Five Things to Expect from a Social Media Internship

Five Things to Expect from a Social Media Internship
Natalie Kozma
September 15, 2014
Cell phone with tweet speech bubble

When I first began my unpaid social media internship at the MSU Museum, my cash-strapped friends were not impressed. “So all you have to do is tweet and stuff? That is so easy,” they poked.  

Don’t worry. I set them straight. 

Like most college students, my friends are pretty savvy when it comes to social media because they grew up with these developing technologies. But what they failed to understand was the difference between using social media for fun, and using social media for business. One requires a device with Wi-Fi. The other requires research, strategy, creativity and analysis. 

My current marketing internship at Güd Marketing is further proof that the art of social media management is no finger painting. So to validate my intern responsibilities, and prepare students starting their first internship experience, I’ve developed a list of five things to expect from a social media internship. 

  1. You need to do research – This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but not including it on the list would be a serious offense. As a social media intern, you want to know everything you can about your brand, your competitors, your target audience … the list can go on and on. Be thorough. The more you research, the better insight you have to grow your social media following and interactions. 
  2. You need to build connections – In order to grow the brand’s social pages, you want to follow other pages that have similar interests or relate to yours in some way. Reach out to them, share some of their posts and try to have them share your own posts. If you don’t have a huge following on social yet, having a connection that does can go a long way to reaching a larger audience. 
  3. You need to stay updated on news – You want your social page to be a place people visit to find interesting posts, not just advertisements touting how great your company is. Keep updated on the news, quirky videos and things that are trending that can connect or relate to your brand. Knowing your audience and knowing how to share engaging content is more complex than you might think. 
  4. You need to be concise – When working with social media, you’re at a constant battle with character account. You need to be able to articulate succinct messages but also include the necessary information. This mainly applies to Twitter, but it is a good guideline for other sites as well. You don’t want to waste your audience’s time with long rants or unnecessary flourishes. 
  5. You need to be consistent – This applies to several aspects of your job. In terms of managing social media, you need to be consistent with your writing style and scheduling posts. If you’re using AP style in one post, don’t switch to a different style in the next! Your social account is part of a brand and should be cohesive with the brand’s personality. You also don’t want to bombard news feeds or timelines with five back-to-back posts, and then wait a week until your next post. When you space it out and keep a nice stream of posts coming in, you’re more likely to gain and keep followers. 

But in a broader sense, this means you need to be a consistent, diligent employee. Always give your job 100 percent effort, even if it is unpaid. There’s no shame in an unpaid internship, but there is plenty of shame in a stingy worker. My unpaid position is how I landed my internship at Güd Marketing! Take pride in your job, don’t let your friends discredit your responsibilities and always challenge yourself to do more than what is expected of you.

Written by Natalie Kozma, an intern at Güd Marketing from May - December 2014.