useful to have an intern’s insights as a team member, but for ensuring consistency in portraying the business’s brand, it’s best to have a full-time, savvy, professional staffer who knows the business, its products or service and, most imporant, its customers.

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