It seems like every company has an opening for a social media marketing position these days. Between 2010 and 2013, jobs postings for social media related jobs on LinkedIn increased 1,300 percent, according to Ragan.com, a marketing a communications resource.
But with a job title that is relatively new, how do you ensure that your company makes the right hire? It starts with finding a candidate who has the right skills for the job, a voice that jives with your brand and doing a little research.
Look for the Right Skills
While there are many things to look at when making a social media marketing hire, a few skills stand out above the rest. Look for candidates who excel in the following areas:
Social media experience
A good candidate will already have an active social media presence. Look at the channels he or she is using (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) and associated activity. Is the candidate engaged in those social communities? If he or she has a strong following, will it follow the candidate to your company?
Understanding of analytics
A good grasp of social media marketing includes crunching numbers. According to a report by Social Media HQ, strong candidates should be comfortable using social media analytics, search engine optimization tactics and tracking tools to provide accurate measurements or reach, virility and understanding of what campaigns are working.
Versatile writing style
“Your social media manager has to have an adaptable and engaging writing style,” says Sprout Social. Look for a candidate who can write in a variety of styles: long and short, formal and casual, and has a good grasp on grammar and usage. A good self-editor is a must.
It helps to select a candidate with some design background. So much of social media marketing is visual. Look for candidates who take great pictures or can create infographics with ease. Design and creative skills are so important that social media guru Jay Baer called it “the new skill every social media marketer must possess.”
Marketing is at the root of every good social media campaign. Social media marketing is not just a series of posts; it is a targeted campaign that should have set goals and a target audience. Social media marketing is just one piece of your company’s overall marketing plan. The candidate should possess the ability to incorporate social media strategy into the big picture.
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Focus on Voice and Personality
Look for a candidate that shares the voice and style of your brand. It can be difficult for someone with a formal style to run a hip or casual campaign (and vice versa); so look for someone who talks and writes in a manner similar to your brand.
In addition to shared voice, look for a candidate with a consistent voice. This will help ensure that your brand communication will have a common tone as well.
Research Candidates Online
Knowing how a candidate behaves online before making a hire can be a life-saver for your company. A mistake or inappropriate tweet can damage your brand in minutes and takes months or even years to repair.
Get online and see what your top candidates are doing before making a hire. Do you like what they are posting in their current jobs or on personal profiles? Do candidates show use of the skills above? It is a common practice for employers to check out candidates on social media before making a hire.
Look at how candidates represent themselves across channels. Do they have a unified presence? Is there “brand consistency?” Look strongly at candidates who are in line with your company strategy.