As my time as NonDoc’s social media intern draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on these past nine months or so and all of the lessons learned.
This was my first internship, and while most of my life has been crammed with social media, using it as a marketing tool was unfamiliar to me.
Here are five things that I’ve learned as a social media intern:
1: There’s more math involved than you think
As a writing major, math is something that I’ve vehemently abhorred since my elementary school days. You can imagine my trepidation whenever I realized that I was going to have to dust off those math skills and use them.
Most people might think that being a social media intern consists of scrolling through Facebook and Twitter for hours on end, but there’s actually a lot of analytics involved. There’s graphs and statistics, and just like anything else in the business world, it’s a lot of seeing what works and what doesn’t (there’s a little bit of scrolling through Facebook and Twitter for hours on end, too).
But it’s definitely not rocket science. I got through it, and all of you other math-weary interns will, too.
2: Embrace the mistakes (it’s a part of the job and it’s a part of life)
I know I’ve made my fair share of them over the last few months (shout-out to Josh McBee for putting up with me!), but mistakes do make you stronger. Especially in media, when a typo means you have to repost something entirely.
Even in the media world, nobody is perfect. Is it embarrassing to have to post something again? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. It just sharpens your standards and makes you double-check everything twice or five times over.
3: There’s a lot of nudity on the Internet
Yep, you read that right. When perusing several of the social media sites looking for various groups or people to follow, sometimes you see things that you didn’t really want to see, and you backtrack as fast as you can to the homepage furiously blushing and looking around to make sure that no one else saw what you just did.
4: It’s important to be informed
This has been drilled into my head since my first day in Gaylord College. It’s something that I’ve always known, but it was particularly reinforced during my time at NonDoc.
Not only is it important to be informed on the national political level, it’s also important to be informed on the community level. Being involved in a community setting has a powerful ripple effect that many do not see.
Knowing that your voice matters in your community is an important tool and affects social change at all levels. I can’t stress the importance of being informed in local decisions and organizations.
5: Social media experience is a lucrative skill to have
Our world is constantly churning out new technology, and experience in social media trends and being on top of new sites that can help further a brand for a company is a great skill to have in the corporate world.
Even if the corporate world isn’t for you and you want to start your own business, social media is all about creating a brand for yourself and marketing that to an audience (whoever or whatever that looks like).
I highly recommend having some sort of publicity or media experience on a résumé. Not only does it show that you have a creative skill set, it also shows that you can communicate a message effectively, which (surprisingly) is a skill that many people lack.
Social media intern moving on
While I’ve got an exciting new gig lined up, don’t think that you’ve seen the last of me: I’ve written for NonDoc before, and I’m not going to stop now. These past months have been a wonderful experience for me.
Thanks for everything, Josh and Tres!