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As companies from around the world are finding the value in social media marketing for their business, many are looking to outsource a social media manager or community manager to help with day-to-day activities. In many cases, small to medium sized businesses don’t have the budget to hire a full-time person to handle their online marketing and they look to finding the right freelance contractor for the job.

When hiring a social media manager, many companies tend to ask the wrong questions, often hiring the wrong person for the job. Why? Simply because they don’t know the right questions to ask due to lack of knowledge on the subject. As a result, they find people who have equally little knowledge on the subject.

Here are 10 questions to ask when outsourcing a social media manager:

1. What are your interests?

Many companies believe that if someone has the technical skills that are required to do the job, they must be the right fit. Not true. By finding a social media manager who has similar interests to what you’re selling, they’ll take a genuine interest in your company, which will result in your community taking a genuine interest, too. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

2. What is your favorite social media network?

In a lot of cases, a social media professional will naturally gravitate to a social media network due to their interests and experience with that platform. If your strategy doesn’t include their favorite social media network, this may be a big indication that they’re not the manager for you.

3. What is your availability?

Many companies look to outsource a social media manager on a part-time basis. If this is the case, you may want to ask the contractor about their availability. If they have other responsibilities during the time your community is mostly online, then you may be wasting your time by hiring them.

4. What management platforms have you used?

Having a functional and affordable social media management application is key to properly managing conversations, scheduling and posting messages, reporting, and curating content. Be sure to ask what management platforms that they’re comfortable using. If they’re not comfortable using the right platform for your business, they may need additional training when they’re brought on board.

5. Do you have examples of your writing?

Showcasing proper grammar is a very important trait in a social media manager, as they’ll be expected to write posts, respond to your community, and even write copy on occasion. Be sure to obtain and review examples of their writing to be sure they have the necessary skills and voice for your brand.

6. How would you handle a conflict in the community?

On occasion, you may experience conflict within your community due to a disgruntled customer, sensitive subjects, or just people who are looking to cause trouble. It is important that your social media manager knows the necessary steps when dealing with difficult situations within the community. You may want to ask whether they had to deal with a difficult situation in the past in a community, and how they managed it.

7. How do you plan on curating content?

Your social media manager will be responsible for creating posts, and even articles, in order to generate engagement, shares and likes to build your community. It’s important that they know how to curate content and where to find industry news and topics that will be relevant to your campaign.

8. How often do you review social media metrics?

When delivering a social media campaign, it’s important to plan and measure your efforts to understand its success. Your manager will need to understand and analyze these metrics and report to you on a regular basis across all the networks you are currently utilizing on a regular basis.

9. How do you measure the success of a social strategy?

In social media, companies have various expectations for their campaigns from engagement to sales conversions to brand awareness. A social media manager must understand how to measure the success of a campaign based on the company’s goals in order to benchmark and improve upon during future campaigns.

10. Do you have examples of communities that you have managed?

Many walk the walk, but few talk the talk in social media. So many people claim to be an “expert” or “guru”, but have very little knowledge of managing a community past simple posts. Request examples of their past work and discuss the challenges that they faced and success that they saw. Scroll back in their timeline to see how they engaged with followers, the quality of content that they posted, and the frequency to see if they’re the social media savant they claim to be.

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One Last Point

Consider researching your candidate’s social media presence beyond their resume or application. Review their Klout score, their LinkedIn Profile, or their About.Me page to see what they’re discussing and what content they’re interested in. You can tell a lot about a person by their online profiles. Be sure that they’re a right fit for your community and your company, because once their content goes out to the word, your company will be forever branded with it.

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