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Hiring a Social Media Manager?

As the demand for the most consistent, well-rounded, online presence grows across all industries, companies are turning over control of their platforms to social media managers at an alarming rate. In theory, this is a smart move; assembling a team of experts to make every branch of your business as strong as it can be.

I mean, it is, right?

Well, in many cases sure. However, selecting a person or group to manage the social media components of your company can be a little like choosing a nanny for your baby – these parts of your business are personal and deeply connected to brand. Handing over their care to a stranger can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. In the hopes of making this process of a little less painful, here are 5 points you must consider when interviewing a potential new social media manager.

  1. Ask to see measurable ROI statistics. Social media management has been around long enough by now that professionals in that industry have some pretty powerful tools for tracking and measuring the success of their campaigns. Don’t be satisfied with just numbers of Likes and Followers – ask for hard data on conversion rates from previous clients’ campaigns.
  2. Talk to their clients. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a step in the social media manager courtship process that gets skipped far too often. You are essentially entrusting a person or company to be the voice of outreach between your business and your online constituency. There’s no small degree of trust in filling that role. It’s completely within the realm of professional courtesy to ask to see a client list and be allowed to contact those clients to gauge how happy these customers are.
  3. Talk to them about your business, instead of just talking about their skills. You want someone who knows your industry, how to talk about it, and engage with other people who want to talk about it. Sounds simple, but in reality, social media experts are just that – experts at social media. Until they’ve worked within a specific industry, they aren’t likely to know much about it. Don’t be the company within your respective industry a social media person uses to cut teeth.
  4. Check out their social media success. For social media consultants, their best advertising is their own social media engagement. If they’re at all on their game, you should be able to easily find living, breathing, active proof of their social media mastery.
  5. Talk about the “what ifs.” Managing a social network for a company on any average day is more about consistency, variety, and engagement than anything else. But on a not-so-average day, it can mean being at the forefront of PR crisis management. The social media manager you pick for your company should not only be dependable and versatile enough to keep your online profile booming, but should have an expertly honed bag of tricks for diffusing and navigating delicate PR situations should they arise.

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