8 Questions You Should Ask A Social Media Manager Before Hiring Them

It can be quite daunting when searching for a Social Media Specialist to take charge of your social branding and marketing. A general conversation with the candidate may give the impression they know what they’re doing and have a sound idea of what an effective social marketing strategy requires, but what can you ask them to be more confident in their skills and capabilities? Here’s a checklist that you may find useful for just such a situation. I hope you can put it to good use!

1. What is the first thing you do before starting a social media campaign?
The answer to this should include an audit of your existing social strategy, and a thorough analysis of your customer persona. It should also include benchmarking of your brand’s marketing goals and objectives and understanding the typical customer journey through the sales funnel. If they are not familiar with your industry and the type of content that your brand should publish, ask them how they plan on gaining this familiarity.

2. Which social networks are you going to leverage?
Your social media expert should be able to shortlist which networks they intend to leverage for your particular brand based on your target audience. It may not be necessary (or wise) to use every network. Ask them if they specialize in any specific social network.

3. What do you use to measure the success of a social campaign?
Primary KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) should be identified before kickstarting the campaign in order to measure success. Depending on the goals of the campaign, these could include amount of engagement (comments, likes, follows), newsletter subscriptions, click-throughs to your landing page, inquiries or sales.

4. Will you be able to get me XX number of Facebook fans within XX number of months? 
This is a trick question. The answer to this should really be that the number of fans or followers is not a reliable measure of a campaign’s success. It is the engagement and conversion rate that matter most.

5. What type of methods do you use to boost engagement?
Polls, competitions, giveaways and quizzes are all great strategies. Use of engaging images and rich media (interactive graphics or video) are also super-important. Ask to see examples of successful social media campaigns they have run. [EDIT: 1/24/18] Ask them how they plan to adjust their strategy in the light of Facebook’s recent announcement that they will start to show users more posts from their friends and family in the News Feed and fewer posts from publishers and brands.

6. How often will you be posting to our social media pages?
The answer to this can vary and is different across networks. The key point is that, for a really effective social campaign, paid advertising/sponsored posts/promoted tweets is the way to go. If they don’t talk about this side of social marketing, you may want to question it.

7. What tone of voice will you be using for your social messaging?
 This should be something they determine after a thorough analysis of who your target audience is. Expect them to ask you questions about the type of person they’re directing their campaign at. Often the age group, professional demographic or interests of the target audience will determine the tone of voice used. Extra points if they ask you if you have a brand voice document!

8. How will you show me the progress of your campaign/s?
This is a really important one. Your social media manager should be able to provide you with detailed analytics and reports showing campaign insights — engagement, CTR (click-through rates), conversion rates, ROI (return on investment). Ask for sample reports!

Originally published at 813digitalmarketing.com on January 10, 2016.

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