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More Than Just the Intern's Responsibility


Millennials know social media, and employers know that they know it. The technological savviness and social media know-how of millennials is number three on JobScience’s 5 Reasons to Recruit Millennials list. I believe many employers may be too quick to hire members from our generation, just because we possess this skill. Even though we grew up with social doesn’t mean that we are the only ones in an organization that should know about it.

My advice to management would be to make social media a priority for everyone in the company, and to not just leave it up to the intern. Here are some tips to better integrate social media into every department of the company:

1) Have a Company Social Media Policy

In Deirdre Breakenridge’s book, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices from the PR Professional, Breakenridge shares some ideas as to what sections a policy should include:

  • An introduction to social media and details on the types of social media tools
  • The social media policy ties to a company’s Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct and other company policies
  • Potential legal concerns for the organization
  • Statement for employees or members of the organization on their participation (Representation, Responsibility, and Respect)
  • Rules for engagement with explanations
  • Responsibilities for the account management of social profiles

Policies provide a company with direction. In my opinion, companies who do not have policies, especially with regards to social media and communication, are setting themselves up for failure.

2) Have a Social Media Core Team

Breakenridge also recommends the assembling a Social Media Core Team — “a team of dedicated professionals who work together to create vision and strategy, as well as help with policy development.”

No intern, social media strategist or C-Suite executive can manage social media on his or her own. It is a 24/7 effort that can only be done with a team. This team should have various millennials, as well as, but not limited to, individuals from departments such as Web, IT, HR, Legal, Sales, Marketing and PR.

These suggestions barely skim the surface as to how a company can begin to make social media more prevalent in its culture. Remember, social is more than just an intern’s responsibility — it is everyone’s.

3) Make Social Media Education a Routine Practice

In order to be successful, every employee needs to be on the same page. Adobe is an excellent example of a company that has taken the initiative to train its employees in social media. The goal of their new, evolved initiative, “aims to build employee social media fluency through awareness, empowerment and excellence.”

I see a great opportunity for millennials and management to work both hand in hand when developing social media training programs. The millennials understand how to use the networks and what audiences are on them, while management has a clear understanding of its mission and what messaging should be used.

How is your company, or a company that you’ve seen, making sure that social media is everyone’s responsibility and not just the intern’s?