Time to Talk Interns

One of the biggest issues we see in the marketing world is when interns don’t get the respect they deserve. Sometimes this is seen through comments made in the workplace, sometimes it’s seen through compensation structures (no… unpaid internships is not a compensation structure), regardless, interns become the scapegoat of mistakes regardless if they had a hand in it or not.

Due to the fact that social media marketing is rather new, interns and entry level employees get put on the social media marketing team. It’s hard to master social media when it’s constantly changing and this is why interns are put here. But what can you do to make them feel like more than an intern? 

  1. Give the Team a Chair
  2. Remove the Red Tape
  3. Set Them Up for Success
  4. Invest in Lifelong Learning

On the Go?
Interns are more than just some temporary employee working to prove worth. Your interns should feel valued every day of the week. Before coming to work they should feel excited, and it’s your responsibility to make them feel as such. Foster a culture of value and worth, and you will maintain your employees, keep your interns, and succeed as a business.
Interns help the business run, regardless of their role. We know their importance, so reach out if you want to find ways to give your interns agency in marketing.

Your social media marketing team is likely made up of a large proportion of interns, so how do you show them that they are more than an intern?

Give the Team a Chair

Interns aren’t always the 18 year old that thinks they are good at something, more often than not an intern is someone who has finished a vast majority of their education and are looking for their place in the corporate world. The issue is, not everyone wants to be stifled by the corporate world, hence people shifting to marketing as it allows for greater creativity and opportunity for growth.

With that said, it’s time to give the social media marketing team a seat at the table. Let the manager sit in on important meetings because they are the voice of the brand. If they are missing what goes on behind the scenes, they certainly cannot cater to the demographic as needed. By giving the team a chair at the table, they can better align the marketing strategies with the corporation’s goals and will unlock the potential of the business with the brands social media presence.

Remove the Red Tape

Social media requires quick responses, fast engagement, and tight pivots if success is to be achieved. Sure, you can take the time to get 7 levels of approval, but by the time that happens, the trend is gone or the post is irrelevant. Being on trend is imperative for success, and if you don’t allow the marketing team to work quickly, you won’t find success.

It is time to remove the red tape and trust that your team knows what is best. By allowing them to act in real time, they can hop on trends, and have real time communications with potential clients or customers. Marketing can go viral, and if you allow the team to do what they do best, you might just be the next viral campaign.

Let’s talk about Wendy’s! They have one of the best campaigns because it is raw and real, and this is seen on Tritter. They hop on trends instantaneously. The social media team has autonomy, and it is apparent. With that said, with great autonomy comes great responsibility. This means you have to trust the team because they are the brand. This is why it is your responsibility to hire the right people, remove the red tape, and ensure each team has a mix of senior employees and interns to ensure mentorship and success.

Set Them Up for Success

The intern you hired that has the newest iphone needs proper equipment… We repeat, they need proper equipment.

It does not matter if they have experience on their personal phone for social media, it is time to acknowledge that even though social media is accessible on personal devices, other tools are needed. Lighting, cameras, software, and additional devices are needed, especially if you want to find success. It’s your responsibility to ensure that they have the tools that are needed to succeed. We can shamelessly plug Social Viel here as it is a great tool for your team.

Allow interns and frankly anyone in the social media marketing team to have the opportunity to separate work from home and that starts by ensuring they don’t have to use their personal devices to get things done. If you allow separation, they will be happier and more engaged when they are at work.

Invest in Lifelong Learning

Metrics are important, but if you only focus on these, you stifle the team and they don’t have the chance to learn and grow. It’s time to allow them to learn through success, through failure, and through teamwork. Without learning, your marketing will be stagnant and unengaging.

Most social media marketing employees don’t have education in the field. It is new, and many post secondary institutions don’t offer the classes needed. This is because social media is always changing, and it is an intimidating field if you aren’t willing to jump right in.

There is a skills gap, and this is why interns are so important. They help the process of making social media marketing more accessible and understood. They are the ones that will advocate for this to be in schools and help train the new employees that join the team. They are more than just an intern, they are the future.

It is time to acknowledge that regardless how big the company is, your social media marketing team and your interns are important for long term success. By making it known that they are valued and important, they will stay with the company, and they will make all the difference in your success.

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