Someone who understands how to use social media tools and networks may not be the same person who understands how businesses make a profit.

If you post an ad for social media management, you’ll likely receive a flood of unqualified applicants, and if you don’t understand how social media works, you could be bamboozled! 

Here are 7 priorities to look for when hiring a B2B social media manager:

1. Do they USE LinkedIn?

Is the candidate on LinkedIn? Do they actively use it? If they don’t rely on the most professional network in the world for anything, they’re unlikely going to intuitively turn there to talk with your clients. This could mean a LOT of training time for you!

2. Who in your industry knows them?

If you expect a new hire to bring referrals from social media, they can’t be wasting time posting photos of cute kitties all day long. B2B business is all about who you know, like, and trust, and who knows, likes, and trusts you. If you hire someone who is not connected with anyone in the circle of people your company does business with, it may take a while before they understand the dynamics of who your “business friends” are.

3. Do they understand how to make business friends?

Making business friends is not the same as making personal friends. Often times, business friends become personal friends but business friends are primarily made because someone becomes or sends someone else a client. Send someone two new clients and you’re BFFs! If your potential new hire tends to take things personally, they may struggle in a professional services social media position. A good B2B social media manager understands there’s no room for drama in business.

4. Could they earn money without a salary?

How would your new hire prioritize social media tasks if they were only paid a commission based on who became a client or who referred a client? It’s easy to waste time on social networks if there’s no accountability and a person who understands how to work on commission can often prioritize time better than someone who may have only worked for a salary. Just ask the question: Have you ever worked on commission only? How did it go?

5. Do they understand the real purpose of a hashtag?

This may not seem like a big deal but if an applicant doesn’t understand the true use of a hashtag, he or she will unlikely be able to find the best conversations online for your company to participate in. They must know how to participate online at live business events and trade shows and this almost always involves some kind of hashtag. Ask this question: Which social network relies most on hashtags? (Answer=Twitter)

6. How well do they manage time?

Awareness of time must dominate a social media manager’s life. At any given moment, something could be tweeted or posted that distracts them. It could be good news, bad news, a notification, a new event, an ugly comment, or just about anything in between, and the ability to redirect and stay on task is critical to success in a social media management role.

With many competing priorities, organization and time management are required skills. Social media is a 24 hour a day party that never ends and can easily leave people feeling like they can’t ever take a day off. Or an hour off. Candidates must be proactive about what matters and what doesn’t and be able to confidently say no to others with lower priority demands. If the person struggles to say no, they will likely react to everything happening online and quickly become overwhelmed. 

7. Would you be comfortable sending this person to lunch with your very best client?

This is the bottom line. If you expect someone to use social networks to bring in new clients, who do you think will be talking to the clients? Your social media manager! If you can’t trust their OFF line behavior with your very best clients, why in the world would you trust them to chat with clients online?

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Does your Social Media strategy need a boost?

Maybe it’s time for a Smart Social Media Plan!