The paid "twintern" job description from Pizza Hut states that the successful candidate will keep its Twitter followers posted on "great deals and menu items from Pizza Hut," as well as "keep a keen eye on pop culture news, off-the-wall stories or anything else quirky and fun that ... would be of interest to loyal Pizza Hut fans." The twintern will also monitor Twitter and alert the company to any negative buzz.
In addition, the twintern will bring perspective to other social media such as Facebook (Pizza Hut has nearly a million fans on its page, which includes an ordering widget), and other digital initiatives such as total mobile access and e-gift cards.
Aside from being Twitter-literate, applicants must be enrolled in college and willing to work in the chain's Dallas headquarters for the summer. The chosen one will also demonstrate creativity in the application. (Applications are being accepted on pizzahut.com.)
"Forward-thinking brands are now on Twitter, whether it's a CEO tweeting on behalf of a company or a world-class athlete," summed up Pizza Hut chief people officer Amanda Fleming. "We are committed to making Pizza Hut a truly digital brand, where customers can connect with real team members from the company and participate in real, honest conversation. Twitter is another way for us to make that connection. It's important for us to be where our customers are, and right now that's social media platforms, such as Twitter."
"The social media interns of today will be the CMOs of tomorrow, as social media becomes a fulcrum for communications strategies," predicts Reggie Bradford, CEO of social media services provider Vitrue, adding that if he were "20 again," he'd take the job even without pay.
"Marketers are starting to realize that social media provides the opportunity to make the one-to-one connections that build trust and engagement," as well as "get ahead of the conversation" with a strategy that encourages key customer and employee advocates to "fight back" when virtual communications about a brand start to go sour, Bradford says.
The need for strategy, he adds, is one lesson to be learned from the recent fallout experienced by Domino's after the stomach-churning video posted by two employees on YouTube. And while social media can clearly create negative brand impacts, they are also "the way to rebuild customer trust and brand image," Bradford says.