Interviewing candidates for a potential social media management position can be pretty hectic, especially because their experience must be judged amid the backdrop of a field that is rapidly changing and evolving. While many online fields have settled down and maintained some level of slow development, social media continues to move forward by leaps and bounds. This makes it necessary to ask some unique questions of those candidates interested in managing a company’s social media outreach and advertising campaigns. In particular, there are ten questions that should be asked of every potential hire.
1. What is social media’s purpose in the grand scheme of things?
This is a relatively easy question for the candidate to answer, at least as long as they’ve got some measure of experience in the industry. Though things like Facebook’s Graph Search continue to blow people away with their utility, the goal is relatively simple. Social media is designed to make it easier to connect with people all over the world, finding those with similar backgrounds, identical interests, and a potential for real engagement. If a candidate can master this, then the industry developments still to come will be easy to deal with.
2. How does social media market impact search engine optimization?
Though social media’s importance has been on the rise recently, SEO has been on just as strong of an upward tick. These two fields now go hand-in-hand, with Google rewarding those companies that promote what it defines as “engagement.” That includes sharing, tweeting, “liking,” and commenting on articles used for content marketing. Social media is intrinsically linked with search engine rankings, and the more people engage socially, the better a website will perform at Google and other search engines.
3. Discuss ethics: Should bloggers or copywriters be paid to generate our content?
Social media marketing is about more than creating a company’s Facebook page and Twitter account. It’s also about generating robust articles and shorter content that can be shared by users of those social networks. There is no law or rule against paying copywriters or hired bloggers to generate this content. It is not even frowned upon. But the question does gain insight into the moral code and work ethic of a candidate seeking this position.
4. Should offensive comments be deleted?
Social media gives companies tight control over the comments and posts that they either keep or delete from their page. Should offensive ones be deleted? Are negative reviews a bad thing? The correct answer should involve using negative views as a communication point, engaging social media to address a grievance rather than to oppress it.
5. Which is better: High general traffic or slightly lower targeted traffic?
Social networks allow companies to speak to the entire world with tweets or status updates, but most prefer to target a specific group of customers with company content. Discuss whether a larger broad audience, or a smaller audience more likely to engage, is better to target with social tools.
6. I know nothing about Social Media. What one thing do I need to know?
To be able to identify the cornerstone of modern social media marketing is to be successful in the position, and this will help to discover that talent.
7. Which website do you like or use the most?
There’s a social network for everyone. Determine which specific network the candidate likes, uses, and talks about the most, and understand how that might benefit or disadvantage the company’s business.
8. Which sites are totally useless for our business?
Maybe Tumblr isn’t relevant when a company has its own viral blog. Maybe Twitter isn’t a good idea for wordy businesses. Ask the candidate which network would be completely useless, and judge whether that response jives with the company’s philosophy.
9. Give an example of a social media campaign you managed successfully.
Those looking to secure a social media position should be able to give examples about how their expertise and style aided the success of a previous venture. From a personal blog to a small business, there are plenty of things to choose from.
10. How is success gauged in social media?
Is it clicks? Comments? Shares? Overall buzz?
Plenty of Great Questions for New Candidates
Social media is a dynamic field that requires unique perspectives, can-do attitudes, and experience in social campaigns. With the right questions, it’s easy for any company to find exactly the candidate they’re looking for.