There have been countless blog posts and articles about not letting interns do social media for you. Well I call bluff on these articles. There is a place for interns in the social media world. Let me clarify, interns shouldn’t direct your social media efforts, but they can certainly provide much needed resources in our busy lives.
Here are a couple of examples of what duties they can own and how to make sure they don’t make critical mistakes!
Step 1: Specific Planning
In order for any social media program to scale, you need the human resources available. Your homework is to first put together the strategy and tactics. Be as specific as possible in your planning. Then put together an editorial calendar for your intern. In the editorial calendar, leave enough room for creativity and spontaneity, while also having specific pieces of content ready for deployment or inserted into the editorial process.
Step 2: Social Media Policy
The second order of business is to create a social media policy. If you’re not sure where to start, think about all the things that might happen if you let someone go rogue online. No one wants this, so if you’re not sure where to start, contact your attorney, and there are a bunch of resources online for social media policies. (courtesy of @ericschwartzman)
Step 3: Training
The third order of business is devising a training program for any new interns coming onboard. Training topics should start broad and get to specifics as you go along. Some of the topics that are a good place to start:
- Community Management Do’s and Don’ts
- Data Collection and Reporting
- Simple Content Creation
- Customer Service Elevation Chart
For some, they still don’t believe interns should be doing social media, but I think these are also the same people that don’t have the discipline to put together the proper framework for a successful social media program.
Yes, it takes work, but it’s essential if you want scale your program beyond one person. It’s going to happen eventually, so why not test it on someone who is eager to learn in the first place? Following this process will allow to have the proper checks and balances to protect your online brand, no matter who’s handling your social media.
Have you used an intern for your social media program? Was it successful, and did you put the preceding measures in place?