What are Interns Good For?

Yesterday I wrote about why you shouldn’t assign your social media outreach to your summer intern, or even a new graduate joining your organization. Sure, it seems like a natural fit. After all, aren’t these “kids” tech savvy? Don’t they do everything online?

The fact is, it’s important to understand the technology but it’s even more important to understand how the technology applies to your business. The latter takes some time and requires a more experienced marketer to do well.

So, while your digitally minded intern shouldn’t be leading your social media efforts, she can offer a lot of value to you as you evolve your strategy and hone your outreach.

Here are some projects you can assign your intern that will help you tremendously and give her some practical experience. Ask her to:

•Follow the competition and provide in depth feedback and reporting on the competitor’s social media efforts. Lots of companies don’t have bandwidth to do this so it’s a great use of your intern’s time.

•Research new social media platforms or channels and make recommendations for incorporating into your current outreach.

•Brainstorm the most creative, off the wall ways to promote your brand via social media and present a plan to you for making it happen. If it’s solid, give her a go at it….with your supervision!

•Research the top 25 bloggers in your target market. I mean REALLY research. I’m talking reading each blog daily, gathering names, email addresses, cities, what they write about, preferences, what kind of product reviews they’ve done in the past, their various social profiles, how active they are, etc. I don’t want to see a lame spreadsheet with lots of N/A’s in the cells where the intern just didn’t try hard enough to find the information. Then, once researched, have her create a plan for building a unique, valuable relationship with each one of them.

There are lots of ways you can leverage your intern or entry level employee’s digital strengths without putting her in the driver’s seat. Your social media spokesperson should be a strong, strategic and confident representative of your brand and company – something an intern or recent grad should strive to become, not be thrust into by default.