At this point we (should!) all know how important it is to maintain a social media standing for your brand, business or yourself. If you think you don’t have time for social media you’re wrong. Social media is an effective way to communicate with your audience, and your audience is the most important thing you have, since they’re buying your product, and spreading awareness about your company or brand. If you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media sites, it’s might be worth your while to look into getting a social media intern. (And if you enjoy using social media, you might consider trying to work as a social media intern!)
I’m the social media intern for Indie Ink, quietly clicking away behind the scenes. It’s not impossible work, but it has some surprises. This is my third job I’m working right now, and sometimes it’s my favourite.
Usually my work starts with the social media calendar that Marketing and Sales Director, Megan, gives to me. From there I pull in blogs, news articles, and countless links. I then create visuals, and various messages and headlines; occasionally, they throw a blog post on my plate as well. All of that content either gets loaded up into Co-Schedule, for blogs, and Buffer, for everything else. I also do daily interactions, like retweeting on Twitter and sharing posts on Facebook. Officially I work 7 hours, or about an hour a day. I’m more likely to try to schedule a couple of days in advance when I can. This job fits really well into my schedule, as I currently work two other jobs. I can handle Indie Ink stuff in the mornings, evenings, and days off.
Indie Ink has decided on posting across four social media sites, with a heavier focus on Facebook and Twitter, and then less frequent postings on Google+ and LinkedIn. Since our content is mostly written and not heavy on visuals, it makes sense for us to frequent these sites rather than Instragram, Tumblr, or Pintrest. The two powerhouse websites I use to get our social media messages out are Buffer and Co-Schedule. We use Co-Schedule with our WordPress blog to set up when our blog posts will be released on our site, and schedule social media messages to accompany them. It’s fairly easy to use, and shows all of the upcoming messages on a calendar. Buffer is for everything else; articles, pictures, promotions, anything that’s being posted. I can load it up to post at specific times on specific days, add twitter names, hashtags, shortened links, and pictures.
One of my favourite things about Buffer is the ability to create one message to go out across all of your social media sites at the same time, although I usually make Twitter’s quite different. Before Buffer I’ll use a lot of smaller sites along the way for content. For visuals there’s stock photo sites and picture editing sites. For written content I search through news sites and blogs. All together they create a fun, interesting stream of social media messages that increase our brand awareness locally, and globally.
What I’ve Learned
First, something that should really be a rule at all times! One I am guilty of breaking: Spellcheck. Spellcheck as you write, spellcheck after you’ve written it, get someone else to spellcheck it, and spellcheck it all again before posting or scheduling.
Second, schedule everything in advance. It’s terrible to feel rushed and be pushing out mediocre content because you just want to get it done. People are paying attention to your social media sites, so put in the effort to inspire your followers so that they want to engage and share your content.
Third, make your social media messages more appealing by using pictures and keeping links short. You’re likely to get more attention by tagging people with their @username or using #hashtags when on Twitter. Have some fun with your stuff too; people love it when you make them laugh on social media.
Lastly, communicate. Communicate with your followers and fans by reaching out to talk to them, responding to comments, thanking them for following you, and doing fun interactive things on social media. The worst that’s going to happen is that they’ll ignore you. It’s just as important that if you’re running someone else’s social media sites, that you communicate with your employer. Since I’m not often in the office, regular texts and emails are exchanged.
If you’re looking for a social media intern try to find someone who already actively uses social media and understands how it works.
They should also be self-motivated, as they’ll have to work without supervision a lot, and be mature enough to handle the interactions between business and consumer.
For me, doing this kind of work comes pretty easily. I already use the sites Indie Ink uses, and I like finding content to share, and creating visuals. I feel like I also get to learn a lot through my job, especially on days when I am in the office, and Suzanne’s writing about a topic like crowdfunding. My job is pretty fantastic, and I believe I have proved that I’m worth keeping around. [Editor’s note: she is!!] If you have any other questions about what I do, comments, or inquires about whether I could run your social media sites, just tweet me @2nrt.