Almost everyone uses social media in some capacity. For instance, between 60-80% of U.S. adults use Facebook and/or Youtube. And 20-40% of people say they use Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, and/or Reddit.
3.48 billion people use social media — some even argue that we’re seriously addicted to it. So, it’s no wonder social media is an attractive tool to marketers.
It’s also no wonder that social media jobs are steadily on the rise. The outlook is a job growth rate of 10% from 2016 to 2026.
Marketers use social media to increase brand awareness, sell their products and services, communicate with current customers, and more.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a team led by a social media manager to always put your best foot forward on your company’s social profiles. This blog will explain what this person does and how to hire the right candidate by asking the right social media interview questions.
What is a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager is responsible for planning and creating social media campaigns, creating and maintaining content, and running advertisements to promote their company’s products and services.
They are also responsible for increasing brand awareness using your company’s social profiles.
Further, they’re tasked with developing and executing a strategy for answering questions and providing support to your current customers.
Job responsibilities of a social media manager include, but aren’t limited to:
- Planning and executing social media campaigns
- Planning and designing social media advertisements
- Creating and maintaining content libraries
- Online reputation management
- Social media reporting and analyzation
- Goal setting
You can see a social media manager is responsible for a lot. Depending on the size of your marketing team, they might do all of these things while also maintaining your website’s content.
That’s why hiring the right person is crucial. Someone who has impeccable time management skills, is incredibly organized, yet creative, and who thinks high-level when planning campaigns but who can also execute on the tactical things.
Every social media manager needs specific, unique skills to ensure a company’s digital reputation is protected.
Here is a list of skills and traits that Kruse believes are crucial for an ideal social media manager:
- Being a regular user of social media (including personally)
- Having experience with branding and marketing
- Being able to focus in the disruptive digital world
- Being emotionally mature
- Being a clear communicator
- Having a sense of humor
- Having a successful track record when it comes to resolving complaints from customers
Once you’ve found someone you think embodies these traits, it’s time to interview them.
To hire the right person, you need to ask the right questions. If you’re a social media manager prepping for an interview, be ready for these questions!
10 Questions to Ask Your Social Media Manager
To cover the most important questions during your interview, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things to ask.
These address everything from goal setting to past experience with social campaigns to budget consideration when advertising.
1. What is your #1 goal when managing social media for a company?
This question gets at the heart of why this person is or wants to be a social media manager. Ask them what drove them to get into social media in the first place and why they think it’s beneficial for companies.
Ask what their first goal will be when taking over your social media management. Are there separate goals they’ll have for different campaigns?
Let them walk you through their goal development process.
2. What social media management technology do you have experience with?
Ask them what their favorite social media management tools are and what they prefer to use to manage content. Do they have experience with user experience/UX analytics tools? Remember: social media manager is not an entry-level position, so anyone experienced in this field would be competent with these tools.
Listen for the reasons why they like the tools — this will help you better visualize their experience in their previous position.
3. What was your favorite (and least favorite) social media marketing campaign you deployed and why?
Morgan Lovell’s marketing manager suggests asking them about the team they worked with, as well. What went well and what didn’t? Did they plan and follow it or did they have to adjust as they went? What was produced from the campaign in regards to leads or brand awareness?
The answers to these questions will give insight into their ability to lead a team and see a campaign through.
4. What company do you admire for their social media marketing?
Knowing what they admire gives you insight into the direction they could take your company’s social presence.
5. How do you continually learn about new trends in the social media world?
What blogs do they follow? Do they attend webinars or take online courses? What kinds of courses do they seek out?
Marketing consultant Hayley Goodlich from Adoni Media tells us you want a social media manager who’s always at the forefront of new trends, willing to try new things.
6. What are 3 Key Performance Indicators (KPI) you track to gauge your and your team’s performance?
Writer & digital marketing expert Minuca Elena recommends you ask which metrics they feel are most important to gauge performance. Are those metrics the same or different for organic posts vs. paid posts?
How do they plan to track these KPIs, and how often will they meet with the team to review progress?
Lastly, how do they measure success on brand awareness campaigns vs. straightforward lead generation?
Understand what metrics they’ll be working to perform towards. If those don’t align with how your company typically measures performance, be sure to communicate that upfront.
7. Do you have experience with both social media marketing and customer service via social media?
Your company’s social profiles should be used for both lead generation and customer support. Ask about the experiences they’ve had with both. Carma Levene from Carma The Social Cameleon advises, “I’d look for someone who has a great level of empathy. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what people actually mean in the often text-only format much community management operates.
Have they had to deal with a social media crisis of any sort? If so, what was their plan of action and what were the results?
8. How do you decide which social media platforms to allocate advertising budget to?
How will they decide the amount of budget that will go to each platform? What is their experimentation style when it comes to social advertising? Are they comfortable with trial and error or do they prefer to roll out tests slowly?
Ask them about their best outcome with paid social advertising and their worst. What did they do to recoup after the bad experience?
Understanding how they plan and allocate budget gives insight into their strategic side, but it also will help you understand what resources you might need to plan for if you haven’t already been doing paid social advertising.
9. What strategies have proven best in your experience to generate leads on social media?
Ask how those strategies might apply to your company. What would they do different considering your company’s products and services? How might they use that experience to create new campaigns?
Let them tell you stories about their best campaigns and what made them so successful.
10. Where do you see the future of social media marketing going?
We saved the most fun question for last.
Amberlea Henriques, director of Adsocial suggests asking them where they think social media marketing is going and how they think that will affect their job. What are they most excited about? What are they nervous about?
This question helps you get a peek at their high-level, futuristic side and how they’ll plan ahead with your company’s marketing in mind.
Once you’ve found the perfect social media manager candidate, they’ll help you consider your company’s current content planning process and where improvements could be made.
First, how does your team currently plan content for your website and social media, and is that process efficient and effective for generating leads? Second, do you have the tools in place to allow your team to create, edit, and collaborate effectively?
Your new social media manager will help you answer these questions.
Social Media Content Planning
Any good social media manager will understand how content and social media fit hand in hand, but they also know that running successful marketing campaigns involves more than randomly posting content on your social profiles.
The content you share on social media directly correlates with the content you create and share on your website. You need a plan for both, and that requires strategic and thoughtful planning by your social media manager. Christine Wetzler, president of Pietryla PR & Marketing recommends covering this topic and asking for examples from the candidate to get a sense of their strategic thinking.
The content planning process often begins with asking yourself, “what do I want my audience to learn or do after interacting with my content?”
From there, you can identify what content you already have and what you need to create in order to fulfill that goal.
To successfully plan content roadmaps and unite your team in one place for content creation, use a website planning system like Slickplan.
Gather content like text, images, files, and more. Edit that content with SEO in mind. Collaborate with your team, with due dates and timelines visible by everyone. And, finally, export that content and directly implement on your website.
With Slickplan, you’re able to create, edit, and maintain content in one area that your team can collaborate around.
Written By Kelsey Rosauer
Kelsey Rosauer is a marketing brand specialist in the health insurance SaaS (software-as-a-service) world. In her day-to-day, she’s planning and creating content, social media strategizing, and designing positive user experiences on the web. With a background in marketing and digital advertising, her passion lies in educating consumers through helpful content.