For most companies, social media is still an emerging platform. Yes, many brands are visible, however, while some brands are faster to the social media market than others, everyone recognizes the importance of having a presence on at least a few social media sites. But who will run such a campaign?
Marketing (or Public Relations) is typically the group that makes the most sense to manage such a role within an organization. After all, Marketing has all sorts of tools, technologies and propaganda to be in a position to effectively disseminate the content.
As a company explores the idea of either hiring a new employee to manage the activity or moving an internal employee into this role, there are a few key criteria that must be addressed when identifying the right candidate.
Real World Experience
I know that it is difficult to believe, but there are still many people who have not joined the social media world. While this might be tricky to comprehend, this makes this point quite viable (and obvious) to fulfill this type of position. As a candidate for a Social Media Analyst role, are you on Twitter and actively participating in conversations? Do you have a Facebook account where you post more than what you are doing, where you are going, what’s for dinner, and a few late night photos? Have you created a LinkedIn account and grown your network? Do you have a YouTube account where you are testing video? Do you have a personal blog? Are you actively testing out any other social media tools to see how they each work differently? All of these questions are very important for anyone interested in a social media role.
Experience Managing a Brand
While managing your personal social media activity is important to reflect that you understand the medium, it is also important to show that you understand the difference between managing a personal brand versus an organization’s brand. While there are numerous blog entries that thoroughly detail personal brands and business brands, there are subtle overlapping themes that are important. The often overused words of “value” and “engage” are perfect in this instance as people and businesses must connect with their networks and target markets. The biggest difference between the two is the idea of the “voice”, or how you communicate the content. Personal brands convey messages in a person’s voice where businesses must have a cadence that is consistent across all social media outlets.
Established Blog Reader
This might seem unimportant but there are a lot of thought leaders who publish excellent and thought-provoking content on a regular basis. These blogs might challenge your ideas or even enhance your ideas. They could also provide excellent statistics to support social media campaigns and identify new channels to test. The beauty of blogs is that people are not shy to share ideas and lead you to unexplored thoughts. People want to be recognized and, ultimately, want to share. Fill your blog reader with a variety of bloggers who share a range of ideas, these are great talking points during a strategy meeting.
Do You Like Research?
Social media is still evolving and new statistics arise almost daily. It is critical to understand where the target market is located. Facebook is an obvious social media tool the companies love because what company wouldn’t want the opportunity to connect with (and sell to) 500 million+ people! But you also need to look at additional sites. In the book Engage! by Brian Solis, he highlights the top 3 web sites in a number of countries. While there are many similarities, there are quite a few web sites that are not often discussed. If you are simply looking at the numbers, this could eliminate the sites where your target market is actually spending the most time. Research is critical in any campaign.
Have You Created Video Content?
Could this be a silly question? Sure. But look at the Old Spice campaign on YouTube. Simple videos that were viral hits. Will every video be a viral success? Certainly not. But understanding how to use video for a business social media campaign might energize a strategy or provide additional content to share with the target market.
Have you used mobile social media? Have you used any location-based services? Have you considered how these tools might be leveraged for business use?
These are all questions that should be asked prior to identifying a Social Media Analyst. Companies need to have an individual in these roles that is passionate about this medium, that are interested in where customers network. As such, companies need to see what you have done in the social media space. They will ask and you should be ready to share.
Why is all of this important for a company to know before hiring a Social Media Analyst? If an organization places someone in a Social Media Analyst role that is not ready to push the boundaries, then the social media activity may not provide an ROI (Return On Investment) which is very important in business. The person behind the activity will make or break the strategy. Push the envelope, but have a strategy in place to always know where you are going.
Photo credit to The Marketing Lady
Keith McIlvaine manages the recruiting social media strategy for a Fortune 500 company and is an avid networker. He is a corporate recruiter, social media advisor, coach, speaker, blogger and an all around fanatic. Connect with Keith on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or on his blog at the HR farmer. (The statements posted on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer)