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Who’s the best social media hire?

My first instinct is to hire someone who's younger and savvy, already has a decent personal following on Twitter, Instagram, etc. But what other benchmarks should a social media marketer have that I'm not considering? I don't want to limit myself in the potential hires I could find but also don't want to waste my time with the people that just say they know how to use social media, not that they're actually good at analyzing and optimizing our social media content and building our brand.


18 Replies

Victoria Gutierrez
3
0
Victoria Gutierrez Entrepreneur
BCG retail/consumer goods consultant & startup advisor
Personal following is a great indicator of whether or not a person understands social media and how to engage with people.

A good social hire will also be:
  • An excellent writer
  • Very creative - can think of viral campaigns/contests for social media
  • Organized and execution oriented - creates plans, executes them, follows up
  • A passionate advocate for your brand - they will be the face of your brand in a lot of ways, so make sure they are "on brand"
I usually like to look for someone who is also analytically skilled, so that this job can grow into a broader digital marketing role.
Jean Scheidnes
3
0
Jean Scheidnes Entrepreneur
Principal at Fabula Projects
Hi Joey, I beg to differ. In my experience the best social media practitioners are those with a journalism skill set, plus subject-matter expertise in an industry, because that is much harder to learn than the latest digital tool. By all means check out their personal profile, because it can reflect their judgment and taste. But don't put too much stock in the size of their following. A large following may indicate the person cares more about their personal brand than about their employer/client's brand. That's not where you want them putting their energy. Best, Jean
allison simpson
1
0
allison simpson Entrepreneur
non-for-profit, administration, leadership
someone gregarious. who is unafraid to reach out to people. I mean someone who likes to sit behind computer long hours, computer wiz, young or not young it depends what your goal is. Someone already using the technology, has a web presence and analytics. If they arent social dont waste your time, pr background or similar is probably good. If they dont have a blog, website, use the lastest updating software (hootsuite or newer version) they are an average joe.
Julien Fruchier
1
0
Julien Fruchier Entrepreneur
Founder at Republic of Change
It completely depends on your goals.

If your goal is engagement (most people want followers), I would look for the following:
  • As Jean said above, subject-matter expertise
  • Their personal accounts: Do they engage others and, more importantly, do others engage them? Size of following is very secondary.
  • Their personal accounts: Do they speak with a voice that will represent your brand well?
  • Chutzpah - This is an extension of the bullet above: if you're seeking engagement, you need a good conversationalist. This is the hardest thing to find.
Anyone can say they can "do social media."
Michael Kelly
2
1
Michael Kelly Entrepreneur
Marketing Manager at University of Southern California
Be sure to find someone with some SEO experience as well as someone who understands your business. The reason I say this is because their are some tricky legalities with what can and can't be done on social media with certain businesses (i.e. beverage alcohol). It's good to have someone who knows how to run a social media contest as well. This can be tricky legally too!
Gloria Luna
1
1
Gloria Luna Entrepreneur
VP Marketing - Brand builder and creative problem solver
I find the most effective way to incorporate social media is to define a specific strategy for each of the platforms, develop a plan for content creation and indicate appropriate frequency of engagement. Once that has been established, you can hire a community manager who can handle the execution. You want to make sure that you clearly define the way you want your brand represented so it is always aligned with your value proposition and brand voice. You might get attention but you want to make sure it is the right kind of attention that builds your business.

I strongly recommend checking out Gary Vaynerchuk. He is an expert entrepreneur and thought-leader on social media. He suggests that rather than go "wide" it is better to go "deep" and provide as much value as possible to those people engaging with your brand.

Good luck.
Jonathan Brown
6
1
Jonathan Brown Entrepreneur
Product Manager at Neustar, Inc.
Just putting in my 2 cents - Young person does not = social media talent nor does the number of followers they have in personal accounts. Although I do agree with Jean above, some one with PR or solid communications background is important.

First consider what your goals are for social within your over all communication strategy. This can help with finding someone who will fit your needs. As an example if your product or services are fairly complex and requires a deep understanding of the market , segments, and competition, that will give you some idea of what skills may be needed.

There is a big range of skills needed within social media, Strategy, analytics, research, communication, creative, media, and technology.

If you need some to do "Community management and reporting" you would look at one set of skills, if you want someone who is more creatively driven than you would look at another set of skills.

Basically find the right tool for the job
Danny Cox
0
1
Danny Cox Advisor
Helping Brands Tell Better Stories
As has been said, do NOT use the size of an individual's social following as an indicator of knowledge/experience/capability to use the tools effectively for your business. Social is just another tool in the marketer's toolbox - part advertising network, part customer service platform, part lead generation opportunity, part brand building outlet.

Quite often so-called "gurus", "ninjas" and "mavens" are great at growing their personal brand and positioning themselves as thought leaders, but are less skilled at connecting a business with paying customers.

Focus on understanding what you're looking to achieve with social media and how it will drive actual business results first, then that will help focus your search for the right candidate.
Liam Carolan
0
0
Liam Carolan Advisor
Marketing Technologist
Who's the best social media hire?There's too much to be said regarding your dilemma. The best person for the job is the one who can talk with you and understand your goal. If you would like to hire someone to design, build and manage your Social Media presence, your best bet beyond the typical person with basic SM skills is a data scientist... that is someone who can build reports that feature critical business intelligence that you can act on. The metrics of Social Media can be overwhelming so I tend to use the "data" approach when making interpretations. So I will assume you like "simple" good. Me too. Here is a rather pricey SAAS platform that might be all you're looking for. http://simplymeasured.com/ If so you can train someone to run it or hire an individual from the existing users group... obviously the first choice is the least expensive. simply measured is just one resource, there are four more that are on par and do essentially the same things but either cost less (you get less) or have not been around as long. As far as knowing in real time what is creating BUZZ on your competitors radar(s) this is a fantastic tool for leveraging the competition's marketing equity. This combined with a comprehensive plan to engage customers based on certain metrics is a multi-million dollar SM campaign foundation. So - a great tool - and a novice to run it for you based on your benchmarks will probably do just fine. Create a performance based situation, that is if the novice performs well, consider offering a portion of the profit that you realized as a result of what was delivered. This in particular makes it more than a job, it's an opportunity to blow the doors off and it's these things that should motivate the experts and novices alike. I hope this was helpful to you. Good luck!
Amy Vernon
2
0
Amy Vernon Advisor
Audience Development. Community, content & product. Prize-winning journalist & writer. Connector of people & ideas.
Age has nothing to do with it. Being younger doesn't automatically mean someone is better at using social media. Some might say that younger people are less likely to understand overall business goals and how to reflect a specific brand voice.

That would also be wrong - you need someone who's an excellent writer and understands the power of words. You need someone who's savvy and understands that each platform is a different audience and has its own ecosystem. It's super-easy to teach someone how to post on any platform. It's much harder to train them on the skills needed to excel.

You also need someone who's not afraid of numbers and can look at the numbers and see the patterns they form, so they can figure out what's working, why, and when.
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