Things You Should Ask A Social Media Manager Before Hiring Them
When it comes to hiring for your social media marketing, it is easy to just go with a friend's daughter who lives for Instagram, right? It's not that simple if you take your business seriously. Cutting corners might seem ideal, but when you aren't getting the results you want, you'll have wasted time and money. There are some things you need to ask a social media manager before you hire them.
What social media tools have you used?
This question is not intended for you to only hire the person who has used the exact same tool you plan on using (or currently use). Just because someone has more experience with SproutSocial than HootSuite, doesn't mean they can't handle HootSuite. But it's important to know if they have any experience with a CMS at all. Red flags are if they can't answer with a specific tool, or speak to a specific feature. Even if the have minimal experience, they should at least know what tools are used in the industry and be eager to learn.
What do you specialize in?
In truth, most social media managers have touched a lot of different aspects of social but often they have one or two areas they are strongest in. Take myself for instance; I dabbled in paid social and can run campaigns, but it's not my expertise. I specialize in influencer programs and overall strategy instead. Finding out where they have strengths lets you know if they can handle the tasks set out for them and how to best utilize them. Even big agencies have different employees for different social aspects, from those who write copy and design posts, to community managers, to paid social managers. Find a social media manager who specializes in what you need most right now, and hire on later for the other aspects if need be.
How would you handle a crisis?
Especially in the world of day to day community management, having a crisis plan is key. Most social media managers have seen a crisis or two in their day, but even if they haven't, they should have an idea of how to handle it. Their answer should give a couple of steps on how they'd handle a customer crisis, whether large or small, and include things like communication with you, as the client, engaging with customers in a pleasant, informative manner and taking the conversation "offline" to phone or email to avoid adding further fuel to the fire.
What are your thoughts on this recent update?
Even if you don't know social media updates like the back of your hand (I mean, that's why you're hiring someone, right?) take the time to check out the latest news somewhere like Mashable or Forbes and ask them what they think on the latest major platform update or news. Don't reference more minor articles because let's face it, they might not have time in their day in and day out to ingest everything (and it's kind of unfair to expect them to), but shoot them a question on bigger news, like the recent changes on YouTube's AdSense restrictions, or how Facebook is changing their algorithm to benefit friends & family again over publishers. They should at least know what you're talking about, and be able to give an opinion.
Ask the right questions that let them show a bit of expertise and know-how. Social media isn't just about following and commenting, it's about having a grasp on the landscape and a strong opinion on what a client or brand should be doing. Find the person with the strong opinion, the assertive answer and the want to learn, and you'll have a great social media manager on your hands.