Day in the Life of a Social Media Intern in Silicon Valley

 

Christine Freschi is a junior Communications major at Boston College. This summer she is working in San Jose, CA, as a social media intern in the consumer startup division of a large financial corporation. Her blog “La Comidilla de la Vecindad” (The Talk of the Town) focuses on life as a student, intern, traveler, performer, crafter, and fashion scout.

Christine has been kind enough to write a guest post, sharing with us a typical day in the life of a social media intern. Check it out!

6:30 AM: I wake up and get ready for the day. When it comes to workplace attire, most tech companies and startups in the Bay Area take the casual, hoodie-and-jeans approach inspired by Mark Zuckerberg. In my office, we embrace the startup culture, but we still deal with clients and colleagues from the traditional, financial corporation. Because of this odd dynamic, workers in my office often straddle the line between casual and corporate. Luckily for me, this gives me a lot of options – I can wear jeans or a pencil skirt, a blazer or a cardigan. If I do go casual, I always try to keep it classy.

8:00 AM: Arrive at the office and get settled in. This always involves a cup or two of green tea and a quick scan of my favorite blogs. I check the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest activity. Then I go through the “Money” sections of a ton of online newspapers and personal finance blogs and choose pages to share with followers. It’s important to engage followers throughout the day, so I use a social media management tool called Sprout Social, which allows me to schedule posts ahead of time; this way the social media flow stays consistent even if I’m away from my computer.

9:30 AM: I start writing for the company blog! I love to write, so I’m always eager to get to this part of my day. Each post has to deal with personal finance, but I have a lot of flexibility and independence when it comes to choosing article topics. Some of my posts have been “Hidden Costs of College,” “How to Save Money in the Workplace,” and “Artists and Money.”

11:00 AM: Weekly Merchandising Meeting. Each week the product management team comes up with email campaigns to promote our services, attract consumers to our online forum, or provide personal finance tips. Last meeting, we strategized a Facebook/Pinterest contest and reviewed the success of our 4th of July email campaign.

12:00 PM: Lunch. I spend 5+ hours a day reading about how to save money, so when lunchtime comes, I take the bloggers’ advice and bring my lunch from home. My exception is Fridays, when the team picks a restaurant and goes out as a group. Living in Silicon Valley, it’s neat to drive by tech monoliths like Google, Apple, and Ebay, as well as smaller startups sprinkled around the South Bay. On Friday, we ran into an Apple team when we went to a lunchtime favorite, Ike’s Lair, in Cupertino.

1 PM: Pinterest time! Right from the start, my manager had me take the lead on the company Pinterest page. Now she calls me her “Head Pinterest Strategist” which is a ridiculously snazzy title for what it really entails. I pin personal finance articles, inspiring quotes, DIY projects for saving money, “Saving in Style,” tips for students, homeowners, etc. I also try to engage with pinners by repinning their content or commenting on pins, and I scope out our competitors’ Pinterest sites to see how our page compares.

2 PM: Social media analytics. I like to see how much activity the Facebook and Twitter page are getting, so I go to Sprout Social and Facebook Business Analytics to check the numbers. These tools show businesses how many followers are clicking the links they post and sharing the links with friends, plus other interesting data. This gives me a lot of valuable information about how to capture new followers. For example, I sort the data by highest reach to see which article topics perform best or to look for a pattern in the times they were posted. (Do posts at 10 AM perform better than posts at 6 PM?)

3 PM: Internship Project Meeting. This can be the most fun or most stressful part of my day. From 3-5 PM, the interns meet to work on our project, a credit education campaign. Because of the crazy rise in student loans, our project focuses on educating college students about paying off debt and managing credit wisely. The interns pool our strengths (marketing analytics, graphic design, social media, marketing, etc.) to put forward a well-rounded project. I’ve learned so much about the business world through this microcosmic project; it has been interesting to see how different people quickly take on different roles in a team, to note my own tendencies during group work, and to observe how others approach the same project.

5 PM: Time to hit the highway and get some rest and fun in before it all starts over again!

Check out Christine’s blog, La Comidilla de la Vecindad, and follow her on twitter @Cnfreschi!

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