The day has come and you’re ready to hire a social media manager. You’ve come to the point in your store’s marketing growth where you have many social channels, lots of conversation and can’t find the time to write valuable content or review your metrics. You agree it’s not only a necessity to hire a social media manager but an outstanding opportunity to serve your customers better in a much more engaging way.
How will you know who measures up and who’s a poseur? Many dealers are not spending a lot of time on social networks personally, so it’s quite a challenge to figure out who the best person is to handle your brand’s reputation.
I spoke at a 20 group meeting recently and one of the dealers said, “I don’t feel comfortable handing my brand over to a 28 year old.” The truth is, it’s not so much the age, but the acumen. I’ve had 19-year-old receptionists tell me they wouldn’t be caught dead on social media. I also know a 55-year-old who handles all the digital and social marketing for a large auto group here in Southern California. In social marketing, it’s the mindset, maturity and skills.
As long as you know the right questions to ask, it won’t matter how old or young the person is. What matters is that they have talent, a solid foundation in dealership marketing strategy and an understanding of the social customer.
Who speaks for your dealership? Social media is about people, conversations and deriving leads from those relationships. There’s a lot of people trying to capitalize on this booming market, so here’s a shocker: Not everyone who says they can do Social media marketing actually knows what they’re talking about.
I was inspired to write this after reading a post from the award-winning Social marketing strategist Justice Mitchell. He shares the credo I have of supporting those business owners who are new to the social space and need quality up-to-date information to make the best decisions.
Now that you’re ready to hire (or promote) your social media manager, here are 10 questions to ask your candidate, so you know you’re getting what you’re paying for:
1. What social media platform(s) are best for your business? (and have them explain why). Ask them to describe the “personality” of your store’s brand. They should have done research on your store and your customer before assessing the potential across today’s social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and YouTube are awesome channels and all have very different marketing tactics.
2. What are the two most important social marketing metrics a dealer should monitor regularly?
- Engagement. Whatever platform it is (Facebook, Twitter, Blogging or YouTube), there needs to be measurable conversation around your brand. Content is what drives social marketing success, so if your content stinks, you won’t see people engaging. Your candidate should be well versed in writing and curating relevant content for your audience.
- Leads. Have they run a campaign that generated leads from social media? Leads from social interaction look very different than the ones you’re used to seeing. Listening and responding timely to social marketing leads is crucial. Just like in real life conversations, when people talk to you, they expect a response.
3. Are they accomplished in a social marketing environment and in a social customer service environment? Ask them to define the difference between the two.
4. What’s the most important thing a social media manager should be doing? A solid answer would be “monitoring” and/or listening to the audience within the brand’s social channels.
5. Have they ever had to handle a social media crisis? Ask them to define what that means to them and what steps they would take to resolve a situation.
6. How would they allocate your budget for social media advertising? Ask them to describe a plan for how best to spend and how they would know if it’s successful.
7. Do they have a blog and do they currently write content for social media channels? Ask to see the blog in action and make sure they’re posting regularly.
8. Ask them what marketing strategies they plan to use to generate leads. You need to know that social media is giving you something quantifiable for your money. Social media ROI equals number of leads.
9. Ask them what their first goals would be. If your candidate starts talking about attracting ‘X’ number of Facebook likes or ‘Y’ number of Twitter followers, stop them and ask them how they plan to engage with your audience. They might try to blind you with big numbers, but a small, switched-on and engaged audience offers you more value in the long run.
10. Ask them to tell you a story. If they have the ability to tell a compelling story, that will give you a huge advantage in all levels of social media.
One final thought: This is not a position that should be taken lightly or seen as an entry-level position. This individual will speak the lifeblood of your brand to an indefinite amount of current, new and legacy customers.