Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Interns

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 20, 2010


There is no bigger buzz word than social media and it couldn’t be more trendy to hire interns to “take care of it”, but just because this college crowd has been using Facebook for years, does it really mean they will be able to grow your business online?

Just Hiring Any Gen Y Won’t Do

Your social media/viral marketing intern candidates not only need to be driven and motivated but they need to be able to take their creative ideas and put them into action as the face of your company. Scary thought. Social media is an extension of the person behind the account, so if you wouldn’t trust your intern at a trade show selling your company then why would you trust them behind the screen.  Luckily, we’ve broken it down for you to figure out how to find that perfect candidate AND get them to execute…

Follow These for Social Media Intern Success:

Post Your Opening: It’s not enough to say “you want help with social media.” That’ll get you nowhere. When bringing on an intern or part-timer, you want to make sure that you’re very specific about what areas of social media you need help with. Do you need a blogger? Someone to maintain your profile online? Someone to tweet for you?

Make sure to specify what type of social media work you need done and ask them to reply with details on their experience level with each platform.  Ask for examples of relationships they’ve formed on these platforms and links to their accounts so you can see if they are active and using them correctly.  Nancy Lublin of Do Something even asks her candidates how many followers/friends they have when trying to find new influencers.

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Personality Traits: Do you think this person’s personality will match your companies message/mission?  The best way to grow a following, curate community, give great customer service, form new relationships and drive qualified leads is for someone to be a social butterfly.  The more people they engage with (in a non pitchy way) the better.  Don’t shout about your company, make friends who will shout about your company.  Look for interns who have customer service experience or consumer facing jobs and are super enthusiastic/energetic.  Passion trumps all.

Specify Content
: Once you decide where your intern’s focus will be, take some time to think about the message you want to convey on behalf of your company. Provide a short-list of topics, headlines, or key points that you want communicated.  Most interns won’t be able to write about your industry like you will, but finding someone who can format WordPress blog posts is priceless.  They can take your articles and make them social media friendly, with pictures, headers, numbered lists and detail oriented paragraphs.  This type of work is a huge time saver for you.

Repurpose that content: Once you have that great content, stretch the mileage. Ask your intern to include it in a weekly newsletter or offer to contribute it to other sites. The possibilities are endless once you have the material in hand.

Track Results: As a business owner, you’re already used to looking at metrics for your business. This area is no different. Before pressing go on your project, be clear about what you’re trying to achieve through social media and how you’ll measure it.   Set your goals with your interns up front and be clear that you want them to show you ROI.  Customer service and PR mentions often don’t show up in the bottom line, but your interns work needs to be worth the time it takes to train them.  Do you want to blog once a week, attract 1,000 Twitter followers, or develop a Facebook fan page? Being clear about your goals makes it easier to evaluate whether hiring an intern was a good decision.   Have them aggregate as many metrics as possible and send them to you in a weekly report.

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Monitor and Respond: Once your interns start to regularly blog, you want to keep an eye on the reception and traffic. Did some posts resonate more than others? Were dialogues started that need a response? Add this to the list of blog-related tasks for your intern.  Copy the results and repeat!

Check out our Featured Partner: Urban Interns

Urban Interns connects growing companies with part-time help, interns and freelancers. Post a job or search the database of candidates.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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