When I started managing social media for business a decade or so ago the landscape was very different. Then, businesses weren’t sure if social media was just a fad or a serious tool to be managed by professionals. Companies that were using social media were often relegating the task to their intern or adding it to an employee’s workload as an extra duty. It was, and still can be, very difficult to explain the job duties and overall role. In fact, my blog on What Does a Social Media Manager Really Do All Day is still the most visited blog here!
Things have changed.
The person that manages your social media channels is directly responsible for your reputation online and can make, or break, trust with your community. This position requires a professional with experience, customer service understanding, writing skills, business acumen and graphics and video ability. Look for a college degree in business, communications, journalism or marketing. When searching for a social media manager for your business, I recommend the following social media manager interview questions.
Tell us about the online communities have you managed?
Pretty much anyone can create a page or profile on a social network. The challenge is growing the community and cultivating the brand reputation and the audience.
Which social media channels do you recommend for our business and why?
This question will tell you whether your candidate has researched your company social profiles as well as their depth of understanding of each platform.
What goals should we set for our social media accounts, and how will you determine success?
Watch out for vanity metric goals only on this one. The answer should have to do with how social lines up with business goals.
What strategies would you use to generate leads?
The answer here will help you understand their knowledge of using social media for business rather than pleasure.
How would you track mentions of our company online?
Look for an answer about reputation management tools such as Twitter searches, Google alerts etc.
Tell me about SEO and its relationship to social media.
Candidates should be at least familiar with Google Analytics and understand how social signals affect search.
Which social media management tools do you use?
Even if you have a tool in place, refrain from telling them what you use until they’ve answered. Find out if they understand tools that include analytics.
What do you think are the important metrics for tracking ROI on social media?
Lead generation, conversions, engagement, and reach.
How do you deal with negative comments?
Expect specific examples of how they’ve approached this issue, with a focus on getting the conversation offline and deescalating the situation.
How do you encourage engagement on social media?
Look for answers around asking open-ended questions and User Generated Content.
How do you stay on top of social media trends and innovations?
Candidates passionate about social media will follow thought leaders and read voraciously about the topic.
What’s your favorite social media platform personally and why?
This will help you gauge the level of expertise around each platform.
Can we run a contest on our Facebook Page where fans like and share our organic posts to win?
You don’t want someone running a contest that is against the TOS of Facebook right? This question helps you understand their knowledge of these details.
How would you respond to a troll?
Red flag here would be if they say they’d engage and try to win an argument. Your brand page is no place for a back and forth with a troll.
What are our competitors doing in social media?
Here’s where you’ll be able to tell if the candidate has done significant research around your brand and if they understand the competitive landscape.
What is the most important thing a social media manager should be doing?
This helps you understand whether they prioritize posting content over listening and responding. Listening and responding should always come first.
Tell me a story.
How well can a candidate engage you with a compelling and interesting story? This is exactly how well they’ll be able to engage your audience.
What is A/B testing?
Here’s where you’ll gauge their knowledge of advertising, analytics, and measurement.
Sell my company to me as if I were a potential customer.
This tells you how well they’ve researched your business and whether they can be succinct and convincing.
What do you think about our social media efforts? What could we be doing better?
This helps you understand whether they looked at your profiles, if they have ideas on their own and whether they understand your business goals.
Why do you want to work for our company?
This is a good interview question no matter the role. What is it about your company that makes them think they are a good fit? How much do they understand the culture and the industry?
It’s not necessary that candidates answer all these questions correctly, but overall they’ll give you a good sense of how the level of knowledge and experience your candidate has in using social media for business.
Happy recruiting! Do you have additional suggestions for social media manager interview questions? Let me know in the comments!