It’s likely you’ve come to the point in your store’s marketing growth where you recognize the outstanding opportunity available with Social Media. The time, skills and effort it takes to be successful means you’ve got to rethink your current situation. You can’t find the time to write valuable content or review your metrics and it’s clear you need to take decisive action.
The day has come to hire a Social Media manager.
How will you know who measures up and who’s a poseur? Many dealers and other business owners are not spending a lot of time on Social networks so it’s quite a challenge to figure out who the best person is to handle your brand’s reputation, social presence and sales leads.
I spoke at a dealer meeting last week and one of the dealers said, “I don’t feel comfortable handing my brand over to a 28 year old.” It’s not so much the age but the acumen. I’ve had 19-year-old receptionists tell me they wouldn’t be caught dead on Social Media. I also know a 55-year-old who handles all the digital and Social marketing for a large auto group here in Southern California. It’s not the age, it’s the mindset.
As long as you know the right questions to ask and have expert Social Media guidance along the way, it won’t matter how old or young the person is. What matters is they have sales know-how, a solid foundation in dealership marketing strategy and an understanding of today’s social-media-savvy customer.
Who speaks for your business? Hiring a Social Media manager can become quite a challenge. Social Media reaches people, fosters conversations and your manager must derive leads and sales from those relationships. There’s a lot of people trying to capitalize on this booming market so here’s a shocker: Not everyone who says they can do Social Media marketing have actually done it successfully!
Now that you’re ready to hire (or promote) your Social Media manager, here are 10 questions to ask your candidate. Their answers will aid your decision and help you pick the right person:
1. What Social Media platform(s) are best for your business? (and have them explain why). Ask them to describe the “personality” of your store’s brand. They should have done research on your store and your customer before assessing the potential across today’s Social Media channels. Facebook, Twitter , Blogging and YouTube are awesome channels and have very different marketing tactics.
2. What are the two most important Social marketing metrics a dealer should monitor regularly?
- The first metric is engagement. Whatever platform it is (Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube), there needs to be measurable conversation around your brand. Content is what drives Social marketing success so if your content stinks, you won’t see people engaging. Your candidate should be well-versed in writing and curating relevant content for your audience.
- The second is leads. Have they run a social campaign that generated leads? What’s their track record with Facebook ads? Very often, leads from Social Media can look very different than the ones you’re used to seeing. Listening and responding timely to Social marketing leads is crucial. Just like in real life conversations, when people talk to you, they expect a response.
3. Are they accomplished in a Social marketing environment AND in a Social customer service environment? Ask them to define the difference between the two.
4. What’s the most important thing a Social Media manager should be doing? A solid answer would be “monitoring” and/or listening to the audience within the brand’s Social channels.
5. Have they ever had to handle a Social Media crisis? Ask them to define what that means to them and what steps they would take to resolve a situation.
6. How would they allocate your budget for Social Media advertising? Ask them to describe a plan for how best to spend and how they would know if it’s successful.
7. Do they have a blog and do they currently write content for Social Media channels? Ask to see the blog in action and make sure they’re posting regularly.
8. Ask them what marketing strategies they plan to use to generate leads. You need to know that Social Media is giving you something quantifiable for your money. Social Media ROI = Number of Leads.
9. Ask them what their first goals would be. If your candidate starts talking about attracting ‘X’ number of Facebook likes or ‘Y’ number of Twitter followers, stop them and ask: 1) How will they build an audience of in-market fans and 2) how they plan to engage with that specific audience. They might try to blind you with numbers but a small, switched-on and engaged audience offers you much more value than a bunch of fans/followers from outside your market area.
10. Ask them to tell you a story. If they have the ability to tell a compelling story, that will give you a huge advantage in all levels of Social Media.
One final thought: This is not a position that should be taken lightly or seen as an entry-level position. This individual will speak the lifeblood of your brand to an indefinite amount of current, new and legacy customers. Please take deliberate steps to find the embodiment of your brand’s personality. Someone who takes the leadership role in building your Social and online reputation.