With social media use so wide-spread, most people below a certain age could confidently come across as being reasonably knowledgeable.
But if you’re hiring a new recruit for your agency, how do you root out the imposters from the experts? Most people can write for social media, use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite, or even boost a post.
But experience of building brands is a more advanced requirement and can be difficult to discern if you’re sat opposite someone with a talent for self-promotion.
Here are 6 questions you should ask potential new recruits:
1. Are you on Snapchat?
If a potential candidate isn’t on Snapchat, then they’re at least two or three years behind the times. Not having a Snapchat account – even just for research purposes – probably means your potential recruit lacks the curiosity needed to thrive in social media. And not being a teenager is no longer an excuse: older users of the app are on the rise.
Slipping this question in at the ‘chit-chat’ stage of the interview will probably give you a better chance of a truthful answer. If it’s a ‘no’, that’s a black mark right away.
2. What results have you delivered through social?
A lot of people love using social media personally, but delivering results in a corporate environment is very different.
Get them to walk you through a campaign or activity. But don’t accept a watered-down version of events; ask for insight on the decisions they took, lessons they learned, what the ROI was.
Getting them to drill down is the only way you can be reasonably sure they aren’t simply reciting the details of a successful campaign managed by one of their colleagues. A confident interviewee with a campaign to be proud of will know every little detail, and will probably relish the opportunity to share the experience.
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3. How do you measure success on social?
If they even mention likes or fan numbers, you can almost certainly discount them. Hire someone who understands that reach and engagement underpin measurement in social.
It’s all too easy to suggest that a campaign’s success hinges on new follower numbers, retweets or Facebook shares. These metrics can offer some insight, of course, but they won’t mean much to a CEO demanding to know the ROI of your brand’s latest big campaign.
Get your candidates to give you a list of the social metrics that matter.
4. What’s our current Facebook engagement rate?
Just to hit home the fact that measurement matters, make sure they can calculate, at a glance, your engagement rate.
Give them bonus points for knowing that you need to know the actual reach figure to calculate the rate.
5. Have you created and managed advertising campaigns?
Boosting posts is for amateurs. A first-timer could boost a Facebook post in minutes, but it wouldn’t make them a good employee for an agency that wants to go places.
If your candidate hasn’t created a full campaign with multiple ad versions, done the targeting and fully tested it, it’s likely they’ll have a steep learning curve. Do you have the time and resources to bring them along?
6. What’s your preferred social network?
Their answer will give you a good idea about their character and interests. In theory at least.
LinkedIn = they might be better for B2B and a slower pace of life.
Twitter = they’re probably sociable.
Instagram = they may be a bit lazy/a foodie.
Facebook = perhaps more traditional and family oriented.
Snapchat = young and inexperienced.
This isn’t a critical question as it’s unlikely their answer will get them hired or otherwise. But it will help you to build up a better picture of each candidate and will come in handy in the event of a tie.
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