SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA BE IN THE HANDS OF INTERNS?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Social Media 25 Comments

SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA BE IN THE HANDS OF INTERNS?

Over on Facebook, Kyle Lacy, Principal at MindFrame, shared a link to a post about interns being given the responsibility of posting on Social Media on behalf of an organization.  It was written by Joanna Krotz, who writes about small business marketing and management issues.  It is is interestingly titled…

The Runaway Brand: Who’s Tweeting For You?

As a good marketer does, along with the link, Kyle asked his Facebook Friends:

“You shouldn’t leave social media completely to the interns or young people. What do you think?”

In her post, Joanna boldly begins by writing:

“Twenty-somethings may be whizzes at social media, but they typically don’t know beans about brand management.”

She continues by giving us several dos and don’ts that can help avoid problems.  These include:

  • Do create a digital brand strategy
  • Don’t post without vetting (this is a deal-breaker for me)
  • Do make the message reflect the brand.
  • Don’t ignore negative posts.
  • Do establish policies and training.

As you might guess, when Kyle posted his comment and question on Facebook, there were a number of comments answering Kyle’s question.  I added one, which was:

“Interns, by their very nature, are temporary employees. Sure, other employees might be temporary, but we don’t know that at the time.  Given that, I think being the company’s front person to thousands, and potentially millions, of people must be put in the hands of someone who will be around for a while, who has shown ongoing performance worthy of being put in charge of being a spokesperson, and who you would trust communicating your message in a crisis.  Choose this person/these people wisely.”

In response to this comment someone left on Kyle’s Wall:

“Didn’t many of the good ones start out as interns for somebody? I think the point is make sure they have good judgement and a good understanding of the project.  And honestly, sometimes an intern that has neither is better than someone with internal myopia…”

I added:

“Yes, interns do need training to advance their careers, but that doesn’t always mean stepping up to the plate in the most important Social Media communications position that exists in your organization.”

Sweeping generalizations have never been my favorite, so I try very hard to stay away from them when possible. I don’t think every intern is unworthy of being placed in such a coveted, critical communications position, any more than I think every person who has been around a while should be labeled old-school, slow and unable to move quickly in this digital world.  Neither is true, and it’s probably unfair to make either accusation.  A mid-career professional just starting out in marketing with a new firm might also not be the best fit…it just depends.

What do you think?

Related posts you might enjoy:

Social Media: Who Should Lead The Charge?

Social Media: Do You Have What It Takes?

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