« Back Home »

Seven Important Questions to Ask Your Prospective Social Media Manager

By: James Cummings

Over the years, social media has grown to become a vital aspect of online marketing. It’s no longer just a place for people to make friends, share ideas, or talk about what they ate the previous night; it’s now an avenue for content marketers, brands, and sales people to reach out to consumers in the hope of inspiring engagement and generating leads.

It’s no wonder you want to hire a social media manager to help you leverage the marketing of the social web.

Unfortunately, not everyone who claims to understand social media marketing actually has what it takes to pull off a social networking campaign. This is why, in your bid to hire a social media manager, you ought to ask every potential candidate that comes your way these important questions.


1.   What Social Media Platforms Do You Recommend?

You are asking this question with the expectation that, as a skilled professional, the candidate has already researched your company’s niche as well as its social media marketing potentials. If they haven’t done that, then the interview should end here.

Also, the answers you get don’t matter as much as the reasons behind them. If a candidate mentions Facebook, the ‘why’ behind that reply is what you want to know.


2.   What Two Social Marketing Metrics Are Worth Monitoring?

The candidate should be very conversant with inciting ‘engagement’—companies thrive on it. They must be skilled at creating social media content that arouses conversations about a business and among any target audience. Also, they ought to have handled social campaigns in the past and successfully generated leads.

This is where their experience and past successes demonstrate their skills. From their reply, you should notice whether or not they can help your company incite engagement and generate leads.


3.   What’s the Difference Between Social Marketing and Social Customer Service?

Your candidate should be able to sail through this question, as it’s not much different from asking the difference between marketing and customer service.

The former is about planting a purchase thought in (prospective) customers’ minds and guiding that thought—and, hence, the customers—to the point where they make orders. The latter, on the other hand, requires the ability to manage customers’ grievances on social media platforms—mind you, social networking sites are where consumers express themselves the most. If you can’t put a lid on a complaint there, it will certainly escalate.


4.   How Would You Manage a Social Reputation Crisis?

News, especially bad ones, spread like wildfire. Social media platforms only fuel the spread. Your prospective social media manager should be able to contain the crisis.

A candidate who has handled such a crisis before would be more experienced than one who hasn’t. Whether experienced in reputation crisis management on social media or not, they should be able to detail down steps they would follow to get your company out of such a crisis, should it arise in the future.


5.   How Would You Distribute Resources for a Social Marketing Campaign?

Available resources can entail time, manpower, finance, and so on. Your candidate ought to be familiar with social media marketing strategies that can help them manage the resources available to them.

When is advertising on Twitter better than using Google AdWords? What percentage of a budget should go into a Facebook campaign, and how much should go into YouTube ads. Why? How would they monitor and determine the success of an ad campaign?

They need to be able to address these concerns.


6.   What Social Media Channels Have You Managed?

Your candidate should be able to point you to professional content they have written. Study their blogs, social media profiles, past achievements and, possibly, failures. Analyse their content. Does it suit the various platforms on which it appears? Is it compelling? Is it SEO optimised? It is also important to find out if they are able to troubleshoot application errors. “Such errors can be avoided by using appropriate servers but it is still best to know that the social media manager can handle any challenges when they occur,” says digital marketing analyst, Brendan Wilde at Freeparking.co.nz.


7.   What Would Be Your Goal If We Hired You?

People often mistake the number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers they have as their true audience. But followers and fans don’t carry much weight unless you are able to engage them. A thousand Twitter followers that lead to ten sales is better than a million that lead to no sales.

So, when you ask about your candidate’s goal for your company, the answer you want to hear shouldn’t simply be about number of fans or followers, but more about engagement—about likes, replies, comments, and conversions.

Finally, ask how the candidate plans on attaining that goal of theirs.

Remember, whoever you hire as your social media manager becomes the online voice of your brand. You want someone who understands what you do or sell; someone who is passionate about your business; someone creative and innovative.

Hopefully, the aforementioned questions will help you make the right choice.