Social Media InternsThey may understand Instagram and Facebook but do they understand the strategy behind creating a social media presence for your brand or business?

We don’t necessarily believe that young people are incapable of managing a business’s social media presence. Just because you may not necessarily understand social media, don’t abandon all common sense and simply hand over the controls to someone “because they are really good on Facebook”.

Here are a couple things to consider:

Social Media Savvy Does Not Equal Technical Savvy.  Social media requires a combination of technical skills as well as an understanding of social media in general. Social media management involves production requirements, tools, analytics, and other aspects of work.

Classes cannot replace OJT. Social media is really many things wrapped into one: marketing, customer service, public relations, crisis management, and branding. The skills necessary to achieve social media generally only come from on-the-job training.

You Can’t Control Their Friends. Your intern must understand that their  friends simply will not be allowed to post inappropriate content to your companies social media accounts.

Communication Skills Are Critical. The conversation is central to social media. Before letting anyone take over your content updates take a look at their writing skills.

Can They Handle a Crisis. The real-time nature of social media can quickly turn fun engagement and conversation into a public relations nightmare.

Humor Can Be Tricky. Even though people like to be entertained on social media, not everyone understands the boundaries of humor and entertainment and what is appropriate to your audience or what could potentially wind up being offensive to your audience.

Not Everyone Understands Your Business. Beyond simply understanding social media and social tools themselves, what are the nuances of your products or services? What are the expectations of your audience? How do you troubleshoot issues and customer service. Make sure whoever is handling your social media efforts is able to absorb and understand these issues.

Above all else, you need to maintain control over the efforts. If you do allow an intern to handle your social media make sure they set up the accounts with your company’s email and shares all the passwords with you, otherwise you could wind up with no access to these accounts and no way to take them over.

Understand that social media is simply a marketing tool and should be a part of your ever-growing arsenal of ways to bring your company to your prospective customers attention. Also understand the impact that bad online reputation brings with it.