Pop quiz time: You want to hire a social media manager, and you have three candidates. They all have a Twitter account, which you have screened. The first candidate documents every detail of their life; he or she has several thousand followers, and follows just as many people. The second one’s profile mostly features videos and pictures. The third one posts at intervals, with about one third of their posts including interactions with their followers. Which one do you choose?
With more businesses embracing social media across the whole organization, new positions are opening up for people with the right skills. But this rapid change often means hiring the first social media professional on a given team. When you’re scaling social across your organization, it’s important to know what to look for in the person you’re entrusting with the keys to your digital presence.
Hiring a social media manager is key to any organization’s success. For Hootsuite recruiters, the perfect candidate must be a critical thinker, creative, passionate, professional, a culture fit and, of course, socially savvy.
Five things recruiters should look for in an all-star social media manager
1. Written/verbal communication skills
In order to succeed, the candidate must have a proven track record of being a strong writer with a proactive approach that showcases their ability to analyze data, paired with marketing strategies to reach business objectives. Are they able to tell a story that is exciting, and will get other influencers to share your brand’s content? If you only post pictures on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or share random articles that no one finds useful, you will probably not make the cut.
2. Social media presence & strategic use of social media
Companies use social media to raise brand awareness, evaluate and monitor growth, and to stay competitive in their field. When hiring a social media manager, evaluating a candidate’s social media presence is crucial. A great place to start is to see how many people follow the candidate on Twitter—not just the number of followers, but the quality of the follower base to determine the influence of the candidate in their industry. Recruiters should also review the quality and relevance of content they share. This way, recruiters can get a strong sense of who the candidate is, what they are passionate about, and what type of influencers they have in their network. We also look the candidate’s recommendations on LinkedIn, their website or blog.
3. Digital marketing skills
A successful social media manager should have a strong business acumen and a high level of understanding of marketing strategies in order to leverage their personal brand successfully through social. By doing so, we can assume they have a thorough understanding of the “social expertise.” As well, when a recruiter obtains a job profile from a hiring manager, we make a point to find out what every candidate aspires to accomplish—a social media manager executing marketing initiatives at an SMB (small and medium business) or Enterprise level is quite different from a candidate who only manages personal social media accounts.
4. Passion to learn and grow
The success of Hootsuite is built from having a team made up of self-motivated team players who are egoless and entrepreneurial. Without these traits, the potential employees will not succeed in an agile and fast-paced environment like ours. We also look at things like how fast the candidate can learn, where they have taken the initiatives to lead a project through their own research and development, and how that impacted the business. We like people who use their #brainpower!
5. Culture fit
In addition to the candidate’s social savvy, we treat their culture fit just as importantly. A solid culture fit plays a major influence in his/her success both personally and professionally. At Hoosuite, we look for candidates that are personable, passionate, share our values and act as an ambassador for our brand on full-time basis. They must also bring something unique to the table, as we all are a “weird” bunch—but that makes us special.
So now it’s time to take a look at your brand…What kind of social media manager candidate can do the most for your business?
By the way, if it were up to us to pick an answer for the pop quiz in the first paragraph, we’d hire the third candidate, the one who interacts with their audience. Building a relationship with your follower base has numerous benefits!