Your startup has finally gotten some funding and you know that you have to find a social media manager (“SMM”). Where do you start? You could ask a few friends, or you could look on the Internet, but how do you make sure that you’re getting good value? Here are some questions that I wish people would ask me!
What is Your Philosophy About Engagement Online?
This question is designed to weed out the “post-and-go” people. Some social media managers are more in the “broadcasting camp.” That is, they’ll find the most efficient ways of blasting out your message without thinking about your audience. And that’s not very social, is it?
Who Answers Questions or Comments on Social Platforms?
Some SMMs expect you, the client, to do that. It’s good to have a strategy in mind before you need one. Will they call you when clients ask questions on your social media platforms? Will they text you? Will they answer any questions? How much knowledge do they have about your field or product?
Do You Have a Favorite Platform?
These days, many SMMs specialize in a particular platform. They might be great with Pinterest, or use Twitter, but dislike Facebook and Instagram. So ask if that SMM has a favorite to see if they might have a strength.
What’s Your Least Favorite Platform?
If the SMM says they “love all of them” that’s kind of like a waiter saying “all the food is great.” Maybe it’s true that they love all platforms, but the “least favorite” question could get you the answer you’re looking for. Nobody likes to say they have a “weakness.”
How Do You Work with Your Clients?
Some SMMs like to do everything with no input from their clients. Others like daily, weekly, or monthly input. Some expect to meet in person and others won’t ever want to meet in person. Find out what the expectations are.
What Topics Do You Suggest That We Avoid?
For starters, I usually suggest avoiding politics, religion, and sex. But if your startup has a dating app, you will want to talk about sex. So make sure that you’re on the same page with the SMM that you decide to hire.
What If There’s a National Emergency?
Companies of all sizes, including startups, get in trouble when there’s an emergency, such as a school shooting, and the SMM doesn’t know what to do. Make sure that everyone knows what to do. I suggest posting something sympathetic–if anything at all–and then going silent. Nobody cares about whatever you’re selling when there’s an emergency.
What Happens on Weekends and Holidays?
Some brands stop posting on weekends and holidays. Others post even more. Your business might be a seasonal one. Let your candidate know what you would like.
What Does Success Look Like?
To be successful, your social media strategy needs to be specific enough so that you can measure it (such as a minimum number of daily posts), but not so specific that it squashes all the motivation out of your SMM. Learn how to demotivate employees in my previous blogpost.
Are you an ambitious startup looking for a social media manager? Because I know someone (*ahem*) that you might like to talk to!