Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One


Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You're Looking for One

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

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?

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

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!


Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

You might have read my recent post about the Six Issues that Startups have with their social media. I’ll be diving a little deeper into each one now. So why is planning sexy? Because you can’t spell success without sexy! Well, you can, but it would be dumb. Plus, everyone wants to succeed and be sexy! You can’t argue with logic, man.

Get Someone on Board

Get someone who lives in the social space. That means, they’re involved in social media every day. You want someone who breathes this stuff, not someone who pins one pin every month to Pinterest, or checks their Twitter account every July (no matter what!). They need to be reading Mashable, TechCrunch, using the top social media platforms, and knowing what direction social media is going.

Have Someone Who’s in Touch with the Team

Your social media manager doesn’t have to be a developer, but they should be able to communicate with the technical team. They need to be involved in meetings so they understand your product, so they can speak on your behalf. They need to have someone to contact in case of emergencies or if they are out of town, too.

The Social Media Manager Can Get the Word Out!

Social media is about connection, engagement, and social capital. Your social media manager can start to build excitement about the product even before launch. Why not share some behind-the-scenes glimpses into your world so people are interested in where you’re going as a brand? For instance, if you’re attending a big conference, you could be posting pictures of the team.

Be Generous First

Listening is such an important and overlooked (and sexy!) skill. Without listening, how will you know what your customers really want? With social media, you can be listening even before you launch! Know what the conversation is so you can join in.

Connect, Connect, Connect!

Your social media manager can build connections pre-launch

Your social media manager can build connections pre-launch

Your social media manager can build  the connections that you’re going to need before you launch, so when you do launch, you’ll get out of the gate get much faster. They can drive business offline and into real life meetings for you, make introductions, and set up everything on your social media to reflect your brand promise.

What Did I Forget?

Why else is planning sexy? Please leave your comments below! Thank you!

Social Media: First Steps for Startups

Maintain focus to maximize your time

Maintain focus to maximize your time

You are the CEO of a startup, about to launch. The website is looking great. You have an app and a product that looks like it will be an enormous success. Suddenly, you realize that you have no social media. Quick! What are you going to do? Here’s a high-level overview.

Choose Your Name

Make sure your name is available across all the platforms you are looking for. You may need to insert an extra space, or an underline (for example, my name, @Carol_Stephen, has an underline between my first and last names on Twitter). Now check that your name is available on all the other platforms, too.

Pick a Platform

The platforms with the most traffic are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and GooglePlus. Depending upon the type of startup you’re in, you could also use Instagram and YouTube. But to simplify matters, choose the top ones you’d like, then pick one platform to start with. The easiest one is LinkedIn. Like juggling, once you have that first object in the air, you can add another and another.

Grab Your Handle

Register your name across all platforms–even if you don’t plan to start posting yet. Create an email account just for your social media, for example,, and use that email exclusively.

Organize the Names

Write down email, along with the login names and  passwords in one place, and tell someone else on your team. Put the names into a Google doc, binder or other safe spot with office procedures. The number one problem I hear is that people have lost their own passwords. Yes, really!

Have a Backup Admin

Juggle one social media platform at a time

Juggle one social media platform at a time

Make sure at least one other person is the admin for all your accounts in case something happens to you. This should be a trusted friend, co-founder, or your mom, but someone trustworthy and a little bit tech-savvy.

Designate a Lead

If your time is limited (and people in startups are always busy), designate one person as the social media manager. You may want to share this responsibility, depending upon how many are on the team. The lead will be the point person, and main decision maker for your brand.

What First Steps Would You Take?

Is there something else you would include for a startup? Let me know in the comments!


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