How To Hire A Social Media Commodore

So you intend to hire a social media professional. You come to the point in your marketing where you understand that you have too many social channels, too much conversation occurring and too many metrics to follow to make any sense of it. Consider this a measurement of your marketing growth. Five years ago, to staff for this position seemed ludicrous and something that you would just train for internally. Now we see that this isn't simply a necessity within your business, but an opportunity to serve your customers in a much better and engaging way.

So here's a couple of questions that you might want to ask when interviewing for this position:

  1. What do you consider the core social channels? A well-rounded answer from the candidate might be Facebook, YouTube, Google plus and any additional niche social channels that would be applicable to the particular client.
  2. What, if any social media campaigns have you been involved in? If so, what was your measurement of success? Do you have supporting metrics regarding the campaign?
  3. Are they comfortable both in a community management setting and a social customer service setting? Have them define the difference between the two. 
  4. What's the most important thing the social media professional should be doing? A solid answer here is “monitoring” and or listening to the audience within the brand's social channels.
  5. Have they constructed a social media policy? If so what elements were contained within that policy? Do they have a sample of this policy?
  6. Do they have an education in, or have direct involvement with a social crisis management situation? Have them define what that means to them. Then ask the steps they would take in order to resolve a situation.
  7. Have them discuss a scheduled content distribution plan with you.
  8. Gauge which social media channel they feel is best for your brand if they had to choose one. Have them explain why.
  9. Ask them if they understand the difference between an “owned, earned and paid” model as it pertains to integrated marketing, social media and traditional marketing efforts. Have them outlined each with examples.
  10. Allocate a specific amount of budget that you wish to spend towards paid advertising online. Then ask the candidate what they would do with that money over the time that you would want allocated towards the campaign.
  11. Ask them what they think the voice of your brand is on the social media channel. Have them write half a dozen posts that could ultimately end up on any one of your social media channels.
  12. Does the candidate blog as well as right social media content? If so, ensure that you get samples of these blog posts and make sure they're online, currently live.
  13. Does the candidate understand search engine optimized (SEO) content? Ask them to define what this means to them.
  14. Finally, ask them to tell you a story. Judging one's ability to tell a compelling story can give them a leg-up in all levels of social channel engagement.
I hope this helps you find the perfect candidate for your social media efforts. This is not a position that should be taken lightly nor seen as a “Junior” and/or entry-level position. This individual will speak the lifeblood of your brand to an indefinite amount of current, new and legacy customers. As always I would love to hear your feedback on this post, and if you have anything to add please feel free to contact me.
Posted on June 18, 2012 and filed under Advertising, Business, Process, Social Media.