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12 for ’12- Quick & Easy Tips for Hiring a Valuable Community Manager

At SocialNicole we’re taking the week to help you focus on two aspects of your business’ social media marketing that you may not have considered: social media community managers and outsourcing your social media.  We receive questions as to the benefits of both these options and decided, “Why not? Let’s share our knowledge!” Each day from now until Friday we’ll be sharing this knowledge with you. 

In my last post on “Will a Community Manager Take You to the Next Level?” I explored the question of whether or not adding the position of a Social Media Community Manager would be beneficial to your business.  If you’ve clicked on this post, the answer to that question is probably, “Yes.”  But what traits are most promising in a Community Manager?  Here are 12 tips for getting the most bang for your buck: 1. A Passion for the Art I think this tip is pretty self-exclamatory.  Make sure whoever you pick shows a keen interest in social media and the direction it’s headed- and is generally excited about it!  As professionals we all know that if we’re not 100% invested in what we’re doing, the results are less desirable. So make sure they’re hyped to join the effort! 2. A Knack for Writing Seek out someone with a fair amount of writing experience.   My Community Managers holds a degree in Journalism and Marketing, so they have an obvious flair for writing and has been trained in proper editing technique.  Now don’t feel that you have to go out and find yourself someone with a proper degree in writing, but make sure you evaluate writing samples of theirs.  Social media, after all, is just another medium where successful writing oftentimes dictates success. 3. Ongoing Quest to Learn More One of the first things a Community Manager should set up is a Google Reader.  They should spent at least an hour searching for the latest and greatest RSS Feeds from which they may be able to find valuable links related to your business.  Your Manager will need to stay on top of the latest developments in social media in order to be effective.  The Community Manager you hire should be an avid blog reader.  As social media platforms are always evolving, it’s important that your Manager remains updated. 4. Just the Right Amount of Enthusiasm Your Community Manager needs to know how to toe the line between too much enthusiasm and too little.  The danger with too much enthusiasm in social media may scare away potential customers, while too little may lead your customer to believe there is a lack of intrigue around your company.  Social media is like a conversation, so your Manager should go about it as such- not too strong but not too weakly.  Even moreso, your Manager will need to understand toeing the line between sales and personality.  No customer conversation is likely to happen if your Manager is sending out messages that seem boxed or robotic. Show your enthusiasm!5. Can Fall and Get Back Up This part is so important.  As the social media sphere is constantly evolving, so too will your Community Manager.  They’re going to have to be open to the idea of trying their hand at certain new endeavors, only to have it fall flat on its face.  But they will also need to be able to pi ck themselves back up and get back into the game of trial and error in social media management- without taking it so much to heart. 6. A Strategic Mind This lumps well into the previous tip.  Social media management these days is largely about taking risks and seeking results.  No one can write a book that says, “This is 100% correct way to perform media management…” because no one truly knows.  The great thing about the social media sphere is that it allows so much room for creative ideas.  And having a Community Manager who can weave creativity into a strategic social media plan for a client can indefinitely spell success. 7. Organization to a T Another self-exclamatory one.  Your Community Manager is probably going to be managing a fair amount of material, and for all of that to be successful nothing is more important than keeping organized.  Make sure that whoever you hire on to be your Manager has a history of being organized, and is not only good at it but enjoys it as well. 8. Time-Management Skills Just as they will need to be organized, they’ll also need to know how to manage their time wisely.  It’s your Community Manager’s job to make sure that, even if the time is not plentiful, the management is done efficiently and effectively during the hours you provide them. 9. Attitude is Everything Your Community Manager is going to become the “face” of your business.  Therefore, take extra care in hiring someone who can not only represent you professionally online, but offline as well. 10. Training is Key You wouldn’t hire any monkey off the street to represent your business, right? Don’t be fooled into thinking just anyone can do social media management; you need a well-trained professional.  This is your company’s first line of connection with customers, so whomever you hire needs to understand not only social media inside and out, but also how to build relationships and customer service.  You trust them with your business’ reputation.  Ask yourself this: Who would you feel comfortable putting in front of news cameras if your company were interviewed? 11. General Business Knowledge Let’s face it: You’re a business.  And you’re hiring a Community Manager so that you can go further in your business and cultivate relationships through social media that could possibly carry your business to the next level.  Take care to hire someone who has a working knowledge of how a business, and marketing, should generally be run- not to mention, a general knowledge of your industry.  They’ll be the day-to-day point person, facing incoming questions and conversations in your social media- make sure they know what they’re talking about! 12. Self-Directed Motivation Last but not least, you Community Manager will be driving your business’ social media on a day-to-day basis- they’ll need to be motivated to stay on track!  Be wary of hiring an individual you feel you’d have to direct or stand over for extended periods of time.  You have your own work to do in running your business, so hire a Community Manager who makes your life easier- not harder!   Photo Credit 1Photo Credit 2Photo Credit 3

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