What I Learned From My First Week as a Social Media Intern
My name is Laurie and I’m the new Social Media Intern at Simply Measured. It’s only the beginning, and I already know that I’m at the right company, surrounded by amazing people, doing what I’ve always imagined I’d be doing after I graduated from college (GO ZAGS!).
Here are a few things I learned during my first week.
As a Social Media intern, I’ll be doing a lot of scheduling. From creating and tracking goals to managing each social channel, organization is key, and Excel is going to help me get the job done.
Absorb, Absorb, Absorb
The first few weeks here, I felt like a dried-up sponge being immersed in water for the first time, except the water was information. I took a ton of notes (to minimize question-asking) and tried to get familiar with the inner workings of the office—who’s best to ask for what. It was only when I began scheduling social posts on my own that I started to have so many questions.
But I didn’t have a few weeks to get settled. I had three days with Audrey, the previous social media intern, before I was on my own. In a bit of a panic, I sent her a massive message on Slack with ten questions…and then wrote a full page’s worth of questions in my notebook.
Have you ever been told, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question,” asked a question, and gotten a look that says, “Are you dumb?” or a look that says, “Were you listening? Because if you were, you’d know the answer to that.” Throughout life, I’ve had this exact exchange countless times, and it’s definitely inhibited my ability to ask the questions that will get me the right answers.
On my second day, I had a meeting with Sidney, a Campaign Manager. When she started spitting out all kinds of acronyms, I stopped her to ask what they all stood for. She paused, went to the whiteboard to draw out the sales funnel, asked if I understood, then continued where she left off. Although I graduated with a Marketing degree and felt I should’ve known all of those acronyms, if I didn’t ask her, I would’ve been lost throughout the meeting. It would have been a waste of everyone’s time.
Data Matters…But Taking Action Matters, Too
While managing social accounts, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers, especially when you have access to great data.
After my first day, I went home and played around with the Simply Measured platform. I clicked around the dashboard, learning which posts and times worked best for each social network. I ran reports for each of our social accounts, comparing data for the current week to weeks prior, and to competitors. Then my roommate came home and I realized that three hours had gone by and I still didn’t have any idea how to put all I learned into a social media plan. Don’t run analysis for analysis’s sake; use data to validate your direction, and start mapping out an action plan.
There’s Aiming for Perfection and There’s Being a Perfectionist
The first works to your advantage. It allows you to go into a project knowing what the ideal outcome is. It becomes a motivator. The latter works against you. It stops you from making progress because you get stuck on small details. It becomes a reason to stress.
On my third day, I was asked to start scheduling posts and was told not to worry about making them perfect because they wouldn’t be published unless Lucy or Audrey approved them. The perfectionist in me still managed to come out. I spent two hours scheduling one day (Audrey usually spent about one hour for each day). Had I simply created a rough draft and proofread it for errors, Lucy would’ve had more time to give me feedback and we wouldn’t have been in such a rush to get them approved.
Mistakes Are Okay
I’ve always been afraid of making mistakes, but the culture at Simply Measured has taught me that mistakes are inevitable. When they come, they should be embraced, so I can learn from them. This way, mistakes won’t completely knock me down and I won’t make the same mistake again.
It’s only week one, and I’ve already learned a ton. I’m excited for everything that’s to come with Simply Measured. If you have any advice or questions, tweet at me!