12 Steps To Hiring A Social Media Manager | via Social Media Today

12 Steps To Hiring A Social Media Manager

August 30, 2010 by Maria Ogneva
There are definitely overlaps between social media and community management, but it's important to realize that they are fairly distinct disciplines. For differences between community management and social media management, check out a post I've written, as well as this post by Rachel Happe.
  1. Passion: You may agree or disagree here, but I think the single most important characteristic in any people-facing job is passion. If you are truly passionate, you will easily develop a lot of the other characteristics below, as well as learn competencies. It's also one of the most difficult characteristics to fake; if you aren't passionate, people can tell. There are several reasons why passion is paramount. Firstly it's an all-consuming job, so if you really don't love it with every fiber of your being, it will be drudgery and you will burn out quicker than you type your next tweet. Secondly, people can tell when you don't really care, and if you are in the frontlines evangelizing your company, you won't garner enough credibility in the market. Passion is contagious, and the best sales people are the natural ones. At the same time the toughest sales job you will ever do is on yourself; so if you are truly passionate, committed and knowledgeable, you won't have trouble influencing others without "selling".
  2. Domain expertise and credibility: As I mention above, the passionate person with a strong capacity for learning, will learn competencies particular to your company quickly. Therefore, don't make a mistake of hiring based on a couple of technical skills over the characteristics in this article -- those can always be taught. However, you do need to evaluate this person's professional credibility in the general space you are in. I'd certainly recommend listening to social media conversations to understand who the formidable bloggers, thought and conversation leaders are, and either hire them or rely on their word-of-mouth recommendations. Because this person will be the "face" of your company, you want to make sure they are credible and know what they are talking about. Check out this brief video I created on finding the right people through social media.
  3. Natural Evangelism: Following from above (passion and credibility), your social media / community manager will be an evangelist of your company and  your products. Because this person will represent your company in many ways, ensure that this person's value system, brand and voice are consistent with your brand and value system.
  4. Service DNA: Because this person is the face of your company, (s)he needs to be infallibly committed to helping people in social channels. Your customers, prospects, partners, analysts, etc. will ask for your help and advice, and you need to be there. In reality, there's oftentime more than one person can handle, and we'll talk about building a team a little later. It's important for this person to realize that customer service is the new marketing, and to be able to instill these values in the rest of the company.
  5. Personal, personable, firm and respectable: Related to the above, your "face" has to be approachable enough for people to want to connect with. This person will be the proverbial "guy/gal you'd love to have a beer (or carrot juice) with".  At the same time, this person is not a pushover, and knows how to establish boundaries effectively. Being service oriented does not mean that you will entertain foul behavior, or cater to trolls.
  6. Thirsty for knowledge and committed to education: Social tech move at breakneck speed these days; there's a new social network or product, it seems, daily. As a social media practitioner, you must keep your toolset full of sharp new tools, but also must have enough experience to tell what's a real trend and what's a shiny new object that will burn out in 3 months.
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