When hiring a summer intern to help with social, you expect that they’re honest, smart people, who will do nothing but promote your brand’s best attributes and maintain and grow solid relationships with your brand’s followers. You want them to share engaging, insightful content that supports your organization’s objectives, and you want it to be done with tact and dedication.
No matter how brilliant, honest, and hard-working they may be, summer interns are inexperienced—and there’s a lot that can go wrong if you hand the keys to your brand’s social media to a bright-eyed 18-year-old who’s only taken one course in social communications. To keep your brand on track and make the most of your intern’s work, here is reality checklist that will help set expectations for all parties involved.
1. Keep Ultimate Control
Take the extra five minutes and set up admin accounts for your interns. Don’t give them the master control, or worse: your personal login—it’s too easy for someone inexperienced to get something wrong.
2. Set the Tone
Talk with your interns about your brand—what you do, your benefit, the customers you have, and what they want and don’t want. Spend at least an hour fielding questions with them, showing them successful communications materials, and even giving them a little homework to study until you feel they
understand your business and how social media can strategically support that.
3. Make a Schedule
Start a calendar and map out a week’s worth of content for your interns. Then, have your interns map out content for the rest of the summer. This way, you’ll have a plan and minimize “surprises.” This will also give your interns a sense of direction as well as control over the content. Give your interns clear
expectations of how many posts to place per day, when to post, and the general type of content you would like to see. Also, ask them to report on the traction for each social media platform.
4. Check In
Don’t just let them run wild for weeks on end. Schedule weekly conversations with your interns to talk about what they’re doing, the progress they’re making, and where they might need help or direction. Remember, they’re supposed to be learning, so give them structured time to talk with you.
5. Set Boundaries
Social media is about sharing well-crafted, curated content that speaks to and with your audience. Every brand has limits. If your brand appeals to seniors, it’s likely that you won’t want to share skateboarding videos. Your interns are probably pretty creative, but let them know the things they shouldn’t share. Knowing limits will help them find fitting content for your campaign.