**Disclaimer: I am very much in favor of using Interns because they are plenty of experienced and energetic college students who do great jobs for companies. This post is merely something to talk about a company developing a social media strategy and not throwing it off on the first person.***
Let me run you through a scenario from my days in college.
I was an Intern, an inexperienced and cocky Intern. This was my freshman year of college and my Father wanted me to complete an internship at his radio stations in Terre Haute, IN. Believe me, I wanted to go. I thought it would be a good experience to learn about sales, marketing, and the world of traditional advertising.
And that lasted about… 3 weeks.
Yes, 3 weeks into the process I started getting bored and wanted to do something else. Being a Freshman in college there is only so much you can do without wanting to go and… do what college kids do. With all that said, I helped the radio stations move more into the Internet world and I sold a few ad spots. But I wasn’t really that involved in the organization because of the short time I would be there.
Guess what? I didn’t really care much about building a brand or contributing to the overall five year plan the company had in place.
Believe me.. this story applies to social media.
Jay Baer said it best in Delegation Equals Death in Social Media:
Almost every time I work with a public relations firm… “Us old dogs don’t really understand all this new social media stuff, but we’ve got this brilliant young guy right out of school….” Bang Bang.. You’re Dead.
I am getting tired of hearing about companies throwing social media strategy and tools off on an Intern. To be honest with you, I get tired of hearing about brand building and extremely important communication tools being used by someone who is not OVERLY invested in the growth of the company.
Social media allows you to directly communicate with your clients. It allows you to increase customer support, increase customer interaction with your company experience, and allows for truly grou-breaking information gathering potential.
Would you put an Intern in the front lines of your top customer support center? Probably not.
An entire company needs to be involved and be on board with using social media tools. The company use of the tool needs to be PLANNED and EXECUTED.
Jay asked the question, “Are you a social media cheerleader? Are you ready to drop the pom-poms and get your hands dirty?”
I say, “Burn the stupid pom-poms and throw some dirt. Let’s start using social media to transform communication.”