Should an intern be handling your social media? The long and short answer is no. I’ve worked with plenty of interns in my 12+ years in the professional world. Some have been great and some were less than stellar. With interns, you can never be sure of what you’re going to get or how fast they are going to burn out. While college-aged interns may be comfortable using social media than some of your other employees, you should not be putting something so important and valuable as your social media marketing in the hands of an intern.
Here are 3 reasons interns should not be in charge of your company’s social media:
Most interns are working for free. And while you may hide that fact behind the smoke and mirrors of “resume building,” it doesn’t change the fact that you aren’t paying them to be there. This usually means that the internship will come second to school and side-jobs that actually do pay. I’m not saying all interns are flakes that fail to show up on day two, but you have to remember that your company is not high on their priority list right now, “resume building” or not. Social media marketing requires constant attention and daily updates to be most effective. Commitment is crucial! Most social media marketing campaigns fail because a company didn’t give it the long term attention it needed to grow. You can’t afford to miss 3 out of 5 days in a week because the intern didn’t show.
The reason they are your intern and not a full-time employee is because they don’t have the experience or training yet to be a full-time employee. They are coming to you and your company to learn and grow and get real-hands on experience in their given field. This means they are going to make mistakes (part of the learning curve); do you want your social media reputation to be the mistake? A carefully built up online reputation can come crashing down around your ears in a matter of hours with one wrong social media step. When you think about all the social media mistakes professionals can make, what could potentially happen with an untrained intern?
No long term commitment to your company
While every intern is tempted by the idea that they might actually get hired after interning for you for six months, most understand and accept that it’s a slim possibility. If someone doesn’t have a long term commitment to your company, chances are they won’t fully understand your business goals and messaging in the short time that they are there. In order to do social media marketing “right” you have to know what you are trying to accomplish, what you want to say and who you are talking to.