A social media intern–a student who drives social content collection and creation at your school– can add to your school’s social media’s efficiency, effectiveness, and overall authenticity.
The setup for a school social media intern will look different, depending on your school or district’s needs. When I was the social media intern for my high school (Seward High School in Seward, NE), I had a dedicated class period to complete the behind-the-scenes work that ensures content creation goes off without a hitch. These duties included assigning student representatives to cover every school event, sending out email reminders to these representatives, creating and organizing a schedule of events, creating and promoting classroom, academic, and student life posts, and so much more. Seward High School experienced firsthand the advantages a social media intern can provide to a school’s social media. Here are five advantages (though there are lots more!) of having a social media intern at your school.
1. All School Events Are Covered
A social media intern stays “on the ball” and knows when all events are occurring at their school. They make sure your social media audience knows about school events before, during, and after they happen. To make this happen at Seward High, I created a schedule of events spreadsheet that included important details like date, name of the event, the student making the graphic for the pre- and post-event posts, and the student attending the event to capture on-the-ground content. This schedule of events spreadsheet ensured all events were represented on our school’s social media, which in turn helped us amplify more voices, students, and experiences.
2. Workload Is Off Staff
School personnel are busy as it is. The last thing they need to worry about is maintaining a content schedule for their school’s social media. Delegating this work to a social media intern lets school personnel focus on what they’re good at doing: teaching and mentoring students. I worked mainly by myself during my time as a social media intern, but didn’t hesitate to ask questions or for advice. The class period a day I spent coordinating and creating social media content for our school was time returned to the teachers and administrators who were handling it before I became our social media intern. They were very, very grateful, to say the least. Using a platform like Class Intercom, which has built-in publishing approval features, allows a social media intern (and other students) to take on the bulk of the content creation work for your school–and transfers educators and administrators to an oversight role, which requires much less time and effort. Students are empowered to tell their school’s story from their point of view, and administrators and educators have the peace of mind of proofing all content before it’s published. This setup also creates teachable moments; students are able to create authentic, creative content that represents their school, and faculty are able to provide constructive feedback and guidance on this content before it goes public.
”Students are empowered to tell their school’s story from their point of view, and administrators and educators have the peace of mind of proofing all content before it’s published.
3. Your Audience is More Engaged (and Encouraging!)
Communicating with students, parents, teachers, and community members through social media is becoming more essential every day. When students create content for their school’s social media, the bond between the students and their community strengthens. Students become more aware of the type of content their community (audience) wants and needs to see, and the community gets a front-row seat to the daily experiences and stories the students are living at school. This behind-the-scenes insight made Seward community members much more likely to show up for students and their events at Seward High. Our student content creators also noticed more and more community members singing our praises and having our backs on social media when our students took over our school’s social media. For example, when Seward Community Chat–a members-only Facebook group–started sharing negative comments and posts about Seward High, like they never share anything or why weren’t we told about…, community members quickly came to our defense by sharing screenshots of information we had previously shared. When our community learned students were the ones posting on our school’s social media pages, they were much more gracious, understanding, and supportive. They understood students learn by making mistakes, and they loved seeing our efforts. Negative comments about our school and its social media were essentially eliminated.
”When students create content for their school’s social media, the bond between the students and their community strengthens.
4. Content Is Student Inspired and Student Focused
Your school’s social media is the ideal platform to show stakeholders the value of your school and the learning the students are engaging in. And students are the ideal people to tell this story. As Seward High’s social media intern, I connected with students because, well, I was one. I was always looking for special moments to capture–a cool science project, a big win for the basketball team, or a phenomenal performance by our school choir. I was constantly on the hunt for the content that would best express the personality and authenticity of our students.
As a student creating our social media content, I put tons of thought into the type of content that would best tell our story (as did the rest of our student social media team). This helped make our content much more engaging, fun, and likable. There are so many amazing stories happening in classrooms, and they become so much more powerful when told by the ones living them.
”There are so many amazing stories happening in classrooms, and they become so much more powerful when told by the ones living them.
5. The Social Media Intern Builds Valuable Skills
Most students are using social media every day and building their online footprint– whether they realize it or not. Becoming our school’s social media intern and representing my school to our greater community made me much more aware of my digital footprint and its impact. I also received valuable content planning experience from creating organizational spreadsheets and slating content for specific students to cover at specific times. I also increased my knowledge of current social media trends and thought critically about how those trends may (or may not) work for our social media. Audience awareness was key here. I contemplated the kind of content our community wanted and needed to see–and the type of content that told our story in an engaging way. As a social media intern, I was able to build our school’s brand and connect with so many fellow students who were interested in content creation.
”Becoming our school’s social media intern and representing my school to our greater community made me much more aware of my digital footprint and its impact.
The best part? After this immersive experience, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in marketing in college. And now I have valuable experience and knowledge to get me started.