A company I know is looking to hire permanent staff who’ll work with social media. Trouble is, they know very little about social media themselves. They’ve heard plenty about the benefits of social media. I know they’ve even seen a campaign generate some great results, but that was after they outsourced (to me! Yes, I know. Shameless self-promotion! 🙂).
With the results and success they’ve seen, they’ve decided to hire someone full-time resource to join their staff. Trouble is, they don’t really know where to start having previously let me run with the ball.
So here I’m sharing my three best suggestions for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs who would like to Hire Perfect Social Media Managers:
- Before You Advertise Hiring Ad.
- What To Ask For?
- Test Their Skills.
Before You Advertise the Position for Hiring…
The first rule of thumb is to identify your objectives. Or rather, the end objective. Where do you want this Social Media/Marcom hire to fit into your team and what you do want them to achieve and contribute to your business?
If you don’t understand what successful social media marketing and communications are, to begin with, you run the risk of hiring the wrong person. Or even getting the wrong fit for your company.
So before you even go out with your job ad, you need to have some understanding of what you’re looking to recruit and achieve in the first place. Otherwise, both you and the new employee could find yourselves very frustrated down the line.
So perhaps it’s time to take that extra month to research and understand social media before you rush into a knee-jerk appointment. There are plenty of resources out on the Net. Or you could also consult with an existing consultant to discuss your needs.
What To Ask From Your Resources?
Let’s say you’ve got a better understanding of social media now and you’ve put your advert out to recruit a member of staff who’ve you’ve decided to call your “Community Manager”.
Their key responsibilities will include:
- Setting up and running the company blog
- Running the new Facebook Page you started a month ago but really hasn’t taken off
- Developing a presence on Twitter to connect with customers
- Media monitoring and crisis management
and producing content for the company in-house Newsletter, Intranet and external communications like press releases, marketing copy, etc.
Your key objective is to generate more interest in the business online, drive more traffic to your site, raise brand awareness and increase sales of your B2B product.
Prior to the interview stage, you want to see some evidence of how the candidates have been engaging with new media.
- Do they have a blog?
- What’s their understanding of blog marketing?
- Have they developed a presence on Twitter? Or understand how to create a B2B community on Twitter?
- Can they demonstrate how they’ve been using social media communications channels – effectively?
- Do they know anything about media monitoring and the tools businesses are using?
It’s important that you get time to investigate the work they’ve been doing online because you need to see evidence that your prospective “Social Media Manager” can build and maintain relationships online.
Checking Out Writing Skills
If you understand your target audience, you will also need to ensure that your new hire can produce content that strikes a chord with them.
Good questions to ask might be:
- How do you grab the attention of B2B clients with a blog?
- What ways can you vary your content to keep it going stale?
- Do you know anything about SEO or working with Keywords? If so, can you demonstrate how your previous content is ranking in Google?
- What way should your copy differ on Twitter and Facebook, compared to the company blog?
A good test of someone’s writing skills is to make sure that a few people read the prospective hire’s work ensuring you get plenty of feedback. Does it strike a chord? Will it fit your customers?
Other Things To Remember:
Your online communications will stick around for a long time in Google so you want them to really reflect the very best of your business.
Other things to ask at the Interview
- Discuss how they’d respond to negative comments about your brand online.
- Write a sample blog post in response.
- See how comfortable they are being filmed on camera for, say, a YouTube video.
- Don’t rush into hiring someone if you’re not sure what working with social media and communications actually entails
- Take time to define your “Social Media Manager” needs before actually advertising a hiring post
- Make sure the hiring process gives you a solid understanding of how candidates are already working online as a Social Media Manager and are familiar with up-to-date changes in the industry.
- If you’re still not sure how to make the right kind of hiring for Social Media Manager, bring in an external consultant to help you with this complex process.