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How to hire the perfect social media person

How to hire the perfect social media person Lucia Davis

Social media is a serious business. In fact, nearly 70 percent of marketing managers planned to up their digital budget this year. Whether agency, B2B, or B2C, it's crucial that your social media managers are the best in the business. A lot of money rides on their success.

Nowhere, perhaps, is this more vital than on Twitter. With a variety of recent social media PR disasters in recent memory, finding a pro to man your handle is doubly important. You can't harness the power of Twitter's real-time and trending capabilities with the wrong person at the helm.

So, how do you choose the right person to tweet for your client or brand? Here are some insights.

A certain degree is less important than solid writing skills

Think you need someone who has a BA in communications or English? Not necessarily, though it's a good place to start. If you have a resume in front of you filled with tons of great writing experience, but a degree that isn't precisely applicable, don't pass on it. Just as the internet punishes companies for social media missteps, it rewards brands with creative and smart social copy. You want someone with an eye for content that will not only resonate with your audience, but also attract new customers.

Attention to detail is paramount

Creativity is a key component, and one that will help your community manager respond to trending topics quickly, and in a shareable way. But being naturally diligent (even militant) about spelling, grammar, tone of voice, and scheduling ensures the creativity sings. It's imperative that brand tweets be typo-free -- there are few things less professional than a grammatically incorrect post riddled with misspellings. Think no one will notice a misplaced apostrophe? You're wrong.

Check his or her Twitter-specific expertise

A good one-two punch: Ask prospective applicants to create a fresh content calendar for you and find someone internally to review the final product. If you're not sure what makes a good post or tweet, turn to a socially-savvy connection to assess whether the candidate's use of hashtags, @replies, and mention of trending topics aligns with actual expectations on the job. Nix anyone who doesn't know the basics (i.e., tweets must be under 140 characters).

Don't make assumptions

You may, for instance, have heard the advice to just "hire a millennial" to manage your social media account. While the generation does have an innate knowledge of social, it's worth bearing in mind that someone who's 35 and someone who's 25 have had the same amount of time to learn and use Twitter. Further, social media for business is vastly different than social media for personal use. Four years of posting college party pics on Facebook does not a social media expert make. (Trust me, the learning curve is steep.) Younger generations absolutely have the edge when it comes to platform utility, but with things like paid promotion and influencer identification, they're on the same level as everyone else.

Gauge the candidate's curiosity

This is one of the most essential, and most overlooked, qualities of a social media manager. Whoever you have tweeting is likely to be writing dozens of tweets per week on the same subject, for a period of months or even years. Hiring someone with a deep sense of inquiry will ensure that your Twitter content is continuously fresh.

The best social media managers are creative, organized and curious individuals with an eye for organization. Don't be the next DiGiorno's -- hire with care.

Lucia Davis is director of content at Obviously Social.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet and Lucia at @LKCDavis.

Lucia Davis is a journalist, social media consultant and founder of The Art Bus Project. Previously, she was director of content at Obviously Social. Prior to that position, she served as community editor at PR News after working as...

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