Last week, I was networking with Jose Silva, who has enjoyed a long and successful career as a financial advisor. We were discussing his marketing strategy and brainstorming ideas about how we could help each other with our connections.
During our chat, Jose brought up a great point. We were discussing social media management and he said, “If you don’t work as a social media manager or in the field, you might not know what is expected of the role.”
He is absolutely right and this is true about many fields and many positions. As consumers, we trust that those we hire to help us with our business are working ethically and have the skills and training they need to do the job. We are paying them for their expertise.
This is where it gets a little tricky… Just what defines expertise?
With fields like social media management, there is no universally recognized training, accreditation, or certification required to do the work. To become proficient in social media management, you would tap into the research conducted by marketing corporations, industry blogs, and most important, the analytics data provided by the companies that developed the social media channels you are using. But even that isn’t a one-size-fits-all fit.
Before you decide to hire someone to manage your social media, during your interview make sure they’ve touched on the following six questions.
1. May I see your company business plan and your marketing plan?
While you may not give them your plans until after you’ve hired them, they’ll need to know an overview to make a solid recommendation for you. Your social media strategy is a component of a much larger marketing strategy. It’s one of the tools used to reach the goals of the marketing plan and ultimately supports the overall business goals and objectives. If your business has a sales department in addition to marketing, the social media manager needs to see this plan too. All of the social media strategies should tie into and support your business sales goals.
2. Who is your target audience?
Your answer to this question isn’t short and simple, like “We target other businesses.” Instead, it’s highly specific. If your market is the B2B market, your social media manager needs to know the types of businesses you target, what industry they serve, who the decision maker is and where they get their information, who are their influencers, what are the trigger points for making a purchase, what are the reasons they won’t purchase and what social media channels do they typically use. They need to build a detailed client profile, so it’s likely this question will lead to many more about the target audience.
3. Who are your current customers and who specifically are your prospects?
You won’t provide this information until after you have hired them and they have signed a confidentiality agreement, but, they should ask for the information or tell you they will need it. Your social media strategy will include sharing about your company and providing information that is useful and engaging to your target audience. But, it’s also going to support your relationship with your existing clients and prospects.
These are the businesses you will follow on your social media channels and whose content you will share on your channels. These are the target businesses you will engage with on their social media channels in an effort to build a strong relationship. They are also the businesses your social media management company will closely monitor, so as to alert you of important news, such as an expansion.
4. What industry memberships do you hold within your target market?
With this question, your social media manager wants to know what database assets you already have access to, so they can explore ways to leverage these important lists. Add to this any other groups you belong to that your target market also belong to. Anything that gives you the opportunity to connect and engage with your target audience is a marketing asset and should be explored.
5. What is the buyer journey?
Your social media manager will ask this question because there are opportunities to connect with and engage clients all along the buying journey. With a clear understanding of the buying process, content can be tailored to fit the client at very specific intervals during the journey and help move them along.
6. Who is your competition?
Benchmarking and analyzing the competition is an important part of developing a social media strategy. Just as the social media manager will monitor your client base, they will also monitor your competitors and all of their social media channels. The information gathered will help with content and strategy development.
If a company or individual is simply posting a few times per week for you, they aren’t managing your social media channels, they are only creating content for you. Effective social media management does more than create awareness about your business, it should support your sales goals and positively affect your bottom line.