By Ryan J. Ferguson
This summer, I interned at Stark Media Group in Riverhead, New York. Co-owners Kelsey Stark and Michelle Hulse were wonderful to work with. Their business is a social media marketing agency on the East End of Long Island that offers a wide range of promotional services to local companies.
I had the opportunity to learn the role as a social media marketing manager. The internship was a hands-on experience that allowed me to be creative and work at my own pace. Each week, I was assigned a couple of businesses and was asked to manage their social media platforms. My job was to create posts that reflected the value of each business. I would then schedule posts to run at the company’s busiest time, according to Google analytics. It was interesting to learn how to create social media posts that would draw in attention and create engagement. I also was in charge of responding to private messages and comments on all of the pages that I managed.
These messages sometimes contained important information from customers. For example, I managed Goodale Farms Inc.’s Facebook page. The farm must have had a few orders wrong as customers were commenting that they received the wrong product. If those requests weren’t processed quickly, the farm’s five-star rating could be at risk. Social media and websites such as Yelp can pose a major threat to a business if they aren’t handled properly. This is where Stark Media Group helps its clients the most. Having an active presence on several social media platforms can be difficult for a small business with limited staff. A social media marketing agency can help small businesses do better. Larger businesses also benefit from using the services.
One of the larger clients Stark Media Group has is New York Cancer and Blood Specialists. Its social media platforms receive a lot of attention with a large following. It’s important that people’s comments are reviewed and responded to quickly to ensure a positive rating. For example, a patient could not reach the office and wanted to leave a message for a doctor. It was essential to relay that information to the appropriate person.
My favorite part about my internship was the connections I made. Michelle and Kelsey are well known on the East End. Many of their clients have connections in the world of journalism. By the end of my internship, I had spoken with Lauren Woodhull, a producer for Fox Nation, an online news platform based in Manhattan. Lauren has since asked me for my resume and told me that her friend is a producer at MSNBC, and she’ll forward my resume there too, if I’m interested.
The biggest thing learned from this internship is that the world of journalism is changing around us. So many businesses are adapting to social media, and it’s clear how social media impacts our news. It’s an amazing experience to discover how businesses create posts and advertisements. Social media has become an everyday thing for many people, who now expect to see advertisements for businesses or products on their feeds. I had never thought much thought about those ads or how they pertain to me. Marketing agencies such as Stark Media Group have the power to use software to determine which ads are appropriate for their audience. For example, I learned how to create an advertisement that targets select groups of people. If I’m making an advertisement for a Father’s Day promotion, we can actually choose an age range and location of people we think would engage with the ad.
I think it’s important to learn how social media can run efficiently and effectively. Knowing how to create posts that receive engagement can be beneficial, especially if I find myself working in a newsroom someday, trying to get feedback from the public on a particular subject on social media.