Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

18 Replies to “Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media”

  1. Oh this is great, Knikkolette! May I add another? They don't understand that eventually, a business would like to SELL something. They're not taught the art of creative copywriting and therefore, endure the wrath of a client who is not seeing results. 80% fun content 20% selling – but do they know how to write compelling content that SELLS? If they learn that, they'll never go hungry.

    1. Excellent point Sarah! Unless the business was smart enough to get an intern with studies in Marketing and PR, they won’t have someone who can write compelling content that actually SELLS. We both know that is a major flaw on the majority of the websites we see.

  2. I agree with the pros and crons. It's not an easy decision and everything should be taken into consideration!

  3. Excellent point Sarah! Unless the business was smart enough to get an intern with studies in Marketing and PR, they won’t have someone who can write compelling content that actually SELLS. We both know that is a major flaw on the majority of the websites we see.

  4. Nice outline of things to consider Knikkolette. My first thought was, "You get what you pay for" but that's not always the case and your "Pros" point that out.

  5. Good article, Knikkolette Fahrendorf Church. I'm a strong believer in internships and also freshout hiring programs. Mentoring new workers can be rewarding for both you and them in many ways. Yes, there are some risks or cons as you put it, however I think the upside is well worth it.

  6. Thanks Brian – being someone in the business – I often have the same opinion… but for some companies who have the time to train interns and no funds to pay a pro, this is better than not being in the game as long as they trained their interns properly and are willing to keep a close eye.

  7. Thanks Robin – I think it depends on the company whether or not taking time to invest in an intern will work. Some companies don't have the staff with the technical knowledge to train interns properly and if a company doesn't have that foundation – the risks are too high.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.