Lessons Learned During My #UMSocial Internship in 280 Characters or Less
There comes a time in every young UMSocial intern’s life where they must say goodbye to their spot at the intern desk and the people they finally feel comfortable friend-requesting on Facebook. As a social media intern, it seemed only fitting that I was asked to do so in a blog post.
When given this same task about a year ago, my predecessor, Sarah Barnitt, presented her reflections in the form of tweets. Life at UMSocial, and Twitter’s character limit, has changed a bit since then, so I’ve decided to add to Sarah’s list 15 of the most noteworthy lessons, in 280 characters or less, that I learned during my UMSocial internship:
- Memes and viral trends can be magnets for engagement, but only if you’re timely. Hopping on a trend when it’s already worn out is a surefire way to look like you’re trying too hard to relate to the “youths”
2. Regularly assessing platform-based analytics is the only way to know if your current strategy is working. Pay special attention to which platforms are experiencing growth and which ones are remaining stagnant. What can you do differently to generate growth across the board?
3. Change your passwords. Often.
4. You’ll come across people who don’t believe social media is worth their time or attention. It’s not worth yours to try to convince them otherwise. Keep doing your thing, and they’ll come around eventually.
- You don’t need national newsworthy events or celebrity endorsements to generate engagement as long as you create content consistent with your audience’s values (but playing in the NCAA basketball national championship game certainly doesn’t hurt).
6. Sometimes, Snapchat stories get canceled due to a scheduling conflict with the chief mastodon duster.
7. In higher-ed social media, having a diverse group of students on your team is vital to getting an accurate reading of the campus climate.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to be in the Big House, but don’t be naïve and think it won’t be below 30 degrees at that April event you volunteered to cover.
- Even if you hate being on camera, don’t be afraid to participate in video projects every once in a while. Sometimes a little bit of suffering leaves you with a really cool keepsake!
10. If you’re out of ideas and eager for engagement, being sassy and calling out your enemies isn’t the answer. We can’t all be Wendy’s.
11. When you’re really out of ideas, engage with your audience! Chances are someone has already shared something that would look great on your page.
12. When you decide to share someone else’s content, ask for permission first. No one likes a kleptomaniac.
13. A career in social media allows you to work remotely a lot of the time, but being out of the office means missed opportunities to eat baked goods and bond with coworkers over which famous Chris is the best (the answer is clearly Chris Pratt).
14. Have fun and take risks! Now that the social space is as crowded as it is, you have to be bold if you want to stand out.
Although I’m leaving UMSocial, I won’t forget these lessons I learned or the people who shared them with me. Everyone at UMSocial taught me something new, and being a part of such an amazing team taught me a lot about myself as well. I will miss the late-night Slack messages, neverending one-pagers, and discussions about the legitimate need for an office cereal bar, but I look forward to following along with UMSocial’s adventures as a regular fan.
As always, be social, stay social, and go blue!
This post was written by Mackenzie Francisco, (former) UMSocial Intern. #StaySocial with her on Twitter @mackenzie_fran