Social media manager has become a hot title on job boards recently, and I’m right in there with them.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been interviewing for a social media internship and I’ve been amazed at the lack of real social media talent that’s out there.

Everyone thinks that just because they have a Facebook page and half-complete LinkedIn profile, they’re a suitable candidate for a social media manager position.

News flash: you’re not.

When you’re hiring a social media manager for your business, the biggest mistake you can make is hiring a recent college grad with no real social media experience. Just because someone is young, does not mean that they have the business acumen for social media.

If you want a good social media manager, here are six base questions that I believe every social media manager should be able to answer with little to no difficulty.

1) Can you explain Facebook EdgeRank and its importance?

Social media managers who use Facebook in their social media strategy need to have a good understanding of Facebook EdgeRank  and how it affects your posting strategy (ReadWhat is Facebook EdgeRank?).

The Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm

The Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm

Desired Answer: Facebook EdgeRank is the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what items populate your and your followers’ Facebook news feed. It gives more weight to videos and pictures over text-only status updates, factors in how old the post is, and determines whether or not your fan would be interested in this content based on their previous interactions with your page. Understanding EdgeRank very important because it determines which of your page’s posts get in front of your fans’ eyes. You need your content to be engaging because if the fans disregard that post, it can ruin your page’s affinity score with that fan, decreasing the chance that they will see your future posts.

2) What is something that most every tweet should include and why?

When someone follows your brand on Twitter, everyone does so with some sort of self-interest (i.e. give-a-ways, information, entertainment, etc). Your tweets should be geared to giving the audience something, and one thing is for sure, that something is not to hear “how great you are” (Read: How to Properly Mingle in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party Called Twitter).

Desired Answer: Most every tweet should include a link to something; whether it be an article, a page to enter a give-a-way, or a photo/video, tweets should be thought of as a launchpad to something else where your followers can find more information about the tweet. Putting a link in your tweets adds value to your followers and it gives them the opportunity to engage with your tweet & brand. If your link is useful and/or desirable to them, they’ll undoubtedly pay even more attention to you once you’ve proven yourself as a good source of whatever it is they want.

3) What is the difference between a LinkedIn Group and a LinkedIn Page and the benefit of each?
LinkedIn Company Page

Most brands should set up a Company Page over a Group on LinkedIn

I frequently see brands set up LinkedIn group pages when in fact they should have set up a page instead (and visa-versa). While most LinkedIn pages sit stagnant, a savvy social media manager will utilize this oft-ignored resource.

Desired Answer: A LinkedIn group is in essence a forum hosted on LinkedIn where users can ask questions, talk, and swap ideas around a particular brand or product. Groups should usually be used by very large brands that have a lot of discussion around their product. Just because you have a group doesn’t mean that people want to come and talk about how great you are, that’s not realistic.

LinkedIn pages, on the other hand, should be set up by everyone, even if you already have a group. Pages are great for keeping your followers up-to-date with new product information, pertinent industry news, new jobs available, etc. Companies should set up a LinkedIn page and list their products and services, but keep it general, you don’t want to re-create your entire website.

4) What is the most searched term in YouTube and why do you think it’s important?

Every brand and social media manager ought to have a YouTube strategy whereas it is the 2nd largest search engine in the world behind Google. Video has become a vital piece of content marketing and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

Desired Answer: The most searched term is “How to”. This signifies that people are mostly using YouTube to learn: learn how to fix or solve a problem, learn how to do their job better; learn how to make something, etc. Companies should create at least some videos that answer common questions within their industry with the titles of the videos matching the verbiage of the question (for example, the title of a video could/should be “How to make a cake”, etc.) to help with branding and positioning.

5) How should Google+ communities be used in a social media strategy?

Google+ communities are relatively new and vastly underutilized, but they can be a good resource for link clicks and site traffic.

Desired Answer: Google+ communities are a great way to find conversations around your industry and begin engaging with users in that community. These communities are great places to find new customers and introduce them to your brand or product. Brands should be active in these communities, but as always, they shouldn’t post only about themselves. 

6) As a Social Media Manager, what do you see as some up-and-coming social media platforms?
Google is testing its augmented reality glasses called Project Glass

Google hopes to change how we see reality with its new “Project Glass”

This question is a great question to learn whether or not the candidate has their finger on the pulse of the social media industry. A good social media manager should stay up-to-date with what’s new, what’s the buzz, and how their social media strategy will possibly be affected by the changning landscape. This question’s desired answer (below) will obviously vary depending on what’s new when you’re interviewing, so it will be on you, the interviewer, to have at least a vague idea of what’s new in social media.

Desired Answer: As of today (March 29, 2013), probably some of the newer and under-utilized platforms may be MySpace and Twitter’s Vine. Another thing that B2C companies ought to pay close attention to isn’t necessarily a platform, but Google’s “Project Glass” (Read: How Augmented Reality How and Will affect Your Social Media Strategy). 

 

What other questions would you ask? Have you had any struggles finding good social media talent? Let me know in the comments.

 

-Lance Brown