This is a guest post written by Amanda DiSilvestro of Business.com
Now that social media has entered the marketing scene, so has the position of social media expert. Since social media is fairly new, it makes sense that not every veteran business owner is up to date on the latest social media lingo. Fortunately for the business owner, they can hire a social media expert to take care of the new-age marketing practices. Unfortunately for the business owner, they have to somehow interview and hire this “expert.”
If you are unfamiliar with social media, don’t sweat it. Before hiring a social media expert there are a few things you can look for that will point you in the right direction. In many cases, this will be easier if you have social media accounts, but there are ways to get around this. If someone you trust is active on social media platforms, ask them to let you look at a few things. If you are not sure how to navigate your way around the site, ask for help. Social media networks are made public to everyone for a reason. It is not illegal to check-up on a potential employee (especially one who should be fluent in social media), and there is no need to mention to your “helper” what you’re looking for on each site. Here are a few of the things to consider when deciding whether you have a social media expert, or a kid who likes to talk on the computer:
5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Social Media Expert
The Big Three
At the very least, the person you are interviewing should have accounts on the “big three” social networking sights: Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Not only should they have accounts on each of these sites, but they should be active participants in all three. Look to make sure they are participating in discussions or adding comments. Check to see if the sites are well kept by looking at the pictures and the biographical information they place on the sites. If it looks as though their information is thorough and up to date, chances are they know how to use the sites.
Look to see what kinds of posts your candidate is leaving on the three different networks. Are they contributing valuable information, or just regurgitating the same content everyone else is? On Twitter and LinkedIn, you can check to see the kinds of people they are following as well as the kinds of people that are following them. Are their connections reputable professionals in the industry? You can also check to see how active they are by looking at the number of LinkedIn shares or Twitter posts. A good social media expert will post something each day, so scroll down on the LinkedIn website to see if they have shared any content, and look in the top right hand corner of Twitter to see the number of tweets (a social media expert should have at least 200 tweets).
Other social media websites
While the big three is most important, a real expert would be well versed in many more social media platforms. Even if you do not know much about these other sites, you can still ask your candidate how aware they are of them, and then ask them to tell you a little bit about how they would use these sites to promote your business. All you have to do is remember the names: StumbleUpon, Dimbler, Digg, Youtube, Google+, and Quora. These will be enough to get you started. Be sure your candidate lets you know that these sites help bring exposure by appealing to an audience with similar interests.
Does the person have a blog? Does the person post regularly at least twice a week on their blog and make useful, valid, and informative comments on other blogs? What is their overall tone and how do they come across from their online posts? Ask your candidate if they have a link to their blog before the interview. This way, if the candidate does not have a blog, you can ask them why. After all, blogging consistently is a great way for someone to show passion for the field.
Although this may sound as though it’s teetering on the brink of obvious, ask them what they know about social media other than the top three social networking sites. Probe them a little bit and see if they can provide you with any valuable insights that they didn’t just get from another blog post. Ask them how they would measure success using social media (and keep in mind that success isn’t necessarily having a high number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans). You want someone who is well versed and has a respectable Internet snapshot.
If you are a business owner who does not know much about social media, it may be a good idea to have someone who is familiar sit in on the interview with you. This should overall help make sure you hire the best social media expert around. However, if you are on your own these few tips will help you make sure you are hiring a social media expert and not someone who simply likes to chat with their friends on Facebook.
Photo Credit thesocialmediarepublic.co.uk
About the Author
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to business phone services. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including voip small business phone services to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading B2B Directory, Business.com.