As someone who runs a company with an ear to the ground, you’re already aware of at least some of the benefits that social media can bring to your business. It’s free, it’s efficient, and its successes are measurable. But as easy as it is to write a Tweet or post to Facebook, an effective social media strategy takes a much more nuanced understanding of the platforms and the various ways to leverage them. In other words, your business may require a partnership with someone who has native familiarity with social media and how it has changed over time.
If you have big-picture goals you’d like to see with respect to your social-media plan, there’s an easy way to begin before you take a gamble on a full-time job applicant: Seek student help! Today’s college students leverage these tools everyday for more than making friends. They also use them to check the news, connect with their university communities, build professional relationships, and even begin branding themselves. More importantly, many students already have hands-on professional experience managing social media for startups and small businesses. In this post, we’ll provide you with a plan to help students help you in building an engaging online presence.
Tips for improving your social media presence via part-time assignments for students
Ask yourself what you still need to learn
Turning over the voice of your company to a new employee, no matter his or her age, is probably not your aim in looking for help. So before you begin, take the time to identify what it is you want to know about how social media works. Do you know the difference between platforms? Do you have an understanding of the different user bases, supported media, and tools for analytics? These are perfect questions for students, who not only use social media themselves, but also pay attention to how their universities do and have dug into the analytics for companies they’ve worked with.
You don’t need to worry about imbuing your student employees with industry knowledge or mastering your company’s voice right away. Instead, ask them to conduct an audit of how you are already doing in the social sphere. Is Facebook the best place to post your videos? Is there a visual aspect of your business that you’re not capturing on Instagram? Chances are, they’ll identify some gaps in your strategy that you didn’t even realize you had.
Understand what can be accomplished in a short amount of time
Even if a student signed up to work with you for an entire semester or school year, there are limitations to how much he or she can accomplish at once. There are certain aspects of social media that will only become clear through trial and error.
For example, what time of day is your target audience most often interacting with your content? If you Google this question, you’ll read a lot of expert opinions that aren’t in agreement, but you won’t know the truth until you measure it. While it can take months to get a definitive answer, you can ask a student to demonstrate how to schedule Tweets in advance or use analytics to review the results. That way you’re set up for success when you begin your experiment.
Set measureable goals
It’s 2016, which means that your business is likely already embracing SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals. But when it comes to setting up a successful and beneficial social media project for students we suggest you put extra emphasis on the “measurable” aspect. Social media posts have minuscule shelf lives. Plus when you consider that many people engage with them on phones or tablets, it’s easy to see that if you’re not holding someone’s attention, he or she can dismiss you with the flick of a finger. The point here is that no single, perfectly worded, strikingly convincing Tweet is going to boost your profits.
But this should be liberating for you, the professional, because it demonstrates how your focus should be on those measurable elements. These include frequency, time of day, which targeted campaign you’re discussing, and more. By asking a student expert to demonstrate how you can measure these variables using analytics, you’ll still be able to maintain control of your voice.
To find students with social media expertise who can have an immediate positive impact on your business, sign up for HireOwl and start browsing resumes for free!