Social media internships tips Suzanne McDonald of Designated Editor, University of Rhode Island
What’s on the other side
of the digital-generational divide
Suzanne McDonald | Content & Social Strategist
Masters in Journalism
& Mass Communications
challenges for digital natives
• Non-native colleagues & bosses
• A lack of experience, which is natural
• Work-ethic ideology differences
challenges for non-digital natives
• Assumptions about digital natives
• Can figure it out
• Know your business
• They don’t understand tools & limitations
• Social can’t solve all your problems
• Doesn’t take much investment
let’s address those challenges
Where does this information come from?
• URI Social Media Strategies students
• Designated Editor staff, mostly in their 20s
• I’m a Gen X, they said similar things about us
• Widely read Social Media books
• LinkedIn Answers survey with 30+ respondents
VP of Creative Services
^Social Media Adviser, Nexus Marketing Social Media and e-Commerce
New hires have to be
• Savvy: mobile, web, video, design, apps, social
• Great communications skills
• And astute
Expect very little training. Pick it up quickly.
what can brands expect?
Interns Make Coffee Not Social Media Strategies
• They don’t know your brand / culture / perspective
• They have no vested interest
• Should an intern plan a major PR event?
• Do they know marketing?
• Can they relate to your target market?
• They are gone before you know it
Social Media Marketing by Li Evans Chapter 3
digital natives’ advantages
What are your assets and how do you appear?
• Not just getting you, also getting your network
• You're willing to be accessible at any time
• They’ll know you more by your proﬁles
quick to skill up
President, Egg Marketing & Communications: The
Marketing Eggspert, Internet Marketing firm
Be quick to pick up new skills & take
on more than their job description.
For marketing, certainly a solid
grasp of social media is necessary.
larger issues at hand
Director of Sales at TravelClick hotel e-commerce
The problem often lies with the
senior management who may not
be that tech-savvy or inclined
toward social media.
These gaps and expectations will be
a conflict source, especially with
social media campaigns.
it's not all about Facebook
Senior Web Marketing Manager, Ottawa, Canada
I find most Gen Y hires coming in are
very in tune with the latest technology,
and are eager to apply it to any situation,
without performing the due diligence...
I think they need to spend more time
thinking through why an idea will work.
don’t overlook little things
founder, Dealicio.com, web service for web publishers
We want people that can learn, solve
problems and be responsible for what
they do. Good communication skills
are also important.
Constantly amazed by grammar and
who should you intern for?
• Look at the website
• Who is on the team?
• Is the brand social?
• Who are the clients?
• Match up with you goals?
Social Media Marketing by Li Evans Chapter 44
tools can be taught
Client Services Supervisor, Voce Communications
My fear is that people will say "fluent in
social media" or some such nonsense.
Tools can be taught.
I would look for good writing skills, the
ability to work quickly and creatively, and,
I know this is a vague word, courage.
multimedia & copywriting
Digital Marketing Consultant at zero G media Ltd,
Brighton-based digital media agency
A new hire essentially needs to be
• Able to be a copywriter/copyeditor
• Adapt writing style for print/web etc.
• Make & edit videos & podcasts
be smarter but ...
Be smarter than me when it comes to
technology. It's a different world ... and
anyone coming out of college knows the
ins and outs way more than I do.
Anyone 5 yrs younger than me knows
10x what I know about technology.
I'm actually okay with it; you should
learn something new everyday.
Sales & Marketing Manager at Morton's The Steakhouse
Find a job
Socialnomics by Erik Qualman p.225
Tools to use
• Video resume
• Feedback from peers, bosses, subordinates
• Search for those with the same name
Jobs find you
tools to use to land a job
Complete your profile
Get a smartphone
What interests you most?
Give some Tweet love
Utilize Search and hashtags
get your blog on
• Ask questions and then round up the replies
• Summarize and elaborate on several posts
• Link to thought-leaders, give thanks
• Don’t forget multimedia!
Search engine marketing ﬁrm director:
"We expect all our employees to blog and tweet.
We actually require periodic blog posts."
how to structure
• Lead with what you want do
• How it benefits your future employer
Social Media 101 by Chris Brogan p. 293
• Integrate your blog & Twitter
• Events, Reading List & SlideShare
• Post questions to Answers
final thoughts for interns & brands
For social media, you need to understand SEO,
PR, writing, and have a head for quickly
adopting technology and metrics. – John Cass
Bring passion and intellectual curiosity, and
enough confidence in your creativity that you
know you can find a way to meet the task at hand.
– David Berkowitz
Let’s hear your
Suzanne McDonald | Content & Social Strategist