My company is getting ready to take social media manager applications. Because I don’t take this process lightly, I have come up with some criteria that I thought would be cool to share.
1. Do a background check.
Start by obtaining your applicants twitter, Facebook, linkedin, digg profiles. Follow, or friend this person and start monitoring their interactions. A good social media user will barely advertise products or services. If you see lots of @replies to other users, they are probably doing a better job than if you see lots of updates with links.
A really good website to track how influential someone is on twitter is http://twitter.grader.com/
Ask for references, go and see the social media accounts and progress your applicant has made with other clients.
2. Ask the right questions and look for the right answers.
When you ask your applicant the following questions, you will hopefully weed out the people who understand social media from the wannabes.
What is your vision for our companies social media future?
The answer should be all about improving customer experience. Depending on the size of your company, there may already be a conversation that needs to be monitored. Interacting with people who mention your brand will increase customer loyalty and create brand ambassadors.
What will you do in your first 30 days?
The first 30 days should be spent implementing the right look and feel for your online presence. Additionally you will need to come up with a strategy for how to reach existing and new customers. As a for instance if you own a restaurant, you may want to monitor twitter search for mentions of your city, competitors restaurants, bars etc. this will allow you to interact with people and provide them with special offers.
After 30 days you should be completely entrenched within the social media landscape. From that point on the job becomes building and maintenance.
3. It’s not just about followers.
If your social media manager applicant talks about getting a large number of followers as the main focus, end the interview and move on.
Many people who think they understand social media, are misled into believing that it’s a numbers game. Using a tool like twitter greater will show you that some people with a very low number of followers have a greater influence than others with a large number.
If you are a small business, and you are putting someone on the job part time, you may be happy with a few hundred followers as long as those people are influential to your business.
4. It’s not about automation.
Be careful if your applicant talks about using tools to automate following, direct messaging, or any other activity on social media websites. It’s okay to use software like Tweet deck to manage multiple accounts or multiple search streams. It’s not okay to use software that auto follows or unfollows users.
This is by no means a complete list of criteria. But it should point you in the right direction for finding the right person. Please share your experience with hiring a social media manager or any tips you find useful by commenting below.