I came across an article on Social Media Today the other day…it was titled “Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Social Media to Interns.”
I get it.
But, I can argue the other side as well.
Let’s see why Social Media Today thinks that interns shouldn’t run your social media. I promise to you, if you are a small business, you may feel that an intern is a much better option than hiring an outside marketing service – and in many cases, it is true.
1. SMT: Your interns are not mature enough nor possess the relevant experience.
My response: Says who? If you find the right intern, they may absolutely be mature enough. Maybe they don’t possess the relevant experience, but there are some that learn quickly on the job. And, this is a learn on the job type of position. I can promise you that the more I practiced, read and learned about how to manage a social media campaign, the better I got. I didn’t have the experience either.
2. SMT: Social media savvy does not equate to Business social media savvy.
My response: I agree. But, that doesn’t mean an intern can’t learn business social media savvy. Anyone with common sense, discipline, and a sense of marketing can pick up “business social media” tactics. It’s a matter of reading and learning and putting what you’ve learned into practice. It’s trial and error. It’s watching your analytics and responding accordingly.
3. SMT: No social media 101 can replace with real life on-the-job training.
My response: No, but that doesn’t mean social media 101 comes with the on-the-job training. I suggest hiring an experienced Internet marketing agency to give a few training sessions to your intern. This way, not only is your intern learning on the job, but also being trained by a professional. If you are hiring someone that fits your business or industry, then this person can pick up what they are learning and put it into practice pretty quickly.
4. SMT: Communication skills are critical.
My response: And you are saying that an intern doesn’t have communication skills? Generation Y communicates better through social media than they do through face to face conversation. They can actually make a sentence have intonation. They know the appropriate abbreviations. They are quick with their hands. And, if you teach them appropriate ways to speak to customers (which everyone in marketing and business learns through experience), then why would you say that critical communication skills is something lacking with interns. If you ask me, I think communication skills are lacking with employees and employers at all levels! Just depends on who you’re communicating with!
There ya have it, folks. If you are a small business and tight on time, and cash, then you should consider hiring an intern to manage your social media. If you need to train this person, then hiring a marketing agency specializing in social media to give a few training sessions while the intern is learning on the job will ultimately give you one of the most hard working and communicative employees in your business. Your return on investment should be impeccable.