My Role as a Social Media Intern

turnerBy Erica Turner

During the summer leading into my senior year at UAB, I decided to pursue an internship within the Professional Writing career field. I chose to apply for a social media internship posted by UAB’s University Relations for the fall semester. University Relations manages and creates content for the UAB website, UAB News, GreenMail, UAB Reporter, and UAB’s social media platforms. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to partake in this internship.

About the Position: Managing UAB Students

My role as a social media intern was to assist in managing content on social media platforms geared towards current and prospective UAB students. UAB Students is the official university title as represented on Snapchat and Twitter while UAB Images is the official title for the Instagram account. I mainly worked with the Snapchat account and occasionally used the Twitter account (most tweets were electronically scheduled). While managing the Snapchat account, my goal was to not only showcase on-campus events to current students but to also show prospective students that UAB is an urban and traditional campus. Often times incoming students have misconceived notions about UAB and its student life, but UAB Students allows viewers to see ongoing activity from events sponsored by multiple campus organizations, clubs, and programs. The purpose of “UAB Students” is to showcase every aspect of UAB that students would find interesting, useful, or informative.

What Did I Learn?

When managing social media accounts for a business, there are certain strategies to follow for each platform. For example, when creating material for the Snapchat account, I have to know when I should post content and how I should post it, meaning by photograph or video. When I attend events, I show up at least 15-30 minutes prior to the start time to inform viewers of the location and time of the event. This can be a picture of the event or a video of the ongoing setup. If I am documenting an event, I simply do not want to take a picture and leave; I have to capture the occasion to where the Snapchat viewers feel a part of the experience. With that being said, I also do not want to overload the viewer with content. If I am at a basketball game, I would let viewers know the time of the game, inform them of what team UAB is playing against, record a short clip of the game, and lastly, post a picture of the scoreboard showing the final score. It is also important to engage with people attending the event in addition to recording them having fun and experiencing the occasion. Overall, Snapchat is great for publicizing events and capturing everyday moments such as people napping on the Green or people running in the rain.

Since each platform functions differently, I learned that it is best to post in intervals for Twitter and Snapchat since posts populate by what is most recent. For outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, I do not have to post as frequent since content is categorized by relevancy. I utilized Twitter to report live updates about dynamic events like basketball or football games. Along with these tweets, I would include a visual to every other tweet to keep the feed aesthetically appealing. The Instagram account was used more so to create clear and sometimes action-packed images that reflected UAB students, faculty, and events. Despite the various usages of each social media application, I learned how to package UAB’s message about student life to different audiences across the board.

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