Daily Winner for: – 13th August 2012
Name of the intern: – Charu
Institute: – BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus
Organization interned with: – MessageDance Inc.
I have always found my generation’s obsession with Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and other social media sites rather stupid. While I had a Facebook account, I never spent more than half an hour on it daily. So imagine my surprise when my internship work turned out to be that of a Social Media Analyst. I worked with a start-up, MessageDance, based in Bangalore. It provides an email-to-social gateway for newsletters by publishing them on the company’s FB page which helps in increasing the subscriber base of the company.
The internship profile was a marketing one and the social media analysis was part of the digital marketing strategy. Till then I didn’t even know that such a job profile existed. But well, there I was struggling to understand what kind of a job it would be that involved playing around on Facebook the whole day.
However, as my work started, I realized how wrong I was. Social media sites are fun places to hang out at (over 800 million Facebook users think so anyway) and it might seem fanciful to make a job profile out of what most people think is a pastime. But companies the world over are now waking up to the use of social media as a legitimate marketing tool. Look around you and you’ll find that a lot of brands have a strong social media presence.
So what did I do as a social media analyst? Definitely more than just sitting on Facebook. My work was more of inbound marketing as opposed to direct marketing. It involved creating awareness about the company’s products by reaching out to business communities through various social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and also the traditional email. My first task involved researching about the various newsletter providers and the companies that use newsletters. This gave me an idea of the kind of customers I was targeting. It also helped me understand the process of newsletter marketing; the technology behind making and sending out of newsletters. Once that was done, I started working on building the social profile of the company.
I began with LinkedIn. I participated in various social media conversations like threads, discussions and polls. This helped in getting the word out to the right kind of people in the right kind of cliques about our products. This was my favourite task in the internship since it brought me in contact with eminent marketing professionals from across the globe. It was a great learning experience. My next task was to work on the company’s Facebook and twitter pages. This involved generating meaningful, interesting content for these pages so as to attract more people. And when finally we got a client through all the social posting that I did, I knew there was some meaning in my work.
My mentor was also very helpful. He patiently cleared all my doubts, even the silly ones, and encouraged me to keep asking questions. Thanks to him, the internship became even more fun. This experience gave the term ‘social media’ a whole new meaning for me. What till now had seemed just sites to play Farmville on or to follow celebrities were now potent marketing tools. I began to understand that social media activities didn’t have to be a frivolous pastime. There are a multitude of ways that can be used to leverage their marketing potential.
When I started my internship some people told me that I wasn’t making a good decision by working in a start-up. Since the company didn’t have an established brand name, this internship might not look as good on my CV as an internship with a reputed company. I would like to clarify that this is a misconception. A good internship is where you get work to do, where your work is appreciated and which provides a stimulating environment for you to learn. My internship had all three. Working in the start-up ambience was an enriching experience for me and I would definitely recommend it. I am really glad I took up this internship. This was definitely the most productive summer of my life. Oh, and needless to say, I no longer find people’s Facebook obsession stupid.
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