Hiring a social media manager can be especially hard since everyone who wasn’t born in a cave knows basic usage of all the popular social networks. But true social management requires the understanding of key marketing principles, analytical capabilities and having the right voice. Here are 15 questions you’ll want to ask to make sure your candidate is truly qualified.
- Why is social media important?
Answer: See if they understand the fundamental principle of how social media promotes the product, represents the image of the brand and is customer service, “voice of the customer.”
- Which social networks are most important?
Answer: You’re looking for the reasoning here not just “Facebook obviously!” A case for why each network is valuable. All is also a vague answer, they need to drill-down into the strengths and weaknesses of each.
- What’s the most important metric to you?
Answer: They should say engagement or clicks to website. If they indicate their most important metric is followers or likes, it’s time for the next candidate.
- What’s the right amount of product vs educational or fun posts?
Answer: You’re looking for a level of specificity here or at least a desire for experimentation.
- What should you do if someone complains on the social media page?
Answer: Help them, kindly and publicly.
- How often should you post?
Answer: As much as you can without annoying your fans.
- What tools do you use?
Answer: See if they can name any tools for analytics or social media posting. Note to mid and large companies, you will want to consider not allowing tools that allow scheduled social media posting. Social media is a conversation that requires interaction and respecting your customers time not posting pre-recorded content with no employee there to participate.
- What’s the right voice to use on social media?
Answer: This is where ideally they ask you more about the company. The voice should be an extension of the personality of the organization.
- How do you know if the social media strategy is effective?
Answer: This is where you find out if they are actually getting into granular analytics and measuring the effectiveness of their posts. Engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, video views, link clicks to websites, actual tracked sales on websites, reach).
- How does the Facebook algorithm work?
Answer: This is where you separate the experts in the field, see if they can say anything about how engagement, popularity and relevance determine what posts will be shown.
- How can you get us more followers?
Answer: contests, promotion on website, email blasts, online advertising, addition to print materials – see how many ideas they can come up with.
- What’s the risk of using social media?
Answer: The goal is to see if they understand the gravity of one person being the voice of a company with a large marketing channel. Even the way you write can have an effect on how people perceive the company and if you’re careless you can engage in negative marketing where you actually turn people off.
- How do you stay up to date on the latest research and marketing trends in social media?
Answer: Look for specific answers not “blogs” but “Mashable” see if they go to any conferences.
- How can we sell more product on social media?
Answer: By educating customers on the benefits of what you offer, not selling.
- Tell us about one social media post you had to delete.
Answer: Anyone who has had to manage a major page has had to delete a post at some point. Social media requires management and occasionally that involves using quick logical judgement as to whether a comment thread is going to continue going in the wrong direction. This will tell you whether they have the necessary judgement and whether they’ve actually managed a larger community.