Posts tagged: people

How to Hire a Social Media Rock Star – Part 2

Let’s just say that you have a company (or organization) that is ready to hire someone to run social media. And let’s say you’ve already taken care of your strategy (part 1).  Now, how do you find the right person? How do you evaluate the candidates? And how do you find out if it’s really the appropriate person for your vacancy?

A big part of it depends on your strategy for social media – broadcasting to get your name out there and win followers requires a different person than engaging an industry through a corporate blog that shares significant insight. But, assuming that you’ve evaluated how social media will fit into the big picture, you’ll need to check into candidates’ profiles and comfort level with the mediums you plan to use to achieve your goals. So here it is, folks. Evaluating your candidates’ profiles.


  1. Number of followers and follows. The numbers should be close – that means this person uses what we’ll call twense, or common sense for Twitter. Proper etiquette and sound knowledge of how Twitter works.
  2. Lists – they should be listed (especially in lists made by someone else) and most likely following a few lists.
  3. Consider recent posts:
    • Frequency (how many updates per day/week);
    • Balance of new content with RT’s – retweets, which means spreading content from someone else;
    • Directed tweets (you’ll see updates reading @someone’sname – they’re contacting someone either for conversation or to get attention).
    • A strong Twitter account will have new content, retweets, and directed tweets, with consistent frequency.
  4. Page design – is it at least mildly attractive? Anyone can login to Twitter with a generic look to it. But someone who knows the platform can make it look sweet. Check out @juliaroy, @pistachio, or @gwenbell. See? It doesn’t have to be boring, but it also doesn’t have to be hideous.
  5. Ratings. If you don’t know the difference between a good Twitter account and a bad one, check it out with a Twitter ratings system. Twitter Grader is great, and Klout will give even better diagnostics if the person’s registered (and what social media rock star isn’t?). On Grader look for scores at least in the mid-80s.


  1. Pages. A general Facebook profile often tells you very little about what the person can do. Ask about pages they administer, ad campaigns they’ve run.
  2. If they haven’t done that, check into their personal profile. If it’s full of mindless applications giving away hearts and farmville animals, you may be looking at someone who uses it for pure entertainment and wants a cushie job that pays them to play games with their friends. If their profile is more oriented towards conversations that engage their community or social circles, you’re more likely to find success with them.
  3. Ask them how Facebook can be most useful for business purposes. If they tell you that any single thing is more important than Facebook Pages or ads directing traffic to Facebook Pages (as opposed to causes, company profiles, or apps), keep looking. Anyone who’s been around social media for business knows that Facebook pages bring greater return than profiles, causes, and such.


  1. How many blogs does the person maintain? More isn’t always, well, more. Check out their blog(s). It should be:
    • Easy on the eyes
    • Consistently updated
    • Tasteful (if (s)he’s talking about things that would make you blush, looking for someone else)
    • Useful – maybe not to you, but to someone.
    • Interactive: Look for comments on posts, and author replies to the comments.
  2. If you aren’t so sure how to evaluate a blog, check it out at Social Mention. You can see scores for passion, sentiment, reach, and strength, but then you can also scroll down to “postrank” to see how content ranks.

The ‘Big’ Others - The ideal social media candidate will be active in several of these, and the key here is to be ‘active’ – not just sitting on an account. You want to see in their account that they are actually social in their interactions.

  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • MySpace and/or Friendster
  • LinkedIn

The ‘Niche’ Others If your candidate has active accounts on these sites, it’s an indication that (s)he is not afraid of new things, on top of developments in the field, and willing to experiment.

  • Posterous or Tumblr
  • FourSquare or Yelp
  • Google Wave

In all of this, what you’re really looking for is reason to believe that your candidate is openly broadcasting and listening – interacting with others in a way that has personality, is useful, and forms relationships. A social media person has to have a certain personality – be willing to put himself or herself ‘out there’ in proverbial cyberspace, and do it with a tone that resonates with your organization. That’s what it boils down to. All the other stuff- the HTML and CSS coding, the accounts on various platforms – it can be learned.

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