Nerd, dweeb, dork, geek—why am I just now being labeled? Not that I mind, I rather enjoy my new titles. Being branded as a Social Media nerd means that I am improving my communication skills and ability to adapt to new social sites, tools and software. However, since Social Media is constantly changing and evolving, I knew that this internship with Sharpie would keep me on my toes. I still have plenty of ideas to brainstorm, blogs to create, and innovations to adapt to during the next few months. I have learned lots by immersing myself in the social media-verse these past two weeks. Several things have changed my outlook on the social realm and will benefit me in the future. These five notions are key takeaways that can help hopefuls looking for Social Media internships:
1. RELAX! Perfectionists are not perfect, and neither are you.
Internships help us learn and grow asprofessionals. Expecting mistakes and asking questions will help you get the most out of your internship. I am still struggling to break out of the perfectionist mold, but I will take away more from the experience if do.
Photo credit to Namaste Holistic Therapy
2. Blog like there’s no tomorrow. Frequent blog posts help you engage and interact with your audiences, while also sharpening and refining your writing skills. Blog about your experiences, ideas, questions, and concerns. Spice up your blog’s appearance with themes and widgets that benefit your content (ex: display your Twitter handle, links to other social sites.) If your creativity is limited by the hosted blog service, consider paying to host your own blog. WordPress.com is a great, FREE site for creating a blog.
Photo credit to Michigan Attorney Blog
3. Work independently, as well as diligently.
Do not expect your boss to direct your every move—more often, YOU need to come up with the big ideas. Research, keep up with the latest trends, follow/network with important “tweeples,” monitor Facebook comments, etc. Your employers are looking for future leaders and it starts by proving you can lead yourself.
4. Embrace the social geek within!
Establish your presence in the “social-sphere.” Being active on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. will showcase your abilities and what you could bring to the table. Be prepared and think of ideas for organizations to utilize social sites/tools in new, creative ways.
Photo credit to Matt Hamm
5. Personal vs. Professional
Determine what information is career-related and what is not. Do not disclose anything personal that could potentially damage your future. This seems like common sense, but it still amazes me how many Facebook users’ profiles contain content that risk their employment opportunities. Good rule of thumb: if you have to question the photo, post, or tweet, delete it.
I am sure everyone has their own ideas and tips for other aspiring social media and/or PR gurus. These are just a few insights I have taken away from my experience thus far. Ironically, I am still working on each one (especially toning down the perfectionism, ahem 😉 ) Remember, when offering advice, we all need to practice what we preach!
What advice would you offer those looking for Social Media internships???