Hiring a Social Media Employee – Part 1

I spoke at the International Builders Exchange Executives (IBEE) convention here in Las Vegas and I was hit with a great question: “What qualities should we look for when hiring a Social Media employee?” I guess I made them believers 😉

Since this is a bit of an opinion based subject, I thought I’d pose this question to three people I respect in the Social Media Industry. I’ve only met these people through Social Media channels. These Guest Bloggers stand out to me because they strike that balance between Social and Business… and they make it fun. This is part 1 of 2.

ErikaNapoletanoFirst up is Erika Napoletano. Erika is the Head Redhead at Redhead Writing, LLC, a Denver-based online strategies consulting firm. Unafraid to put forth unpopular views about social media and online behavior, you can follow her if you dare on Twitter @RedheadWriting and check out her thought farm over on Facebook.

  • Who the Hell Are Ya?– Ask any consultant or potential social media hire about their work philosophy and past successes. This person is going to be the “voice” of your company, whether under their name or yours.
    • What will your time commitment to my account be each month?
    • How do you map-out your activities for the month?
    • What blogging platforms are you proficient with?
    • If you have a personal brand, how could that both help and hinder our company’s account? (Personal brands are a huge consideration when interviewing potential consultants or hires. How have they managed their personal brand and how can that translate into discernible ROI for your company?)
    • How do you determine success? (And business owner – part of the onus for this is on YOU. Know what you consider a success before you begin any social media thrust.)
  • Who the Hell Likes Ya? Recommendations from current and past clients are a must. Many consultants work behind the scenes for clients (like I do most often) and will thus not have a client roster posted. However, any consultant not willing to put you in touch directly with references…well, they don’t need to be handling your business. Everyone’s an adult and understands confidentiality.
  • What Are Your Thoughts on Community Versus Followings? Honestly, any nitwit can get you Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers (ANY nitwit). But is that really where you want your company’s image to go? Garbage in equals garbage out, and if you’re talking to people who spew numbers of people over interaction and meaningful dialogue, keep interviewing.

CarmenVilladarNext up is the girl with my favorite name: Carmen Villdar. Carmen works for a prestigious German Marketing Agency. You can find Carmen at her many online locations: Android Website, her Blog and her Facebook.

Companies looking to bring in a Social Media employee really need to know first hand, what they expect that new hire to accomplish for them. If it’s initially about generating new streams of revenue, forget it. It’s not going to happen in the traditional ROI mode that many people want to see.

Here are just some tip of the iceberg points you may want to take into consideration.

  • Their “authenticity level of engagement”. I just made that up but it’s pretty self explanatory. Just because someone has a Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Youtube, Vimeo, and so on .. social media account, does not make them a Social Media person, although this would be the right direction to look. In fact, there are many people on these platforms that really do not utilize these platforms to their highest and best use. Companies need to follow these people and observe how they “engage” with others.
  • How do they conduct themselves?
  • How many value micro dialogs can they have at one time?
  • Who are these people engaging with?
  • What do they do on these platforms that you feel would give your company added value?

…..and the list goes on.

Basically, a company can easily pick out their potential Social Media person by finding them online and approaching them, because they like their style. They get to see how effective this person’s level of engagement is and best of all, they get to observe this person in their natural habitat. Which brings me to a second point.

When hiring a Social Media employee, companies need to make sure that these people really DO thrive on these platforms, almost seeming as if they were “born naturals”. They are easy to pick out. You’ll find them engaging with others of different circles, as well as seeing others engage back with them.

They shouldn’t be too hard to pick out. You’ll know one is right for you, just by their style of Social Media Savvy.

Make sure to look for Part 2, where we’ll here from 2 more of my Social Media Mafia friends.

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