It goes nearly without saying that a social media presence is a must for any organization these days. Fact of the matter is that, whether you are present or not, the public is bound to be talking about your products and service - and knowing what they are saying is critical to properly targeting your service improvements, customer service, and tailoring your marketing campaigns. More important yet is being involved in the discussion.
There is an awesome opportunity in social media for organizations to have a direct line of communication to their customers and potential customers, resolving any issues or problems, informing them of upcoming products or exciting news, and - importantly - building a relationship and brand loyalty.
But, the reality is that being involved in social media takes skill, public relations prowess, and quite a bit of time. Not all business owners have what it takes - particularly from the time standpoint - to truly build a solid social media presence. Thankfully, that's what social media managers are there for.
Social media managers become a company's online liaison, interfacing with the public and taking the lead on the company's online presence. From drafting tweets and Facebook posts to responding to social media customer inquiries and comments, a social media manager can be gold to your organization - that said, as with any employee, not all social media managers are created equal.
Tips for Hiring a Good Social Media Manager
Make sure that you bring on the right social media manager for your organization - One who works within your vision, that completes quality work, and who lives with you and your staff. There are numerous criteria for hiring a good social media manager - here are my top five.
1. Make sure they're a good writer
Although your social media manager will write for Twitter and the like - rather than the modern day War and Peace, they still need to be a great writer. Writing for social media is quite different than writing for a press release - the strategy varies and acronyms are often acceptable, for starters - but there still must be a level of quality to the writing.
Make sure that the social media manager that you are considering is able to write in an engaging style and with great communication skills - after all, what's the point of them broadcasting via social media if no one understands the point they are trying to convey?
Before hiring, request candidates to write various versions of a headline for the same story - this test will give you a better idea of their style, ability to be direct and concise, not to mention knack for creative flair.
2. How analytical is their brain?
For your social media manager to have impact, they must work with you to achieve your goals. Make sure that they have a clear understanding of your marketing goals and principals as well as an ability to analyze data and make knowledgeable recommendations based on their analysis. For example, would A/B testing help to learn more about successful posting topics and styles?
In hiring a social media manager, you are looking to hire not just someone who can copy and paste into Facebook or Twitter, but someone who can strategically help your organization to grow by leveraging these media. Being able to analyze metrics and data and to make recommendations that will lead your organization and its presence forward is a huge part of your social media manager's job... after all, a monkey can copy/ paste.
Ask for solid examples of past social media analyses or even have them scan your base analytics reports and let you know what they see at a basic level - doing so will give you a quick read on their capabilities.
3. Do they have experience with the major social media networks?
At a bare minimum, your social media manager must have a solid presence on the big three (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) - they get extra credit for working well on Pinterest, Instagram, and SlideShare. You shouldn't have to pay for a learning curve - their experience will ensure that you don't.
4. Make sure they have established and developed social media accounts and networks
A social media manager without a well-established presence on social media is like McDonald's not offering fries... it's a basic component of their service. Period.
5. Quick learner and highly adaptable
The social media landscape is constantly evolving and at a startling pace. Think about it - just three years ago, no one had even heard of Google+ and very few people had used HootSuite.
These social media assets are now staples and just two of countless examples. A good social media manager needs to be able to quickly adapt to new environments and to stay ahead of the social media curve and what's coming next.
Image credit: Stuart David