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What you need to know before hiring a social media manager

Sonal Mishra
13th Oct 2016
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So you’re looking to hire a social media manager. You get a resume of a young graduate who reveals he has thousands of Instagram followers. Another one has an impressive number of fans on Snapchat. There’s also one who’s been on Facebook ever since his young and restless high school days. So do these criteria make them the ideal candidate for the job? Not at all.

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Using social media to connect with friends and family and using it to build a business are poles apart. Posting a picture with your cute, fluffy kitten might give it millions of likes, but how much can such posts really influence the growth of a company? Hence, a good social media manager must not only be digitally savvy but also possess sharp business acumen.

For companies today, social media has become core to their overall business strategy. In fact, every department from customer service to sales and marketing and business development have adopted social platforms for their own specific advantages. This means that a social media manager must be able to work across departments and curate the most engaging and informative content in order to show the brand’s best face online. This is not an easy task, and Grabhouse's story pretty much proves it. While excellent content can result in your brand being a global phenomenon in just a short period of time, one disastrous post could lead to a nightmarish end of the company.

A few year ago, Fortis, India’s leading healthcare chain, made a terrible social mistake when they put up an awful hashtag – #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo – to promote their brand Mamma Mia during the Breast Feeding Week. As if this wasn't bad enough, when people started complaining about the hashtag, Fortis even went so far as to state that their account had been hacked. A sensible social media manager would know better than to come up with such a farcical campaign and to resort to immature blame games when things turned sour.

So what does it take to make a good social media manager?

They need to have a solid grounding in market research and developing strategies. They need to understand how to convert online conversations into sales leads. They need to be good writers. They need to have a creative outlook and must have excellent customer service qualities. They need to be able to plan how best to allocate budgets for advertising. Most of all, they must be aware of new tools and applications that can streamline the process. So essentially, a good social media manager must be coherent with the very basics of business apart from having a strong online presence.

The company itself has to do its homework before hiring a social media manager. It needs to be clear about how it wants its brand represented and what its objectives are for being on the social platforms. Even if the owners or the hiring managers aren't active social media users, they need to have a basic understanding of at least the most popular platforms.

The potential of social media is limitless. Whether it’s gathering sales intelligence, acquiring leads, knowing your customers better, building a network or generating new business, it can prove extremely invaluable. Therefore, it’s critical to have an experienced and astute mind pulling the strings of all your social media campaigns and not someone who simply knows how to use social media for ‘Likes’.

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