Friday, August 24, 2012

11 Reasons a 19-Year-Old Intern Can Run Your Social Media

So, as I mentioned in my "About Me" post, I'm an intern. Specifically an e-marketing intern at a B2B company. I run their corporate social media accounts, so when I came across this article on, titled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn't Run Your Social Media”, I was a little cross. It makes some good points – for instance, putting your “best friend’s sister-in-law’s kid” in charge of branding your company just because they can use Instagram is probably not a good idea. The author even took the time to point out that there are young people out there capable of managing social media responsibilities. But I think she might have missed a couple good things, so here's my response to people who are thinking about putting an intern in charge of their pages.

1.       “They’re not mature enough.”
This one is on you, I have to say… If you think that your intern is too immature to handle your social media, perhaps you hired the wrong intern. Sure, young people would “rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives,” but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be interested in your business, too. Find someone mature who you think can understand what it is that you’re looking for,  is invested enough to figure out who your audience is and what makes them tick, and is focused enough to do it right.
2.       “They may be focused on their own social-media activity.”
I’m going to refer you back to #1 on this one, specifically the part about finding a focused intern. However, you can’t expect an intern not to check their own Facebook or Twitter once in a while, but this applies to any age of employee. And remember, studies show that employees who are allowed to take breaks to check social feeds and be online actually perform better on subsequent tasks.
Check your Twitter
This one's still important.
3.       “They may not have the same etiquette--or experience.”
This is true – interns may not have the same etiquette and or experience – which is why they’re interns. They’re working to learn that proper etiquette and gain experience. It’s probably not a good idea to give them free reign over your face on the internet on their first day. Start by having them write proofs of their posts and send them to you for approval. Correct their mistakes. Give them advice. Make sure the posts say what you want to convey.  Soon, you intern will figure out what you want and you can stop looking over their shoulder.
4.       “You can't control their friends.”
I was a little confused about this one. The argument was to make sure your intern’s friends “won't post inappropriate content to your company's social-media accounts.” You can’t stop your intern’s friends from commenting/posting inappropriate content to your company’s social media pages. I’m not sure why your intern’s friends would want to post inappropriate content to your accounts, but you couldn’t stop them if they did. That’s why they make it so you can delete comments. If the author meant that the intern’s friends would use a logged-in account to post something inappropriate, you can just ask your intern to logout of your accounts when they aren’t posting on them. Or better yet, advise them that if they have friends who will take advantage of a logged-in account like that, they might want to password-protect their computers to keep their personal accounts safe too.
5.       “No class can replace on-the-job training.”
Again, they’re interning to get experience and on-the-job training. Understanding that up front is very important.
6.       “They may not understand your business.”
A good way to make sure that your intern is representing your company well is to have them look at other marketing you have going on. Do you send out emails? What does your website look like? If you have a physical location, how do you get people in the door? Talk to them about how you like to handle customers when you interact with them and see if they can take that and translate it to social media.
7.       “Communication skills are critical.”
Simple solutions here: make sure any potential intern who might be working with social media can write, and that they can write well. Look at their personal posts and see if they’re remotely understandable, have them submit an example of their writing, or find someone who is majoring or minoring in English.
8.       “Humor is tricky business.”
The argument here is that a young hire might not understand where to draw the line. Do you remember #1 about hiring a mature intern? Yeah. General guideline: tell them that if they wouldn’t say it to someone in person, and that someone was either their grandmother or you, then they shouldn’t post it.
9.       “Social-media savvy is not the same as technical savvy.”
The analytical side of social media can be difficult… or it can be really easy. I would recommend having your intern use Hootsuite to schedule posts and use their simple click reports. I like it because I can see what people click on and what people ignore. In the future, I’ll try and post more of what people click on. Simple, right? It’s pretty great, even if you only use the free version like I do.
10.   “Social-media management can become crisis management.”
This one is tricky. It’s definitely true, but there are ways you can help avoid a social media crisis (like not being McDonalds). This article has a few pointers. On top of that, planning ahead is important. Discuss with your intern ways that both of you can deflect a crisis, and have them do their homework first – there are a lot of articles on how to handle negative social media feedback.
11.   “You need to keep the keys”
Finally, something we agree on. Passwords are important. Emails are too. For Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, you can be the owner of your site page and have your intern be a manager. That way, they can post content and do everything they need to do, but it’s still your page. For Twitter, it’s important to have the account connected to an email that the intern can check regularly so that they can thank new followers, see who is retweeting their posts, and so on. Hire someone you trust with that responsibility. Put the passwords and emails associated with each account in a spreadsheet and keep them so that if you or your intern forgets them they’re saved somewhere for easy access.
So remember, there are young people out there capable of managing social media responsibilities, and it’s your job to find them. If you can’t do that and you don’t trust your interns, you can always go to plan B  –  learn how to use social media sites and do it yourself. I’m just sayin’.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

About Me

My twitter bio says
"Cheerleader, nerd, marketing major, batman fanatic."
If that doesn't sum me up in 160 characters or less, nothing will.

The Bat-tat.
I have a Batman tattoo. I regret nothing.

I've never really had a blog before, and I have to say, I'm kind of excited about it. And, because becoming a blogging sensation overnight seems grotesquely optimistic, I look forward to the two of you out there reading this. 
I read somewhere that blogs should have a purpose, something focused on one particular subject, same as tweeting about only one or two subjects so you will increase your Klout score. It would so happen, however, that I don't really care all that much, and I will probably have the rest of my life to write about one particular focused thing. 
So, here's the plan. I'm going to write what comes to mind. Hopefully they are helpful tips or funny stories or cool things I've discovered that I think someone somewhere would be better off knowing. Probably tips that I think of for other marketing interns, because I think of a lot of those while I'm working. That being said, this could devolve quickly into random thoughts, ideas, and glimpses into my mind, which is probably more similar to the average 19-year-old girl's than I would care to admit.

Here's a bit about me. With a couple pictures, because while I'm not on total agreement that a picture is worth 1000 words, I'm kinda a visual person. And I like pictures.

Twitter Reminder
I don't have any pictures of me at work. Just pictures of sticky notes that I write for myself. That might say something about how I work, but I'm not entirely sure what.

This particular one is because I do some of the social media for my internship, and I have this bad habit of getting an email from Twitter telling me that someone new is following me and being in a different twitter account when I thank them. Then I have to quickly delete that post, log out, log in, and then thank them in an account they're actually following.

Me and Vader
Me n' Vader.

Oh look! A picture of me and my favorite dark lord. He's more fun than Darkseid and Voldy in a room full of kittens!

On a side note, whoever thinks Walmart is pure evil doesn't fully appreciate the fact that they sell Darth Vader plushies. They had a Mario one too. I'm just saying.