What Do I Ask When Hiring a Social Media Manager?
If you own a small business, there may come a point when you need to hire a social media manager to handle your social media accounts. Unfortunately, these days just about anyone can (and will!) call themselves an expert when it comes to social media. How do you find someone who’s legit? Here are some of the most important questions to ask when hiring a social media manager.
1. How many years of experience do you have in social media
When hiring an agency for social media management, you’ll probably be able to find this information on their website. When it comes to interviewing an individual consultant or employee, you’ll want someone who is experienced, but also make sure that experience is work-related. Having a Facebook account since high school isn’t the same as running a Facebook account for a business.
2. Can you provide me with references?
You want to avoid fly-by-night social media managers, so look for someone who has built long-lasting relationships. Long-term relationships are a sign that clients are satisfied with their work, and that a candidate isn’t the type to hop from one job to the next, something that is all too common among social media managers. If you’re not able to get at least a few solid references, that’s a sign to steer clear.
3. What companies are killing it on social media? What are they doing right?
It’s important to find like-minded people when you’re hiring for your business, and this is even more important for social media. Why? Because success on social media depends on authenticity. Hiring a social media manager who’s on the same wavelength as you are will ensure that your messaging is true to your company’s values and branding. When the answer to, “What are they doing right?” hits on all of the things you want to do with your social media messaging, you’ll know you’ve found a good fit.
4. Which social media channels would you recommend my business use?
This is another question that will help you determine whether you and your potential hire are on the same page, but more importantly, it will tell you a lot about the knowledge a social media manager has about different platforms and also the research they’ve done about your business and industry. It’s very rare that a business would need a presence on all social media channels, so be leery of anyone who tells you to set up shop everywhere. You want someone who thinks about demographics, branding, and marketing objectives.
5. Tell me about your most successful social media campaign.
An excellent candidate will be able to answer this question with ease. What was the goal of the campaign? How did they reach it? Even better, ask them to share URLs or screenshots for you to examine. When you need to hire a social media manager, you should look at their results.
6. How do you measure the success of your work?
This should align with your own goals for your business’s social media channels. If you’re a publisher, that might simply mean pageviews. If you offer services or sell products, that could mean setting up appointments, newsletter subscriptions, in-person visits, or online sales. Success shouldn’t be measured in numbers of likes or comments; those are nice, but it’s conversions that count. Also make sure a candidate tells you how they plan on measuring success. Creating social media messaging is only half the job of a social media manager; they also need to know how to analyze data, track conversions, and leverage this information in future campaigns.
7. How do you handle negative comments or complaints?
Social media marketing isn’t all happy fun times. As many small business owners know, people are more likely to complain when something is wrong than praise a company for getting things right. This can be demoralizing for an inexperienced social media manager, and when these comments and complaints aren’t handled with grace, they can be disastrous for your business. Your social media manager should reply and defuse the situation when there are legitimate complaints or concerns, and ignore or delete obvious trolls.
8. What could we improve about our current social media messaging?
This is a good question because you’ll be able to see if a candidate is familiar with your messaging (i.e., did they do their homework before the interview?) and you’ll also know if they’re willing to be honest with you. Anyone who tells you, “Nothing! What you’re doing is perfect!” either won’t bring anything to the table, or is simply trying to flatter you.
9. Do you take your own photos? Can you create graphics?
Videos? What editing software do you use? In other words, you’ll want to ask some nuts-and-bolts questions about a candidate’s capabilities. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to have graphic designers, photographers, and videographers on staff, so you’ll need to hire a social media manager who can do all the things and do them well.