July 6, 2015

4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Hire a Social Media Intern

Tis the season for internships! 
At times, I have stumbled across articles explaining why a company should not hire interns. I've been seeing a lot of intern bashing on the internet in regards to interns being hired as social media specialists. 
A lot of times folks say: “Oh, they must know social media…. they’re young and in college.”

YES, many of them actually know social media! 

While it might seem easier to hire an agency or someone overqualified, I'd like to offer you 4 reasons why you should hire an intern:
1.      Gain Experience:  If you've placed an ad looking for an intern, that means you are somewhat interested in allowing him/her the opportunity to gain real hands-on experience. Yes, the intern probably only learned social media through textbook material, but many colleges also provide hands-on activities that require them to go into social media via real-time, allowing them to utilize what they've learned in the textbook as well as through research. Some of those activities can also be used as part of their professional portfolio showcasing their experience.

2.      Learn from Mistakes: While it is a given that an intern will make a mistake, most of the time, the mistake can be fixed. An intern is there to learn, therefore they are not supposed to know every single detail about social media. Besides, there are plenty of experienced brands and social media specialists who have also made mistakes. Click here: Top 10 Social Media Fails or here: Paula Deen Brownface Tweet. That said, it doesn't matter if there is an intern running your social media platforms or someone experienced. 

3.      Social Media Updates & More: Let's face it, every time someone compares an intern with social media, it is always: "There's more to social media than posting updates." Yes, they KNOW! That is why many interns also take independent learning courses outside of their traditional studies to learn as much as they can about social media. To be honest, there are people who have been in their positions for years and have no clue what Snapchat or Periscope is. If they do know what it is, I guarantee you they don't know how to use it. That said, there's more to social media than metrics and analytics.

4.      Right Fit: Yes, an intern is only with your company for a short time-frame, but if they've proven to you they have the potential, grew your social media community, gained more community engagement, given you creative ideas that actually worked, and they are a good fit with your company culture, you should definitely hire them if it is within your budget and needs.

An intern can be a great addition to your company if they are given the chance and guidance.  
You could easily hire someone more experienced, but my questions to you would be:
Do they mesh with you?
Your employees?
Do they live up to the hype of their resume? 

You've spent time with your intern. They've spent time with you. If you had an open position, I guarantee they would gladly accept. They took an interest in your company for a reason. Give them a chance if they have proven themselves. 
Interns ROCK!
An intern can learn from you as well as provide you with learning tools.

What are your thoughts?