I bet you need help with your marketing. Another set of hands would make a huge difference, wouldn’t it? Why not use interns to increase website traffic? You might even find one that can do other wonderful things.Once you find an intern that you like, teach them about your industry and your company. Have them read your blog and all the major blogs in your industry.
What can an intern do for me?
Interns are great for all kinds of projects. I keep an ever-changing list of intern project ideas. Here are some projects that will provide a HUGE impact in your traffic — without you doing much.
Write blog comments. This is one of my favorites, and is on the list to be done every day. Have your interns start commenting on new blog posts in the major industry blogs, on competitors’ websites, or on news sites. When they do this, they should not mention your company name or try to be “promotional”; just have them add value to the conversation. They should do this commenting using your name and email address, and you company’s URL. Over time this will build traffic for your website.
Schedule your social media. Have your intern schedule your tweets and Facebook posts for the entire week. This is easy to do in HootSuite (free) or HubSpot. While they’re at it, they can also schedule posts in your other social media. What a time-saver for you! Social media posts will drive traffic to your website very effectively.
Your intern can schedule 1 or 2 Facebook posts a day that are related to your business or industry. She can also schedule an occasional quote or words of wisdom, as they are often widely shared and can bring you some additional traffic.
On Twitter, have him schedule 15 posts a day using the 10-4-1 rule: 10 third-party links, 4 of your blog posts, and one landing page. Twitter goes by so fast that the “lifetime” of a Tweet is much shorter than the lifetime of a Facebook post. Hence you can post a lot more frequently on Twitter without annoying people.
Sharing statistics about your industry works really well on Twitter.
Find new people to follow on Twitter. While we’re talking about Twitter, you can also have your intern find new people to follow on Twitter. Give them a few search terms and have them check out each person’s profile, number of followers and following, and a few of the person’s tweets to make sure they’re not spammy. Then have them follow that person (or company) in your Twitter account. Of course, many of these will turn around and follow you back.
You can unfollow those that don’t follow you back if you wish. We don’t do that with our account, but some people like to do that.
Update your WordPress website. This one won’t increase your traffic, but it will help to make sure your website visitors have a good experience. Have an intern update the software and all the plugins on your WordPress site. This will only take a few minutes, so when they’re done with that, have them install a plugin called Broken Link Checker. When they run it, they will get a list of all the broken links on your website and you can tell them where each link should go and let them fix everything. Then re-run the Link Checker to make sure you got them all fixed.
How do I find interns?
Go to your local college or community college and ask them to help you find appropriate students. You might think, “Oh, I’m looking for a marketing major!” but don’t exclude journalism, business, engineering, or other major. If you’re in the senior living industry, a nursing major may be appropriate. The point is to cast a wide net when looking for interns.
No college in town? No problem. Check out your local high school. Most 17 and 18-year olds are anxious to get some job experience (anything except flipping burgers!) and most of these kids are already social media savvy.
Occasionally you’ll stumble into an intern that is more talented and can write full paragraphs. Talk to them and find out what they are interested in and where they would like to grow.
We had one intern who thought she wrote pretty well (she was right!) and wanted some experience writing long content, so we gave her an ebook to write. We provided the names of the sections of the book, and a few bullet points that we wanted to be sure to cover in each section (like an outline of the ebook), and let her research and write.
She showed us the first chapter, and we explained that she needed to re-write it because her tone suggested she was speaking to her fellow students, not the professionals that this ebook was targeted to. So she learned how to modify her “voice” for different audiences and turned out a wonderful ebook for us, that we are still using. (If you’re reading this, thank you, Elizabeth! I hope things are going well for you.)
Should I pay my interns?
Well, that’s a great question. If you can squeeze out $10 an hour for college kids, they sure appreciate it. For high school kids, we generally buy pizza or whatever. Use your own judgment. Remember, they are really into interning to 1) get job experience, and 2) possibly land a future job with you once they prove themselves.
Get yourself some interns. They can build your website traffic by leaps and bounds, leaving you some new blocks of time to focus on your other marketing goals!
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic