I was recently the keynote speaker at Keyano College Career Fair on the topic of Low Cost/High Impact Recruiting for the 82 employer exhibitors. One of the questions I received while talking one-on-one with several exhibitors was about tips on hiring a social media manager or co-ordinator. I shared my thoughts with them and today I listened to Shane Gibson’s podcast on the same topic. In this blog I will share the key points that I offered last week at the Career Fair and at the end of the blog you will see a link to Shane’s podcast which I encourage you to listen to.

When you look at selecting a social media manager or coordinator, or whatever term you use, make sure you invest the time and energy to select the right person. This is a key position within the organization and there is a tremendous cost to your brand if you don’t do it right.  The social media manager role is about leading and contributing to the various conversations about the organization, its products, services and people. The reality is that the conversation about your brand is happening regardless of your organization’s involvement (or lack of involvement) in social media. The best strategy then is to have a talented professional leading the social media engagement from within your organization.

The most important role of the social media manager is to influence and lead the conversation about the organization. To do this requires two key elements in my estimation. 1. The candidate needs to have the right attitude. By this I mean that the individual needs to understand what the overarching goal of social media is. It is not about the constant one-way hard selling of your products and services, rather it is about actively engaging and contributing to an online community while re-enforcing your brand image.  Another key attitude is the notion of being “referable”, which requires earning the right to be referred by others – word of mouth advertising. This starts with an attitude of service. Lastly is the key attitude that being the social media manager is not a part time job, it’s something that requires a consistent full time approach on a disciplined daily basis.

2. The second element to hiring the right person is focusing on the core competencies. Shane Gibson has identified 22 Competencies for a Social Media Manager www.socialized.me


Put simply, I think there are three fundamental areas of competencies. First, the person needs to possess the technical competencies regarding the ins and outs of working with the following social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogging, Podcasting as a minimum, and they should have a proven track record of engaging with large numbers of people via these sites.

The second competency to possess is consumer behaviour, marketing and business development skills.  These skills can be acquired through formal degree programs, specialized courses and career experience. The point is that the social media manager role is at the core a marketing one that must dovetail with traditional marketing and business development iniatives.

The third element is a strategic competency.  The social media manager needs see the big picture of how external issues can affect the organization. This role is critical to establish the organization’s social media policy. This person needs to be an internal leader showing colleagues the best social media practices and ultimately be the social media voice sitting at the executive table.


Link to Shane Gibson’s podcast