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What it’s really like to be a social media intern

April 8, 2011

Kelli Morgan Polson (@kellimorganp on Twitter) is a senior broadcast news major at the University of South Florida.

Senior at the University of South Florida

Kelli Morgan Polson

As all good interns know, proper work etiquette usually does not include surfing Facebook and Twitter — yet I do it every morning.

That’s because I am a digital services intern for Paradise Advertising and Marketing, Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla. When I was offered the internship, my first thought was: “I can actually be on social media sites. How much better can it be?”

I quickly learned that there was more to it than just ensuring each account sent out daily posts. A majority of Paradise’s work focuses on the tourism industry and part of my job is to help manage five Twitter accounts, one Facebook page and one YouTube channel for Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB and Seminole County CVB.

At the start of each workday, which usually begins around 9 a.m., I field the Twitterverse and Facebook world. I catch up on news and trending topics that happened overnight and, most importantly, I review tweets and other content sent from our clients’ local areas.  I ensure each Twitter account has daily activity, which can be tough when managing four accounts that typically produce at least 15 tweets a week.

Research has become a big factor in the social media content I produce. I regularly turn to sites like Mashable and Socialfresh for statistics detailing the most active times on social media sites, what to post on Facebook, how often I should post and what is the best social platform for certain content.

Managing multiple social media accounts is a constant process because users produce new content rapidly. While social media is not all I do, it is about 60 percent of my day. My job also requires me to ensure that our clients’ websites stay up to date on a daily basis.

“Research should be a major part of what a business — and even an individual — puts online.”

The digital department constantly updates new content to the sites to make sure visitors receive the most up-to-date information on places to stay, events, things to do and restaurants in the area.

The digital team sits together, which allows us to have constant communication about new goals and projects. Even at the end of the day — usually around 5:30 p.m. — we often discuss the day’s events, whether we reached our goals and how we can continue to be successful in the days to come.

Social media has changed the landscape of business. That’s why research should be a major part of what a business — and even an individual — puts online.  Although it was unexpected, the importance of business research has been one of the best lessons I have learned in any internship thus far.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Keath April 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Thanks for the Social Fresh mention Kelli. Glad to hear we are helping you each day. Let us know what else you need that we can produce content around.


Anais Sori April 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

Thank you for sharing your experience at Paradise, Kelli! We truly appreciate your time and dedication to working with us. We'll miss you, Kelli! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

For those students or friends of students who are reading this, please take a look at our current internship position for this summer. We will be re-posting the position each semester: .


Kelli Morgan Polson April 11, 2011 at 7:23 am

You're welcome! I will definitely think about some content ideas. Thanks for reading this blog, Jason!


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