By Ryan J. Ferguson
I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to intern at Stark Media Group in Riverhead New York. My journal began two years ago, when I first interned at Stark Media Group while attending Suffolk County Community College. The Hamptons-based marketing agency then was known as Town Crier Social Media. As the company grew and made changes, so did I.
Michelle Hulse and Kelsey Stark, cofounders of Stark Media, are two inspirational business leaders who provided me a real-world experience in the field of social media marketing. Life in the office was different each day. One day I could be photographing images of a new home on a construction site for a client. The next, we’d be using a drone to capture video of a yacht cruising through the harbor.
What I learned most through my internship with Kelsey and Michelle was just how powerful a role of social media can play in business. Local businesses on the East End make up of most of Stark Media’s clients; however, even large corporations such as New York Cancer and Blood Specialists look to Kelsey and Michelle’s brilliant advertising skills to promote their hospitals. No matter how small or large your business, social media marketing can help a lot.
One of the hardest things to learn during my internship was the analytics behind social media marketing posts. I was confident in capturing solid photos for posts, and even coming up with catchy captions, but there was a trick to the success of these posts. Facebook, Instagram, Google, any social media platform site, offers the user access to analytics. I found them to be extremely important as they can dictate everything about your post, from the time you post it to whom your audience will be.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool because the internet offers a lot of valuable information about people. When you think about Facebook, most users indicate their age, ethnicity, location and more. Facebook analytics can help your post reach the audience you’re looking for. It’s incredible how advertisements can target a specific demographic. As a social media manager, Kelsey and Michelle explained, you must catch your client’s audience at the right time to ensure you promote their business the best way possible.
One of my favorite things about Stark Media was the connections I made. Over the past two years, I’ve gotten to know several businesses across the East End of Long Island. These connections are essential as I plan to pursue a career in journalism. I always think about how I may have to report on a specific story and that more connections could mean more sources in future stories of mine.
Interning with Stark Media has made me realize that I have the capability to produce quality work independently. Although it took some time, I’m now confident in my work. I’m more than excited to mention that Stark Media has offered me a job opportunity. I am excited to see where my journey takes me. I am also very thankful to have had the opportunity to intern with an amazing group of people who have each taught me valuable lessons to keep for the future.