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5 reasons you shouldn’t hire a college student to handle your company’s social media

By Lisa Goldsberry

51292794_s.jpgUse a PR firm to manage social media the right way

You know you should make social media a bigger part of your customer engagement and outreach strategy, but you don’t believe you have the resources or manpower to handle it effectively. As a result, you might be considering hiring an intern to handle your company’s social media. After all, younger people are technologically savvy and always on social media anyway, right? Unfortunately, this decision would be a disservice to both your company and your bottom line.

These days, social media is a big business, and it should be an important component of your strategic plan. You should only entrust social media to expert communicators who understand your company’s goals and objectives. That’s why you must turn to your PR firm for the task.

Why a college intern is not the answer for your social media needs:

  1. A student probably won’t be able to implement and manage a social media strategyWhile a college student might constantly interact with friends on social media, the way he or she uses social media may not translate to the skills you need, such as being proficient on multiple platforms or knowing how to engage your target audience.
  1. A college student will likely be inexperienced in a business setting. Because a student might be lacking experience, he or she may not have developed the business acumen necessary for the position and could require constant supervision.
  1. Everything you do on social media reflects on your image and brand, and the person managing it must represent your company well and professionally in any situation. A college student would probably have no vested interest in your reputation and may not always treat it with the necessary respect and significance. If you would not trust the student in front of the media as your chief spokesperson, you shouldn’t hand him or her the keys to your social media presence.
  1. No matter what information you are sending out, it must be well-written and interesting. A college student may not have developed the communication skills and expertise to do it right.
  1. Social media communication can quickly turn into crisis managementYou want to be sure you have the right person at the helm to handle customer service, public relations, branding and analytics, all of which are needed when managing social media. The wrong wording or a well-intentioned attempt at humor can become a PR disaster, and you must deal with it promptly and correctly.

The basics of managing social media for your company

When social media is done right, you can increase visibility and become a thought leader in your industry. Get it wrong, and your company is either a laughingstock or easily lost in the crowd. Here are some points to keep in mind to ensure you are getting the most from social media.

  • Shut up and listen. Some companies get so excited about having real dialogue with customers that they try to do all the talking. You will be more effective if you engage like a real person, learn your customers’ pain points and see how you can solve their problems.
  • Keep your eyes open. Know what is being said about your brand and know what is trending (and why it’s trending). Address any complaints, look for ways to have positive input and encourage user-generated content. Don’t just jump on a trending topic because it looks interesting or has a phrase that seems to relate to your product. Companies have caused tremendous problems for themselves when they unwittingly posted jovial responses for serious topics such as mass shootings and domestic violence.
  • Hire a PR agency to help you. Social media is vital, time consuming and rapidly changing, and your company must have a vigorous plan to make the most of it. Invest in the services of a PR firm to give your social media efforts the time and expertise it deserves.

Axia Public Relations will work with you to ensure your social media campaigns provide quality content in ways that are interesting, easily shareable and always focused on your company’s core business objectives. Contact us today or download our e-book The Essential Social Media Management Guide to learn more.

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Lisa-G-Color-SM.jpgLisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.

Topics: public relations, shared media

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