Ahhh, summer. The season of sneaking out of the office early on Fridays so you can spend the weekend at the beach. The season of lingering lunches on sunny sidewalks. The season of interns. What better task to offload to the eager young college student than one they already know intimately — social media?
The influx of summer interns is a long-treasured infusion of enthusiasm for many businesses. These college students are thrilled to be out of the classroom and in the “real world” getting experience they can use at their first “real” jobs. Their excitement is a morale booster for sure. However, the arrival of the summer intern is also often seen as a fantastic opportunity to offload your least-favorite tasks and grunt work, freeing you to do more important work.
Be careful what you hand over: managing social media is not for beginners.
Social media IS marketing
What I mean by this is that social media is one part of your business’ overall marketing strategy. Would you turn your customer loyalty campaigns over to a 19-year-old English major? How about letting a 20-year-old Economics major run your direct mail planning? Probably not. What about handling all the customer-facing digital marketing outlets your business has? No? But that’s social media.
So easy a student can do it?
Many small business owners are not comfortable with social media or feel like they can’t keep up with all the platforms. They assume that a young student, having grown up with access to social media, will naturally be fluent and successful in implementing social media for any purpose, including a small business.
However, do you really think that a summer intern is capable of making marketing decisions that will impact your bottom line? Can your intern create and source content that will engage your customers, provide them the information they need, encourage loyalty and trigger sales?
Know what you need
What you need is a seasoned marketing professional and a content strategist to plan all your marketing and content goals for the year and to map out the strategies you’ll use to achieve your goals. You’ll also need expert content creators and curators, graphic designers, and UX pros to make it all come together. It’s just foolish to hand all that responsibility over to someone who, regardless of how enthusiastic and tech-savvy they are, just doesn’t have the marketing and content experience to know hwo to do it right.
What CAN the intern do, then?
Set your intern up with your content strategist helping her post the social media content. Have the intern work with your marketing executive to track progress of social media campaigns and note achievement of goals. This way, you benefit from the assistance in the more tedious tasks of loading posts and downloading performance reports. Your intern benefits from learning how to utilize social media for marketing and business purposes alongside a knowledgeable pro. Now, how about some ice cream?
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