Do you let interns manage your social media? Why or why not?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
Social media is about dialogue with your fans/followers about your story. Interns do not have the understanding of your story to lead your social media strategy or conversation. Certainly there are supporting tasks such as content creation, monitoring, etc., that an intern can help with, but an intern should never run your social presence.
- Andrew Howlett, Rain
One of the benefits of not having a massive company with hundreds of employees is that we can allow our employees to be more involved with the company and its day-to-day operations, which includes posting on our social media. I think for us it makes sense to let employees share what they want, and that really comes through in social media.
- Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
In our past experience, we’ve used interns to curate content from various sources and provide those curated pieces to someone else to review and ultimately make the final decision about posting. If you do use an intern, create a clear and concise social media policy, and make sure everyone follows protocol. One slip, and it could mean disaster for your business.
- Erin Blaskie, Erin Blaskie, Digital Strategist
Interns can fulfill the role if they have very good instruction and are tasked with easier jobs, such as finding links and content to be shared through social channels. However, I prefer to always have somebody with real social media experience managing the accounts outright. Social media is easy to mess up, and an error will be very public.
- Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
Your company culture is who you are, so how could an “outsider” convey that? Social media is all about being true to yourself, or in this case, your business, so you should have a full-time employee representing your brand. Your tweets and posts will have a much greater impact and generate a stronger connection if they come from someone who lives your brand.
- Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving
It’s not that we don’t value them or trust their judgement (we hired them after all), but social media is a fragile medium that requires full-time nurturing and attention. Interns come and go, so we assign the responsibility to two key employees who are well versed in our social media policy. However, we do give interns free reign to suggest post topics or strategies.
- Ted Murphy, IZEA
Yes, I would let an intern run my social media. While I do get that social media is an important tool, I just simply can’t take myself too seriously. We’re not a Fortune 500 company, and I think a 20-something can handle tweeting.
- Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
I actually recently hired someone to do social media for my personal brand and for my two companies. It was the right decision because her background included social media management for other clients. Whoever you hire, make sure they have a solid strategy that works for your company and reevaluate as necessary. You need to project a strong voice and keep that consistent across platforms.
- Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media
Social media can have a profound impact on the way the world views your brand. Would you trust your entire brand image to an intern? I sure wouldn’t. Treat social media like a company priority. As such, let experts handle it.
- Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors
We don’t let interns manage our social media, but we utilize them to help us track social conversations about our products. Our interns look for organic mentions of our products in which our company isn’t explicitly tagged. Liking and responding to these consumers has helped us grow the number of engaged fans across our social accounts, and it’s well within the skill set of a first-time intern.
- Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak
Interns likely log the most time on social networks than anyone else in the office. They’re naturals. As long as they understand the brand tone and product, they can be incredibly helpful and productive on social media. Your social channels will most likely be much more engaging.
- Jared Brown, Hubstaff