How to Hire a Social Media Manager

How to Hire a Social Media Manager

After determining that you need someone to handle your online presence (and you do), the next biggest issue you’re likely to face is how to find a social media manager that is right for your organisation. While it may be tempting to call the least busy Gen-Y member of your staff into your office to inform them that social media community management is now their responsibility it’s important that you establish a clear digital and social media strategy.

Social media marketing is more than just being a digital rockstar. It takes careful crafting by a trained professional. After all, you’d never let your intern handle your traditional marketing strategy, right? (*shiver*).

Here are few quick pointers on what to look for in order to find the best person to assist you establish and maintain a strong and consistent online presence.

No Experts Allowed

The first thing you need to do is when you’re writing your employment opportunity copy is avoid using the words: guru, expert, rockstar, ninja or similar. Straight off the bat these terms will attract the wrong sort of people.

Social media is all about relationships. There are no experts. Those who claim to be are either lying or severely deluded. A social media manager should know this. They should cringe every time they’re called a guru or expert. After all, if you needed relationship advice would you go to someone that called themselves a ninja psychologist?

Once you start receiving CVs have your HR people check their online credentials. How long have they been sharing thought leadership on their blog? Do they have community management experience? When you search for their name (real or online name) do they at least appear on the first page? How many times?

The people that you’re looking for have a long established history of thought leadership and have maintained a strong and visible online presence for years. Don’t be swayed by the number of followers or fans, remember it is relationships that are important. Who are they talking to and how are they talking? Are they even in contact with other thought leaders and social influencers? If your research shows the top Power Influencers joking with and linking to them then they’re the ideal people you want. It means that they’ve managed to establish a relationship with the most innovative of social media thinkers. That their ideas are valuable to even the most thoughtful of thought leaders.

Understanding the Basics

Examine what they’re saying online. Look at their work history. During interviews. Do you see an understanding of:

  • Monitoring:

    Do they have a history of establishing and maintaining monitoring regimes? If you’re not monitoring for conversations beyond your usual area of influence how can you know what people are saying about you? Sometimes the conversation comes to you. Sometimes you must go to the conversation.

  • Listening:

    Does your prospective social media strategist understand the difference between listening and monitoring? It is not just enough to find the conversations you must understand what is being said. As with any relationship communication is the key. Listening is essential. Without listening how can you form the correct response? A social marketing manager needs to understand the difference.

  • ROI:

    Do they understand how to measure a social media return on investment (ROI)? It should never be measured in fans or followers. Ideally they should be able to express it in revenues generated or decreased expenses. They should at least understand how to determine a baseline and to extrapolate a monetary ROI. What is the ROI of their past successes?

Finding a social marketing manager that is able to generate and cultivate an digital strategy for your organisation is not difficult. However, you and they need to understand that as with all relationships they take a significant amount of time to germinate and bear fruit. Quick fixes are rarely long-lasting or satisfying for any concerned. Your social media manger needs to understand that social media is like a marriage: a relationship that strengthens over time. One built upon trust, integrity and fidelity.

Slider image courtesy of SocialisBetter.

About the Author: skribe

Based in Perth, Australia, Antonio Barimen (aka skribe) is a writer, digital media consultant and social media producer.

He is available to help you develop social marketing and digital media strategies, improving communication between staff, partners and suppliers or just increasing the number of fans on Facebook. He has developed successful digital and social media projects for clients including CBS, Evian, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Networks, Pernod Ricard and American Express.

Connect with him on Twitter or Google Plus.
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Post Under Advice, Business, Social Media January 31, 2012

3 Responses to “How to Hire a Social Media Manager”

  1. How to Hire a Social Media Manager » All About Digital & Social Media

  2. Sam Frowine IV says:

    I came across your site while searching the internet for a digital media strategist and thought you might be able to help…[snip]