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3 Qualities to Hire for When Looking for a Social Media Manager

I get asked all the time with the clients I work with, “Do I need a full-time social media person?”

I always reply – “It depends”

It really depends on your goals and what you what to accomplish.

It depends if you have a plan and an idea for why you want to have a social media manager.

When looking for a social media manager – here are my top 3 qualities to look for:

  1. Experience. Have they created content before? Have they blogged or managed email campaigns? These are all “sister activities” to social media. Hiring a content creator is a great start. Beyond content – do they have professional social media experience? No, this doesn’t mean they are on Facebook – but that they’ve managed an organization’s social platforms. Ask them about how they measured success. Ask them for growth in followers and likes over a specific period of time. See what they say when you ask them the ROI question. Ask them how they manage multiple platforms and ask for examples. What software do they prefer? What blogs do they read? Did into their experience and peel back the layers of what they have or have not done.
  2. Passion.  If you are going to manage social media professionally you have to LOVE it. I mean really, really love it. Some of the smartest marketing people I know are not “social media people” – it’s just not in their DNA. How you can tell if they are passionate about social media? Go to their personal accounts. What do they share and talk about? You can tell a lot about someone’s affinity for social from their personal accounts . See what they do after the interview with you – do they connect with you on LinkedIn? Do they tweet you? How are they using social media themselves?
  3. Attitude. Attitude is everything. Do they have a good attitude? Are they open to new ideas and change? Are they a glass half full or half empty kind of person. Ask them about embracing change and specific examples on why they have a good attitude. Don’t underestimate this skill – this is one of the most important out of the three. Give me someone with no experience but a huge heart and an awesome attitude and I can teach them to be a social media rockstar.

Bonus #1 – Work ethic. Social media is not 9 to 5. It’s 6am when you roll out of bed. It’s Easter Sunday. It’s after school. It’s five minutes in between phone calls.

It never ever ends. So you need to find someone who has an incredible work ethic. It doesn’t mean they have to be connected to their phone 24/7 but it means they need to put systems into place so they are notified when an important tweet or Facebook comment comes in on a Saturday at 2pm or Friday at 10pm. Find someone who is so passionate about responding to everyone who comments or tweets to the company – and I will show you an awesome social media candidate. I always say, #NoTweetLeftBehind. Find someone with that work ethic.

Bonus #2 – don’t assume. I see this all the time – “I’m going to hire my 19 year old son to ‘do’ my company’s social media.” Really? Really? (channeling my Tina Fay and Amy Pohler here) 🙂  Do not assume age has anything to do with someone’s ability to manage or not manage social media. Don’t make that mistake! Hire for experience, attitude, passion and work ethic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – did I leave anything out? Leave me a comment below or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter! 

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