In these days of hyperconnectivity, every business has to utilize social media to promote their goods and services especially since more and more Americans are using the Internet to make decisions about purchases. “Social media represents the most cost-effective opportunity for marketing,” explains Iman Jalali, president of TrainSignal, a provider of Online IT Education for IT Professionals. “Marketing is moving relentlessly towards online channels.” Adds social media expert Claire Celsi, “Companies truly need to monitor their channels seven days a week. A social media storm can ruin your company in a matter of hours.”
And in order to control and keep all the various social media outlets up to date, you may need to hire a social media manager. “If a company does not employ a manager, they will most likely be using "get by" tactics that will simply help them maintain a presence, but not a particularly effective one,” says Tynicka Battle, CEO and co-founder of digital media strategy agency ThinkTank Digital. (ThinkTank was Lady Gaga's agency of record for two-and-a-half years during The Fame and The Fame Monster releases.) “Having a dedicated staff member will help ensure that a strategy is in place and that a lot of the one-on-one interactive work that is crucial in social media, is happening in real time.”
But before hiring just any tech whiz, there are a few things to consider.
Key Things to Look For In A Social Media Manager
• Skills: He/she should have “traditional project management skills (uses analytics to drive adjustments, can work within budgets, can manage a team),” notes Battle.
• Industry Insight: “Make sure they have robust personal social media pages that are appropriate for your industry,” advises Battle.
• Excellent Communicator: "Hunt for candidates who have good writing/journalism skills,” suggests Jalali. “Can they think creatively about how to use social media for marketing.”
• Connected: “Look for someone who has an extensive personal social network, especially outside of Facebook-- at least 3,000 Twitter followers at a bare minimum,” offers Claire Celsi. “Seek a mature person who has real business accomplishments in your company or industry.”
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring
• Lack of Research: “One mistake is not reviewing the social media pages that the candidate has built or managed with to make sure they fully understand which strategy and tactics the candidate was solely responsible for,” Battle points out.
• Wowed By Tech Skills Only: “Another mistake is focusing too much on the technology skills required versus the marketing/writing skills,” Jalali stresses.
• Ageist Attitudes: “Misconceptions about skills due to age of applicant (e.g. young = savvy, old = clueless) can lead to hiring the wrong person for the position,” warns Jalali.
• Awed By Star Attraction: “Companies make mistakes when they hire social media mavericks who are more concerned with their own personal pages than their clients,” says Battle.