On what I thought would be a typical Thursday morning, my social media marketing professor Matt Ray told us about a unique opportunity at his company: a chance to be a part of the social media team for the Philly Auto Show.
Naturally, I did what any self-respecting social media nerd would do. I went home and immediately updated my resume, typed up a cover letter, and hoped for the best.
I wanted that internship like Elle Woods wanted to prove to Warner that she was, in fact, smart enough for law school.
When I officially found out that I would begin my final semester as a Temple University student by interning for Philadelphia’s premier Convention Center event, I was blown away. It was an honor to be a part of something so huge.
And I mean huge. Roll tweet:
2017's opening marked one of the largest in our 116 year history. Get in on #PhillyAutoShow action: https://t.co/a4XJOcYHlV pic.twitter.com/FAuwzCwuAq
— Philly Auto Show (@phillyautoshow) January 29, 2017
Needless to say, I’ve learned more in the past two months of this internship than I have from all of my internships combined, and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned and use it in the *gasp* “real world.”
Do your research.
This goes out to all the future interns out there. Before I even went to my initial interview, I spent a lot of time learning about the show. I wanted to come to my interview with ideas to prove that I was ready to get started whenever they gave me the green light (literally).
The research I did prior to my interview proved to be useful later on when copywriting because I was already accustomed to the account’s voice.
You have to plan ahead.
Before you get your driver’s license, you have to get some practice behind the wheel before the big test. The same can be said when developing a social campaign for one of the largest events in Philadelphia.
Some say things have changed since the '80s and '90s. We just say they keep getting better. #TransformationTuesday pic.twitter.com/6KAjbufSYG
— Philly Auto Show (@phillyautoshow) January 17, 2017
Between meetings, brainstorming, and hashing out daily content ideas, the Philly Auto Show social media team came prepared. Each day of our campaign was strategically planned to ensure that we showcased all of the amazing things the show has to offer, long before the show began.
Up to 18,000 desserts at the Black Tie Tailgate will make for the largest dessert display in @TerminiBros 95-year history. 😳 pic.twitter.com/y99AEWIvHx
— Philly Auto Show (@phillyautoshow) January 10, 2017
I witnessed the birth of big ideas, and I was blown away by our team’s creativity. As an intern, it was so refreshing to be included in those meetings and truly be a part of it all.
Speaking of interns…
I was lucky to be led by a group of patient, talented and down-to-earth professionals who were always willing to teach me something new, and also ask for my input. They encouraged me to contribute my own ideas and helped bring them to life.
For example, these silly GIFs.
Missed yesterday’s ticket giveaway? Stay tuned next week. pic.twitter.com/iTkeclhmmU
— Philly Auto Show (@phillyautoshow) January 20, 2017
Our tickets are much easier to get your hands on. Follow & RT this for a chance to win 2 free ones. #PhillyAutoShow✨ https://t.co/y7lKVPx35q pic.twitter.com/OhrhgFxH0G
— Philly Auto Show (@phillyautoshow) January 31, 2017
My point: Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of what a stimulating and good idea can be.
If you want something to be successful, you have to go all in.
You can’t post new and exciting things for the Philly Auto Show if you’re not actually at the Philly Auto Show. Our team packed up and made the convention center our temporary office for the full two weeks. We were there when the cars first drove in, and we were there when they were driving out. We truly immersed ourselves in the auto show culture, and spent long hours to engage with guests, give away free swag, and tell a story.
I learned that in order to expand social presence, you have to go far beyond the call of duty and truly commit. You have to eat, sleep, breathe the account you’re managing.
Sometimes, going “all in” involves sitting in Lamborghinis. You know, just to really get a feel for the cars.
Look at the big picture.
When all was said and done, we grew the Philly Auto Show accounts to over 5,000 Instagram followers, almost 4,000 Twitter followers, and over 23,000 likes on Facebook. #PhillyAutoShow was used on Instagram nearly 4,000 times, and almost 2,000 times on Twitter.
I saw our work pay off in a major way and scrolled through thousands of posts from Auto Show fans and first-timers alike. My internship was a future social media marketer’s dream and confirmed that this is exactly the way I want to spend my professional life. I couldn’t be more grateful to have had such a one-of-a-kind experience that I know will serve me well when I graduate this May.
Thank you, Philly Auto Show, for the ride of a lifetime.