What to look for when hiring a social media person?

What do you look for when hiring a social media person: intelligence, humor, experience, do they get published a lot? When I interviewed social media people, they had some sort of knowledge about web marketing. However, having some knowledge isn’t enough. They need to know how to get your blog to be more popular otherwise their knowledge is useless to you. Knowledge is good, but perhaps some other traits are even more important.

Someone who is intelligent, but not knowledgeable will be able to figure things out if they are paying attention. Someone with very solid intelligence might be your best long term person. I have a few people working for me who are just plain smart. Plus one is smart about people, but not numbers. But people smarts are a type of intelligence (which I don’t have.)

Many people understand how to impress a client with talk about how their social media company or practice works. But, when you ask them to come up with creative ideas, they freeze up and won’t talk until after you sign the contract. Do you marry a girl before or after the first date? Marriage is a contract as well, right? I want to get a sense of your work, and most companies keep this a secret. In my experience, people who keep secrets do so because their work is mediocre and they know it. Most people cannot be creative, and you can’t hire someone to do social media unless you’re 200% sure they’re creative.

Experience is good, but doesn’t prove anything. People lie about their experience. It’s easy to come up with a bunch of companies you’ve worked for before. If you get to check references that is much better. What matters is how good their work for you will be.

Industry Knowledge
I’m tempted to hire Indians instead of Americans to write about BPO topics. It is just that India is all about BPOs and America doesn’t even know what the word means. Finding people with industry knowledge can make the job a lot easier. They know what the critical topics to write about are, and others will not no matter how creative, smart or funny they are.

Being Funny
Having a developed sense of humor can be good, but in the right context. If your audience responds to humor, you are in good shape. Other audiences like humor, but only as an add on to industry relevant helpful posts. Some people do not have a sense of humor at all in which case you are wasting your money to hire a comedian to help you blog. You need to know your audience intimately to figure out what to write about and who to hire.

In real life, you’ll have to go through many bloggers to find the right one. So, good luck!

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