Want to jump start a social media marketing campaign for your business but don't have the time or social media savvy in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs or similar sites? Try this twist on the traditional summer internship - a "Twinternship." A Twintern is a newly minted term for a summer intern (paid or unpaid) whose job is to Twitter or handle other social media tasks on behalf of your business. For little cost, you could bring on a young adult (recent college or high school grad or current student) who may already be experienced at using a variety of social media.
Hey, why not? It's rapidly become clear to millions of small business owners and especially startup entrepreneurs that actively engaging in social media and fast-growing online communities can deliver a big boost. But experienced social media mavens spend far too much time online to actively run a business themselves - an estimated 20 hours or more weekly. But, gee, 20 hours sounds perfect for an intern, right?
A few big companies are already doing this (notably Pizza Hut), but it seems even better suited to small businesses that have long used college student interns as a helpful and affordable human resource. Interns are highly motivated and, these days, likely to be much more tech-savvy than you or most of the people on your staff, if you even have a staff. The key to success for most internship positions (and certainly with a Twinternship) is to have a plan for what you want the intern to accomplish.
For a quick grounding in social media for business, and some ideas on joining the social media revolution, check out Social Media Today, a moderated online business community for social media bloggers, marketers and PR professionals.
The Internship Institute helps businesses design and manage successful internship programs. It offers detailed, step-by-step guidance for planning, recruitment, screening, management and training. Cost is based on business size. Helpful sites for advertising an internship position include Internships.com, WetFeet, InternJobs.com and Rising Star Internships. My Guide to Hiring and Using Interns on Business.com might also help.