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Professionalism 101

Professionalism 101: How Social Media Can Get You an Internship

More positions are looking for those who are experienced in creating a brand and bringing in more followers by using social media.

Hannah Demissie

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Our generation has been given the gift of social media which has changed every aspect of our lives, especially in the job market. Social media has made it easier to market anything to people. There are thousands on Instagram who are sponsored by companies like Princess Polly and Target. But don’t be fooled, if you want to get some sort of internship or job involving social media, you’re going to need to put in work.

Generation Y and Z, listen up!

Social media internships are a blessing for us, because we’re really the only group who have extensive experience with social media, and it shouldn’t be wasted. If you don’t believe me, places like the Chambers of Commerce, the Wilson Center, The Council on Foreign Relations, and other organizations are all looking for social media interns to help grow their platform and gain more followers through social media.

1. Just using your own social media platforms isn’t enough

When applying for internships just saying you use a lot of social media for your own personal use doesn’t mean anything. The majority of people on the planet have some form of a social media platform and just saying you use social media doesn’t make you standout.

2. Experience does matter

A lot of people don’t think you need experience when applying to a social media internship, but you do. Hiring managers are not going to give you the time of day unless you have some sort of experience managing another social media account besides your own. How does one do that? Create another account that’s dedicated towards something you love whether it be travel, food, anything really. It shows that you’re taking initiative and putting in work to put together a cohesive theme for whatever platform your using. Another way is running a social media account for an organization at your school. It doesn’t have to be anything intense, but it should show that you’re committed and taking the time for it. While applying to social media internships for this fall, a lot of organizations asked me to send in photos of my work. I sent pictures of work that I’m currently doing for College Media Network, where I help run their social media. By doing that it shows that I can manage another organization’s account.

3. The numbers do matter

The most important thing when trying to get a social media internship is getting more followers. Trying to gain more followers involves analytics. Looking at how many people are liking a photo or tweet? How often it gets likes? How many times people are viewing the page? What day do most people visit the page? If there’s a decrease in the amount of views or likes, it’s your responsibility to figure out why and fix it. Is it because a lot of people don’t like a certain thing you’re posting? Dropping truth bombs about analytics will really impress the person interviewing you.

4. Writing is also important

Make sure you’re not making mistakes in the captions you’re creating. Yes, have them be witty and smart, but also grammatically correct. Another thing is that if you want to manage an account for a news organization, think tank, or anything relating to that, research also matters. Being well informed on the things you’re posting is also important which involves researching and not a lot of people think about that when discussing a social media internship.

5. Think outside the box

Always make sure you’re doing the job you’re suppose to do, but also be creative. How can you make more people come to this page? It can be through making funny and interactive polls, having a member spotlight, a giveaway, or starting some sort of challenge. Bringing ideas like these up during an interview will impress whoever your talking to because it shows that you already have plans and that you’re prepared.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

I'm a rising junior at American University majoring in political science. Besides writing for CMN, I'm also a tour guide at American University, a senator in Student Government, and a member of my sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. You can check out more of my writing on my blog: https://www.thewonkblog.com/

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