What a Social Media Intern Should Do

As a millennial student or recent grad, your chances of getting hired for a social media internship are pretty high. You are adult enough to have focus and a work ethic, but also youthful enough to know exactly how to use social media and tune in to trends. Interning with a company as their social media assistant or strategist is a great opportunity for those looking to enter the world of marketing or business as well.  Social media isn’t going anywhere soon as it’s dramatically affected the way we do business as a society. According to Nielsen’s latest Social Media Report: “Social media gives marketers a chance to reach out directly to consumers, amplify their messages, and pitch their best value propositions to their best consumers wherever they may be…”  Basically, if a company is not utilizing social platforms in their business or marketing strategy, they are missing out on huge potential growth. 

As a millennial, you have grown up with the platforms businesses use such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While a social media intern job description might vary from company to company, there are some basics that you will be expected to do in your social media internship. 

According to Indeed.com’s social media intern job description, “A social media intern is an aspiring marketing and communications professional who is supervised by a manager to help manage and create content for an organization’s different social media. A social media intern may create content related to a company’s brand, products, events, and services. The social media intern is trained to understand the company, product or brand they will work with to post relevant content.” While this is all very valuable, let’s break down some specific tasks you might be asked to do. 

Conduct a competitive audit 

As a social media intern, part of your job will be assessing a lot of data. You might be asked to 

conduct a competitive audit by researching your brand’s competitors and taking note of how they’re handling their social marketing. You might be given a list of competitors that your company needs you to investigate, answering questions like: which platforms are they using? Are there any platforms that they’re not on even though their audience is there? How many followers do they have on each platform, and how engaged are those followers? What types of content are they sharing? How often are they sharing certain types of content?

A competitive audit should end with key takeaways that will be used to inform the brand’s social strategy moving forward. As a social media intern, you can provide this valuable information. 

Create a Content Calendar

This is where your keen eye for detail and love organization will come in. Companies interested in boosting their social presence need to rely on a content calendar in an effort to avoid scrambling for content, low-quality photos and overall value-deprived posts. You could be asked to create a social media calendar for the next several weeks or months, taking into account major holidays and events, brand happenings, hashtag and social media holidays, and any upcoming pop culture or trendy occasion, like award shows and TV premieres. The best social media calendars have enough content ready to go so that your platforms don’t get stale, as well as enough wiggle room and free space to allow for impromptu posts when something happens that couldn’t be planned for. This is a huge time saver for the company so make sure you research ahead of time and know what you are doing. 

Write, format and post articles

Most social media intern job descriptions list writing skills as a must for candidates. Not only will you be writing content for Instagram and Twitter, but you might have to handle the company’s blog. Blogs and social media go hand in hand and allow for more content to be shared. Make sure you know how to write SEO-rich headlines, error-free copy and know how to format articles for posting online.

Create visuals for social media

If you have an eye for design, make sure you let your internship manager know. Knowing Photoshop or another type of graphic design software is a plus for you because you will most likely be responsible for creating custom graphics for social media and blog posts, like infographics or images with quote overlays. 

Communicate with a social fan base 

Engaging with your audience is super important to building a brand, however, larger companies struggle to find the time. As the social media intern, you might be asked to engage with their audience in a way that goes above and beyond the basic, “Thanks for liking our post!” or “Go to this link to learn more!”

You can find the audience members who are most engaged with the content, learn what content is generating clicks or revenue and help the company build authenticity.

Bonus Tip: Certifications to Advance Your Qualifications 

If you want to be an even more valuable social media intern, most social media intern job descriptions want their candidates to be fluent in the most popular social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Earning a platform-specific certificate can not only make you hireable after your internship is complete, but it will allow you to know the ins and outs of what you will be responsible for during your time as an intern and beyond. Here are some certifications that Indeed.com recommends: 

  • Twitter Flight School: Twitter offers free training on how to use its platform for business marketing. The Twitter Flight School modules take between 10-15 minutes to complete and cover topics such as Twitter 101, increasing website traffic and conversions and creating effective marketing campaigns. 
  • Facebook Blueprint Certification: Facebook Blueprint is a certification offered through Facebook that certifies an individual’s proficiency in using marketing strategies and ads on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Facebook offers free e-learning courses that individuals can take before taking the exam to earn the Facebook Blueprint Certification.
  • Google Analytics: Individuals can earn a Google Analytics individual qualification (IQ) to prove they have a professional understanding of how to use Google Analytics to track website traffic. They can take Google’s free Ads Academy courses to learn advanced usage of Google Analytics before taking the certification.

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