Q & A: With support and training can an intern run a company’s social media channels?

Q & A: With support and training can an intern run a company's social media channels?

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q and a


It’s Q & A day, where I answer your questions about social media and business.

This week’s question comes from a recruitment company who are looking at social media internships.

They ask:

Can a student run a company’s online presence with success with the right support and training?

Well, the simple answer is, yes they can! But of course I have a lot more to say on the matter and have some advice and tips for the recruiter, companies and students to consider!

First of all…


To date they may have run their own online channels and been great at doing that. At least I hope so. It’s one of the first places recruiters and potential employers are going to check out. So students, make sure that you have some idea of what you are doing by using your own personal platforms and experimenting there (whatever you do don’t wait until you are behind a brands social media channels before you do your experimenting!). Even better, if you have a website do you have some social media projects, essays, thoughts to demonstrate you are interested in the industry? I’ve met and spoken to a few students who think running social media channels for a company would be really cool, but remember running social media channel that is really dry and you have no interest in is HARD. You have to dig deep and summon up the enthusiasm to be the cheery face of a dull brand!!


As well as checking out the students credentials, get to know the company are you are hiring for inside out, then make sure there is a great cultural match for both parties. This goes for many jobs of course, but if the students interests and personality isn’t going to fit into the company’s work culture, then don’t waste either parties time. It’s impossible to fit a square peg in a round hole. But given the right fit then you could have one highly motivated social media intern who just thrives on the challenges given to him or her.


When taking on a social media intern allocate a social media manager oversee your interns. This person should know the company or brand inside out and be prepared for any eventuality. You could in theory be handing over your whole online presence to a student. You are trusting them with something so valuable; your reputation. The student will need to understand this responsibility as much as they need to know, or learn, who to use the social media tools.

Even if your brand is all about the young you will expect your intern to manage their responsibilities in mature way.

Not only are they ‘fronting’ your company, but they’re representing your company; does how they act on their own channels fit in with your message and brand?

You will need to explain your company’s online personality.

What are your clients and customers online expectations?

What are the values of your company? A student may know your preferred social media channels inside out, but they must be prepared for a steeper learning curve when it comes to learning about your business.

You don’t want the student’s first experience of crisis management to happen at a cost to your company! And that’s why it’s vital to have someone dedicated to overseeing your interns so that both you and the student get the most out of the experience.


Hands on experience is what it’s all about. For the recruiter who is doing a thorough job, to the student who demonstrates the right attitude and the company who is going to be a good fit, this could be a win, win, win situation! And everyone will feel all fuzzy and good about it! 🙂

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