Contrary to popular belief: interns should handle your company’s social media

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At least once a week I see a tweet about how interns should not be doing a company’s social media. Many people can cite the epic Marc Jacobs intern Twitter meltdown as a reason, but the major argument against an intern creating strategy for your social media campaign is that they don’t know enough about your company and its story.

It’s a valid point. Perhaps instead of an intern dictating strategy for a social media campaign, the happy medium is to have them handle the execution under your watchful eye.

If you have an intern and they understand social networks, you can help guide them by providing essential insight about the company, and they can execute the strategy by doing the labor-intensive work of posting social media at your direction. Not only are they learning about your company and industry, but they’re also finding out first hand how a social media strategy plays out. You may even find that their day-to-day interaction on social networks can yield new insights and ideas to improve your existing strategy.

Years ago, when I was an English teacher, I recognized that every day I learned just as much from my students as they did from me. Not just things like how ‘Solja Boy is totally not cool anymore,’ or how high schoolers really don’t like reading poetry, but I learned how a younger generation was viewing and experiencing the world. Observing their literacy of the world influenced how I approached increasing their literacy of the written word.

Remember that the younger generation has some great insight that is often dismissed due to their age and inexperience. Don’t think of an intern as someone you can simply delegate responsibility to. Instead, provide additional guidance and supervision for them to be successful. If you want to stay in control of your message and how your company is represented in the social media world, stay involved, direct the strategy, but by all means, let the younger generation take the reins and do the work. You can learn a thing or two at the same time, while keeping your eye on the bigger picture.

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