Why Your Social Media Manager Shouldn't be an Intern

"Give that to the intern" is a phrase often uttered when the topic of social media management comes up. One of my biggest pet peeves about social media in business today is that organizations often want to push this function down to junior staff or even interns. Yes, it's true that Millennials grew up using social sites and may be more familiar with them than older workers. However, just because someone grew up utilizing social platforms doesn't mean he or she knows how to use them strategically for business - or that they have the depth of knowledge and interpersonal skills to be the face of your company. I advocate for elevating the social function, not delegating it. The person managing your social channels is essentially acting as a key spokesperson for your organization. Do you really want that handled by a student or new grad? By all means, tap into the energy, insight and ideas of interns and junior staff when it comes to planning content, evaluating new social channels, monitoring social platforms and gathering metrics for analysis. But when it comes to approving content, engaging with prospects and customers on your social channels and plotting the strategy for your overall social program, think a little higher on the corporate ladder. For the face of your company's social media program, you want someone who knows your company inside and out, understand possible issues and has your organization's online reputation foremost in mind. Just as you would choose a company spokesperson with strategy and care, ensuring they are well prepared for any media interview and well versed in the organization's messaging and potential issues, so should you thoughtfully select and prep your social media representatives. They are another important face of the company to your customers and prospects online.

In short: elevate, don't delegate, your social media program. You'll avoid some of the social media mishaps and disasters that many unfortunate companies have experienced. You may even gain a greater understanding of your prospects and customers through one-on-one interactions in the social space. And, if you need some help bridging the gap between senior and junior staff when it comes to social programs - or if you are in search of social media training for your senior staff - please don't hesitate to ask us. We're happy to help.