11214353_479675425521100_8450290422202158928_nThe job of social media manager didn’t even exist a decade ago, but today it’s a highly viable career option. However, for companies and organizations that have been up and running for a while, those in charge may not know much about this new profession. What do you look for in social media manager candidates? How do you measure their job performance? And what is your role in providing ideas and content?

This is unchartered territory for a lot of executives, but that’s OK. We’ve got seven tips to help you hire the best social media manager for your business.

1. First, have some idea of what sort of results you want from your social media efforts. Whether it’s more exposure and followers, more sales, or a larger mailing list, it’s important to have some defined goals. A successful social media account can take many different forms. It’s up to you to decide what your purpose is, but for the most part, you’ll want a compelling combination of engaging writing, beautiful images, and clever multimedia content.

2. Find someone who understands marketing principles, not just someone who knows how to Tweet. With social media promotions, it’s essential to understand the hows and the whys, rather than just the whats. At its heart, after all, social media managing is marketing.

3. Though of course, knowing the tools is important too. Aside from a good understanding of how individual social networking sites work, a social media manager should be familiar with management tools like Hootsuite, Everypost, Buffer, Spreadfast, SproutSocial, and others.

4. Make sure your job candidate has the essential skills to do the job. These include the ability to write well, an understanding of design principles, and a high degree of creativity.

5. A strong knowledge of popular culture and liberal arts is so helpful if your social media manager is going to connect well with your clients and customers. Pulling in literary quotes, fun written and visual references from pop culture, and staying in the now with regard to current events and what’s happening in the world are all solid ways to keep social media content fresh and keep your social marketing efforts effective.

6. Ask candidates questions that will help you assess their critical thinking skills. Again, you want a social media manager who understands correlations and how strategies lead to (or don’t lead to) results. Include at least one questions about their past social media marketing experience, what kinds of results they were able to generate, and why they think they were successful.

7. Work with the person you do hire. Help generate ideas, strategies, and content. While it’s up to your social media manager to execute these things, your involvement, as well as the involvement of your PR and marketing people, ensures that all ideas are accounted for and everyone has an understanding of what’s going on with the company’s social media efforts.
There are lots of social media users out there, but only a select few understand basic marketing principles, have the necessary skills and know-how, and can work as part of a team to reach the benchmarks you set. If you need to develop a digital component of your company’s marketing plan, social media will play a big part. Hire someone who can work the ins and outs of the various social networking websites for you, and you should see an increase in visibility and an improvement in your bottom line.