'Tis the season for summer internships!
So you may be thinking: "Oh, they must know social media.... they're in college."
This thought crosses many minds when deciding whether or not to hire a college student to completely takeover and manage a social media presence.
While the small cost seems very appealing, marketing professionals and business owners need to take a step back and consider the potential negative consequences.
Here are 4 major reasons why it may not be the best idea:
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1. They don't have enough experience... yet
Many interns are either still in college or just recently graduated. Some colleges do offer Social Media 101 classes, but textbook material is just not the same as hands on experience. Having hands on experience within the social media marketing industry not only helps spark creativity but also drives results.
2. They don't last forever
Since most interns are in college, their internship positions come with a start and end date. Typically, interns will work for a semester or summer. If they are recent grads, they are likely looking for full-time jobs (if you can't offer them one). If you hire an intern to take control of your social media profiles, all their knowledge and understanding of your brand's social media marketing will leave with them. Your new intern may not have the same exact skill sets or expertise, so the content and messaging may appear different. As a result, your social media profiles and potential success may dwindle.
3. One rookie mistake can lead to a social media nightmare
We've all seen the headlines: "Brand makes major mistake on social media and receives consumer backlash." Sometimes it almost feels like a daily occurrence. Unfortunately, many mistakes are made by rookies/interns. Think of it this way: Would you have an intern run a board meeting or make a statement to a journalist? Social media should be viewed the same way. Your online presence can be viewed as a public broadcast to all of your potential customers (and also your investors and journalists). Every tweet and post counts.
4. There's more to social media than posting updates
While the success of your social media presence mainly lies within the creative content, whoever is managing your profiles should know in-depth social media metrics and analytics, something many college students are not familiar with. Understanding this important and valuable side of the industry will give your business the boost it needs to turn data into successful results.
While interns do bring a lot of fresh ideas into the workplace, at the end of the day your social media strategy is critical to your business's overall success. You shouldn't just hand it over to anyone.