A young woman's journey to create a media company.

Social Media Marketing as an Intern

The Twitter fail whale error message.
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I have gotten all of my “formal” social media marketing experience as an intern. Most of my internships has been geared toward this internet based form of marketing. I have been addicted to it, but in a different aspect than my peers. My peers are more addicted to the status updates, the constant checking on statuses, etc. I’m more addicted to the evolution of the industry.

I’ve honestly been immersed in what people would label social media since the age of 9, so technically, I have 10 years experience. Much more experience than these people with undergrad degrees. I was in chatrooms, creating web sites and blogging back in the day. I participated in various forums. I was definitely what some people would call a “geek” but I didn’t care. I was truly obsessed with the internet.

As an intern for several companies, social media marketing is definitely different depending on what company you’re working with. Some of the companies knew what they wanted and knew how they could benefit from it. Others didn’t know the first thing about social media, while other companies just tried to get involved in every little thing. I’ve learned from all of my experiences.

I’ve learned what gets people on Twitter to respond. I’ve learned how to build relationships with people online. I’ve learned about blogger loyalty. I’ve learned how important it is to be a person and not a robot. I’ve also learned not to take on too many companies at once until I am more comfortable in what I’m doing.

It got to the point where I wasn’t maximizing my efficiency. I was doing it for the status, for the rich experience, to be labeled an expert. I signed up for webinars, I read whitepapers, I followed the heavy hitters. I even considered certification as you’re well aware of. I’m signed up for various newsletters, and I’ve worked out in my mind “I know what I’m doing.”

Truth be told, I am still an intern, learning the ins and outs of social media. I found that this is not an industry that can be traditionally taught like maybe psychology or economics. So many things go into social media marketing and social media optimization. It’s an interdisciplinary study in itself. It’s marketing, public relations, customer service, information technology, sociology, psychology, etc.

I’m still asking myself “what do you want to do with this?” My answer continues to ring “Looking Glass Mass Media” because nothing is better than doing it your way. Things still concern me, as I’m sure concerns other people considering a start up company. What about benefits? Can I keep the company afloat? How am I going to avoid failure? And I’m only 19! I’m confident though because some of the best companies and most famous were started by college students. I’m not worried about that so much.

I know my flaws and I know my strengths, which I think somewhat puts me ahead of the game. I need to learn to fully think out all of my ideas and see which ones I can commit to and which ones are possible and plausible.

I love everything about this industry. I admire how often it changes. I can’t believe how everything is so up to the minute. I find humor in the fact that so many people don’t get it and others think they get it but really don’t.

I also hate some things about this industry. I hate that it’s hard to explain to my parents or other family members exactly what I do. It’s hard to explain what a “blog” is and if I’m “creating websites” or exactly why I’m tweeting in the first place. I can live with those things though.

I don’t think social media is a fad, but to be safe, I want Looking Glass Mass Media to be a new media company. I want to encompass some old school with new school and make things work. I know I can do it if I stay focused and determined. I just hope everything works out.

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