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Let the intern do our social media!

Dumb.

  • We train a waiter for 3 weeks before they can deliver food.
  • We hire world-class experts to handle corporate communications and speak to the press.
  • We teach our customer service reps everything about the product and company before they can talk to a single customer.

Just because undergrads use Facebook a bunch does not make them good representatives for your company. Just because teenagers talk on the phone a lot does not qualify them to run your call center.

Your social media representatives are the new face of your company. Put your best people on it and train them well.

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Comments

  1. Russ Somers January 19, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    No question that it’s dumb, as has been called out before. I enjoy your posts and agree with your perspective. But not everyone will take action, so there’s one thing you’re missing here…

    …instead of writing yet another blog post about why senior management is dumb to delegate social media to the intern, why not a post (heck, maybe even a manifesto) about how a savvy intern could make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

  2. Michael Gowin January 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Hear hear! Many organizations still don’t think of social media as a serious marketing tool so, sure, give it to the intern.

    As a college professor who administrates an internship program, I’m frequently surprised at the types of assignments org’s are willing to hand over to interns. In my experience, interns are often seen as an extra pair of hands to do things the org doesn’t have time to do. Once the internship is finished, though, who’s supposed to do the work the intern did? Another intern?

  3. Mindshare January 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Amen and amen! Being able to use the tools, and being able to use them correctly are two very different things. It’s rare to find someone who really understands social media in a business sense. Use caution when choosing someone to represent your company on the web. Great advice Andy!

  4. Andee Sellman, One Sherpa January 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Agree completely. Would you let an undergrad go to a networking night and speak on behalf of your company. Would you let them make a speech at a trade show on behalf of the company. I think not and social media has a far greater reach than either of those

  5. Zane Safrit January 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    BAM! There you have it. Great post.

  6. Benny Shaviv January 20, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    Its all about how much CEOs & VPs WANT to know whats going on. let an intern or anyone else do it, and you’ll never know whats truly being said about you. its not all about promoting yourself, its also about knowing what others think.

    There are many stories about how Quicken of years ago (if memory serves) used to have everyone sit in support for a day a month, including the CEO. These days everyone should listen to the vibe and be part of it. For those who dont get it – their loss. Its been more than productive for me.

  7. ElizabethL January 20, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I agree! Social media is so cutting edge, you need an expert to devote their time to it! Sure, undergrads know how to use facebook and twitter, but they haven’t had the professional experience

  8. Kari Rippetoe January 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    OK, after reading the first 2 comments above (from Russ and Michael), I would have to agree with their perspectives. No, I’m not saying to hand over the management of your entire social media program to an intern, but at the very least get them involved. Interns are there to learn, not just to run out for coffee or do all the “grunt work” no one else wants to do. Give them some exposure to what your company is doing with social media and give thyem something meaningful and constructive to do.

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