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“Selecting Social Media Strategists Goes Beyond the Resumé and the Interview”

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Social Media No Longer An Option, Now A Necessity!

Social media for small business and corporations is no longer a luxury or option, it has now become a necessity for most businesses, especially those who communicate directly with their customers on a everyday basis. Everyday I see the usually insufficient job postings with very low standards and requirements for the selection of social media managers or specialists. Requirements should also entail entrepreneurial skills, opportunistic, innovative thinking and excellent writing abilities since most social media gurus usually work alone or offsite.

So just how far should a hiring manager look into the resume of someone claiming to be a social media professional? Should human resources personnel be looking for experts with an entrepreneurial spirit? Perhaps an individual who could possibly be considered as a future industry thought leader?

No matter how you look at it as an employer, in order for your social media strategy or program to work, you must relinquish a substantial amount of power and trust into the hands of someone who may or may not be whom they say they are. So what is the most effective ways to consider or interview the characteristics of someone who may have the unique capability to positively or negatively affect the brand of your business?

Looking Beyond the Resume

social-media-and-businessFirst of all, always look beyond the resume! In the case of social media specialists, the resume has very little bearing on the effectiveness of most social media professionals. Be aware that most people who apply to these management type of positions are usually crafty when it comes to search engine optimization or SEO keywords, so their resumes can very easily impress you. Don’t be fooled by the colorful wordplay and or the so-called ‘technical industry vocabulary’ that they use during interviews. Anyone who does not do their homework can be easily fooled into believing that certain people who operate in social media know what they are talking about when they really don’t have a clue.

According to an CIO article written by Kristin Burnham an award-winning journalist and blogger who covers the ever-evolving social media and social business landscape for CIO.com “How To Hire A Social Media Specialist” the author feels that data analytics are becoming more necessary for social media specialists and that they should have a great understanding of the business audience:

Social media specialists—sometimes referred to as social media managers or social media marketers—bring a bevy skills to businesses looking to beef up their presence and results on social networks. “Anyone can build a Facebook page, but it doesn’t mean it’s successful. These people go deeper and rely on analytics to run good campaigns, tying it all back to ROI,” says Gina Oliveri, senior consultant with executive staffing firm Bowdoin Group.

Do Your Social Media Specialists Homework!

social-media-overwhelmAs an employer, be sure to do your own homework as well. Don’t allow yourself to be ignorant to the usage of new social media platforms simply because you feel that you do not have the time or that these platforms do not relate to your business. If you are looking to hire someone to represent you and your company, ensure that a social media specialist has a in-depth understanding of your particular industry and that they have experience in similar fields. Being great at social media is simply not enough to get the results that you expect as a leader of a company, therefore examples, metrics and analysis is a great way to see how much a person actually knows about social media.

According to an article in Ragan’s PR Daily written by Adam Vincenzini the Head of Social Media at Mango/DDB Melbourne “The 7 Types of Social Media Specialists” he describes the different types of social media specialist backgrounds in great detail in regards to the pros & cons of each particular professional quality if the following:

Social media specialist with a communications background, Social media specialist with a digital background, Social media specialist with a SEO background, Social media specialist with an advertising background, Social media specialist with a direct marketing background, the native social media specialists and the integrated social media specialist.

Which One Is Right For Your Organization?social-media-plan1

This entirely depends on the purpose of the role in question, and, to a degree, what you are willing to pay. In an agency environment, your client base might require someone who can augment the skill set that exists or challenge the status quo. In a brand or business environment, corporate reputation might be the priority. Eventually, the senior social media people within smart organizations will be a hybrid of all the disciplines, but it takes a lot of time and exposure to responsibilities beyond the traditional job description to achieve this. It will also take some uncomfortable growing pains as mistakes are often made when adding strings to a bow. There are probably a few more iterations of the types featured here, but this hopefully provides some context if you happen to get into one of “those” conversations.”

Finally, I would say be more personality focused and work ethic objective when searching for a strong potential candidate of someone who is an ambassador to your business online. This does not necessarily mean that the person needs a degree in a particular field, but some type of experience showing that they have the ability to effectively communicate and be able to respond to customers in a timely manner is definitely a must.

In my past history of doing interviews, addressing audiences not thoroughly familiar with social media terminology and with professional organizations that have little to no understanding, I have found it very easy to “wow” other professionals but I always try to focus on tailoring the knowledge specifically to their technical expertise… you will find that most people in social media do not do this because it requires research time and many hours of creating a business model or strategy that supports an organization.

So before you go out posting job requisitions for social media managers or specialists, really think about what it is that you want your organization to accomplish in social media and be sure to choose the best possible personality that you can. Personality and likability goes a long way in social media, so do the writing skills along with the ability to interpret or translate customer concerns. It’s also definitely a plus if your social media guru is a great blogger with an already built community or fan base and skills in web development. If you find these types, with entrepreneurial qualities and networking abilities, then I advise you to invest more into these types of characteristics.

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4 replies

  1. Reblogged this on SocialADAMANTIUM and commented:
    Great post on what you should look for in a Social Media Marketing professional.

  2. Reblogged this on Socially Your Virtual Assistant, Carla Global/D.C. Metro Area and commented:
    As a Social Media Virtual Assistant I highly suggested any potential social media employer to read this article. True, anyone can say they are a Social Media Specialist but does that person have a proven record of having a social media online presence?
    With that said, I am open for opportunities to offer solutions to your small business as Socially Your VIrtual Assistant, Carla. My online resume can be found by a Google searching: Carla Deter or Socially Your Virtual Assistant, Carla. Don’t forget to check images as well.

    Email me today and let’s talk about how I can work behind the scenes while you take care of your actual business.

    Sincerely,
    Carla
    Email: socialinfairfaxva@yahoo.com

    P.S. Thank you for visiting my blog. Please stay a while, learn about who I am, my visions and please comment (I answer back)

    “Selecting Social Media Strategists Goes Beyond the Resumé and the Interview”

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