Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

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.

What the Suits want from Social Media

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you up front.  The “Suits” or decision makers writing the checks for social media want results. They want to know the money they are paying you is going to give them a return on their investment.  They want honest answers for your expertise so don’t try to use a bunch of buzz words or throw a bunch of reports at them they won’t be able to understand.   If you want to be hired and be retained you need to do the following:

[list type=”checkmark-dark”]
[li]Give realistic expectations of what they can expect for your services.  If you are fighting to get social media implemented at your place of business, you need to let them know clients, customers, etc.. will not typically be knocking down the doors in the first few months.   It takes 3 – 6 months of consistent daily posting to see any type of noticeable results.  You do NOT want to post 6 posts on Monday and be done for the week.  This is a BIG mistake a LOT of people make when starting out.[/li]
[li]Strategy.  They want to know what your plan is.  If they give you a trial period, they will want to know what your plan is for that trial period.  If this is your job, they want to know what your plan of action is for the year.  Give them an outline of what your social media strategy is for the year.   I’ll write a post on social media strategy, but I’ll give you a tip:  don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy if what you are doing isn’t working.[/li]
[li] Focus on your target market.  Social media allows you to reach beyond the borders of your country, or it allows you to laser focus in on your region, your county, your demographic.  I use Facebook ads regularly and even though I target a VERY focused area and a VERY focused market, I still reach a good number of people outside that criteria because of the people who SHARE the posts.  That’s the beauty of social media.[/li]

[li]Start reporting from the beginning.  It may be difficult to get approval, but a company like SproutSocial offers the best reporting options I’ve seen and they don’t charge extra for every type of report unlike HootSuite.[/li]
[/list] 

So how did you do?  Do you have anything to add?  If so, please share with me here or on my fan page.  I’d love to write a follow-up post! 🙂

How Many Klout Topics Do You Have?

klout topics

Klout Topics: How Many Do You Have?

A question was posed so I thought I would write about it today.  First let’s get to the basics.  Klout offers two types of  “influencer sashes”.  A top influencer sash is gold.  This is awarded to the individuals who influence people the most on a particular topic.  This is awarded by Klout.   Then there is the +K influencer sash which is blue.  This is awarded to those who receive a lot of +Ks from their peers on particular topics.  Some people even have both a top influencer and top +K influencer sash.  All  of which are shown below:

klout topics

In the past, Klout topics would appear based upon what Klout’s systems thought a person was influential about.  Many people found this to be unreliable because their topics would be random such as llamas, clowns, or perhaps a trending topic that was tweeted about for only one day. Luckily, users were able to remove those undesirable topics.  Recently, Klout has allowed individuals to add their own Klout topics… for a price of 5 +ks.

Now, let’s start the discussion about the number of topics.  How many are too many?  Is there a magic number?  I suppose it depends on what your goal is.  If your goal (like mine) is to to earn a gold sash, fewer topics is better.  Why?  Think about it.  If people come to your Klout profile and they can only give +Ks to a few topics, Klout sees you as an authority in those few topics.  If you have many topics – they don’t see you as an authority in any, so the chances of you earning a top influencer gold sash are reduced significantly.   I recently reduced my list to nine topics and am even considering reducing it more to increase my chances of earning that “top influencer” sash.  Many of you are probably thinking I’m crazy to even care, but hey – we all have our thing – right?  That silly golden sash – I don’t know why I want it but I just do, so if you are so inclined, I would like a +K in social media.

When would I choose to list Klout topics not focused to my area of expertise?  If I become a brand ambassador, let’s say for Acura, then, I would add a topic or topics relating to automobiles.  That would be one reason I would add a topic not relating to what is currently listed.   Who wouldn’t love to get a gig like that because of your Klout score?

I know there are still many of you out there who are down on Klout because of what has happened in the past, but I’d still like to get your feedback.  What is your opinion about their allowing people adding their own topics?  What is your Klout topic strategy?

 

 

Social Media Emergency Averted

Have you ever done something, and after you did it wish you could immediately undo it?  That happened to me last week.  I read a blog post with great tips, nothing new.  Many times I immediately follow those tips because the authors are people I’ve come to know and trust their content.  What I didn’t do in this instance (and yes, it was entirely my fault) was read the fine print on a plugin I installed on my site.  When I installed this plugin, it “broke” my site by locking me out.  ACK!

social media

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering by now, WHY am I being so long-winded and telling you all of this and HOW does this make for a Social Media Emergency?  I like to think of myself as always being prepared for any emergency.  I have my laptop backed up automatically real-time to a cloud service called BackBlaze.  This is good, so if anything bad happens to my blog, (like this recent incident) I can restore from the backup.

This would have been a real emergency if I did NOT have a backup and something catastrophic happened to my site.  It’s a social media emergency because in my instance, my blog is part of my social media marketing.  I have new fans to my Facebook fan page because of my blog.  If I would have had to rebuild my blog from scratch, a year’s worth of content, links, and comments from readers and fans would be lost forever.

What should you do to avert a similar social media emergency?  There are several things, one is a site called BlogAid that can help you prepare.   MaAnna, the owner of BlogAid offers site inspections showing you specific ways you can improve it.  You’ll receive a thorough 20 point check including site security, plugins, setup, and SEO.  MaAnna is currently running a special with extended hours  February 19 through 26.

Of course there are the standard security plugins (which is what I currently have installed on my site) but after reading the services on the BlogAid site, those can be easily circumvented.  All of a sudden, all of my preventive measures aren’t making me feel all warm and fuzzy.

blogaid logoI’ve decided I’m going to have her look at my site just for piece of mind.  Even though I back up my blog and have anti-spam filters, and a security plugin, the peace of mind, just knowing that I’ve done everything I can do to thwart hackers, (and my own stupidity), well, you just can’t put a price on that!  So, if you want that same peace of mind, check out BlogAid at this link http://www.blogaid.net/site-evaluation-and-review-snapshot and have MaAnna do an inspection for you.

Tell us about your averted crises or perhaps you have a problem you need solved?  Be sure to comment below.

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Why Build a Fan Page If You’re Going To Abandon It?

I see it EVERY DAY!  A fan page with few likes and zero activity.  I ask myself WHY?  Why do people pay to have fan pages created or create a fan page and then abandon it?  Because they take work!

The average business creates their fan page and makes posts that are little more than advertisements similar to what you would see on any other push medium such as radio, television, magazine, or yellow pages.  They just don’t “get” social media.  Social media is SOCIAL. Yes, I said it!  They need to interact with their potential client!  So, when their efforts don’t produce the desired results, they give up.  They abandon their fan page because their friends, business associates, and even their family don’t “like” their fan pages because they don’t want to be bombarded with constant ads.  Gee!  I wonder why?

fan page

Below, are just a few things you can do to get and keep your fans:

1) If you have a client list, friend them from you personal Facebook account.  If you don’t want to use your personal account, create a separate business Facebook account for clients, business associates, vendors, etc… to friend for this purpose.

2) Reach out.  If it’s their birthday, say happy birthday, if they post something funny, like their post, if you like their post and you share it, be sure to mention where you got it.  Everyone likes to feel special.  The more you interact, the more likely they are to interact with you and your fan page, trust you, and convert to a paying customer.

3) If these people have fan pages, like them!  If you are the first to step forward and like their fan page, chances are they may reciprocate and like yours.  If you interact on a regular basis on their page by liking and commenting on their posts, chances are they will do the same with yours.

4) Post relevant, but interesting posts about your industry, that are NOT about your company.  People liked your fan page because they are interested in your industry as a whole.  If you are a photographer, they want to know about photography, not just about the photographs you take.  Post interesting photos, really cool photographic facts.  Don’t make your fan page a yellow pages ad about your company.

5) Post more than once a day. This is the biggest mistake I see.  The way Facebook’s edgerank works if YOU don’t interact with a page or person, then you won’t see them regardless of how often they post.  There are other factors as well. You need to test the waters and determine when your fans are online.  It’s going to be different for each business.  There is no “cookie cutter” template that works for every business.  Post during different times during the day and see when your fans respond and be sure to interact.

These are just a few tips that could help you increase your fan count and your fan participation or “talking about this”.   If you want more tips on what you can do to increase  your fan page participation, subscribe to our blog.

Do you have tips that have worked for you?  We’d love to hear about them! Share them in the comment section below!