Second-Guessing the “Twintern” Concept

One of the great things about writing this blog is that the responses I get from readers can make me do a complete about-face in terms of how I feel about an issue or trend. Often my blogging is knee-jerk; and my thoughts are usually extreme and reductive. I distill an issue to a simplified core and take a stand. And in the real world of business and beyond – black and white polarizations are just not a reality.

Such is the case when I wrote (partly in jest) about the new Twintern model of corporate brands hiring young folks to tweet about their products, and whatever stuff that may or may not seem relevant. I immediately looked to the downside – young, inexperienced kids writing about your products as a liability.

But I may have been very wrong, as the comments I received on the post suggest.

Charlotte wrote in and described her experience as a Twintern in great detail, while also making some strong points:

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I agree that the person you hire to do this job should understand your company inside and out. I completed a four-month internship through college at They before I was offered a Twintern position, so I have a good understanding of the company culture and am able to portray that in a true manner. I care about the company and their values and think of my job as amazing opportunity for the firm to become known in the social media world as well as leverage myself with the knowledge and skills to support my future career.

And even one of the individuals over at Pizza Hut, which was the original company hiring Twinterns that started this online chatter, chimed in:

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I think that hiring a Twintern was the perfect route for us to go. I completely agree with your Twitter spam point – that is the exact reason we didn’t want someone from Pizza Hut marketing to control the account. Instead, we wanted to provide a real, authentic, fun voice, and we wanted to bring in a person who is excited to learn about new technologies and devote 100% of their time to interacting with our customers.

So, instead of my idea of kids ruining an online persona with nonsensical chatter – the opposite may be true. Young, energetic and authentic voices may better build a branch of a brand into the social media channel.

Also, Pizza Hut is hoping that their Twinterns do not look at this as  simple “summer job” but actually as (like I suggested in my previous post title) an entry level position that could lead to a permanent career at the company.

Again, it’s great to see the sharing of ideas through this little blog. It gives me a new perspective, and allows me to give a more diverse take on new trends and topics. Cool.

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