Opinions Social Media

Why SMBs Shouldn't Hire A Social Media Intern

Posted by Jamie Barton on March 11th, 2011 at 2:59 am

Many Small Business owners feel overwhelmed these days with the importance of social media, blogging and a well managed online reputation. With the average Social Media Marketer making a $45k annual salary it's no wonder why we see listing after listing on Craigslist and other Job Boards for Social Media Interns.

Here are 4 Reasons Not to Hire an Intern to handle your Social Media sites:

1. Your brand is on the line. How long have you been in business? 5 years? 20+ years? You've spent time and money on your brand's message and reputation. This can be risked by putting social media in the hands of an inexperienced intern. Chrysler's embarrassing drop of the F-word on it's Twitter page Wednesday shows just how easy it is for even a professional to mix up personal and professional accounts and generate negative PR.

2. Interns are temporary. As much as you may hope otherwise, the likely scenario is that your intern will spend 3 months representing your brand online and either be replaced by another intern with a different brand voice, or you'll have a Social Media lull when the position vacates.

3. Interns need direction and supervision. I remember being an intern - I didn't understand the concept of branding, marketing, and cohesive advertising when I worked at my first PR agency. I remember the multiple revisions that had to occur each time I wrote a press release. Do you want to read every tweet, status update, blog post, comment, and interaction prior to having them fired off?

4. Let's face it - when you don't pay someone, there's a heightened chance they won't do the best job for you. Even though most of us took/take our internships seriously - do you remember how many times you called in sick as an intern?

2 Responses to “Why SMBs Shouldn't Hire A Social Media Intern”

  1. Thomas says:

    Couldn't agree more. Back when I was job searching I couldn't find much more than internships for work I used to do in-house for a good salary. It was confusing to see recognizable brands putting their trust into interns. Don't get me wrong, interns can be extremely "with it," but I too was an intern at one time and I know how someone as green as I was needed that constant supervision and training.

  2. Nate White says:

    This is a little off topic, but I'd be interested in hearing which position people value more for their business: Social Media Manager, SEO Manager or Paid Search Manager?

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