It’s the beginning of July, and, judging by the number of ads I’m seeing, it’s time to talk about social media interns. For the purpose of this piece, an intern is defined as “a student or recent graduate who works for a [fixed] period of time at a job in order to get experience.” Hiring interns can be beneficial to both companies and student employees, but, in order to maximize the benefits of the arrangement, the tasks and responsibilities given to them must be appropriate. Too often we hear about interns being hired to learn new skills only to find their days actually being filled with cleaning, fetching coffee or other menial tasks that don’t add value to their resumes. However, when it comes to social media, employers still often take things to the opposite extreme, giving interns free rein to create and/or post on a company’s social media accounts, despite many articles and blog posts warning them not to.
To review what has been said in similar posts elsewhere, hiring a social media intern is a bad idea for three reasons: