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Hiring a Social Media Intern: Training and Monitoring

hiring a social media internThis is the final post in my series on hiring and managing a social media intern. In the previous posts, you’ve learned what interns should and shouldn’t do, and I’ve given you some tips on finding a good one. Now let’s look at training and monitoring.

Too many people hire a “20 something” and then just let them go. That’s a lot of power to give a young person. I suggest a more moderate approach.

Setting sensible boundaries for your social media intern

Interns don’t have the deep knowledge of your business that you do, so they need training and mentoring in your social media vision. Be sure to set limits on what kinds of communication they are allowed to handle and when they need to bump something up the chain. It’s easy to let them deal with positive comments and compliments on your business, but customer concerns and problems should always be handled by you, the business owner.

You will have to develop your own metrics to track effectiveness and then train your intern in how to monitor them. Some suggested metrics?

  • Number of “likes” or “followers”
  • Number of comments or mentions
  • Number of unique visitors to your website from social media

Those are the types of metrics an intern should be able to monitor and report on.

What if you’re not meeting the goals? Don’t blame the intern. Schedule a meeting to discuss ways to improve.

Remember my caution from the first post? I’ll repeat it here. Interns should NOT build your social media presence.

You do the building and they do the monitoring. Why? Because you need to have access to all your accounts. I’ve heard too many stories of interns or employees building profiles, tying them to their personal email account and then taking the profile when they leave the company. Don’t let this happen to you.

The same rule applies to passwords. You create them and change all passwords when an intern leaves your employment. Do not give interns access to password recovery questions or, if you do, change them when an intern leaves.

Ongoing monitoring of your intern’s work

Create some schedule for monitoring your channels (evenings, weekends, whatever). I also think it’s a good idea to create a “dummy” profile or borrow a friend’s profile to comment on your channels and test your intern’s responses. Try posing as a difficult customer to see if your intern respects the limits you’ve placed on him or her.

Definitely have regular meetings to discuss progress, metrics and interesting/important interactions through social media. Be certain that the goals you’ve set are being met.

And that’s it for this series. You should be ready to go out and find that great intern to manage all your social media accounts!