Social Skills – Four Traits to Look for in a Social Media Specialist

Social Skills – Four Traits to Look for in a Social Media Specialist

Every company has something to gain by having a strong social media presence, but experts in this field can be a little tricky to find. How can hiring managers vet a social media specialist and what kinds of traits should they look for? It’s a vexing question for business leaders and HR departments because brand recognition and online engagement may not be areas they fully grasp. And it’s always tough to hire a candidate without a thorough understanding of skills needed for the role.

We did some digging and reached out to a few social media professionals to learn more about what characteristics matter most in a person tasked with cultivating their company’s online image. Broadly speaking, there are four key qualities that hiring professionals should be seeking in this kind of candidate.


1. Quality Presence of Their Own

Almost every one of the social media professionals we spoke with said the first thing they’d check would be the candidate’s own social presence across multiple accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). This includes their personal accounts as well as any professional accounts they may have managed in the past. The hiring manager should evaluate the quality and relevance of the content, the level of engagement with the audience, and the consistency of the brand message.

“Spend some time browsing through their accounts to see if your candidate has their own following. That’s going to show you more than anything they’re capable of keeping up with the needs of your company and industry,” said James Miller, a social and email marketing professional based in Crown Point.

Also be sure to take note of a candidate’s ability to respond to comments and feedback on social media. This includes evaluating the candidate’s communication skills, responsiveness, and ability to handle difficult situations with diplomacy and professionalism. Those abilities will be valuable for just about any company.


2. Finger on the Pulse

To be the most effective in their role, social media specialists need to have an awareness of how their company markets itself to their customers. Knowledge of their industry’s latest market trends will be incredibly valuable for creating effective and impactful social media strategies.

By staying up to date on the latest industry trends, the specialist can create content that is relevant and engaging for their target audience. They will also be able to identify opportunities to capitalize and stay ahead of their competitors, in turn building credibility and brand awareness for their companies.

Beyond that, social specialists need to be aware of trends and changes that occur across various social platforms themselves. New features are implemented all the time, and an understanding of these changes can help drive engagement.


3. Analytical Eyes

These days, social media is really a critical component of a company’s marketing. Thus, data and analytics are essential for determining ROI and other possible opportunities that could work well for promoting a brand.

For hiring managers conducting interviews, it’s important to ask questions about an applicant’s strengths in analyzing social performance. They should be able to track and interpret metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, website traffic, and more. By analyzing this data, the specialist should be able to make informed decisions on how to improve social media strategy and maximize the impact of their efforts.

On the technical side of social media applications, specialists should be able to use social management tools, schedule posts, and understand the latest software developments. Additionally, they should be able to troubleshoot technical issues that may arise and work to resolve any problems.


4. Creative Thinking

High-quality social content is all about timing and creativity. The goal should always be to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the audience. Good candidates in this regard should be able to think creatively and come up with unique ideas that will keep their company’s brand message alive. This may include using visually appealing graphics, engaging videos, and interactive content that will keep the audience coming back for more.

Secondly, creative social media professionals will always have an ear for tone. Cultural perspectives are constantly evolving. For example, a brand message that worked in the 1980s might be absolutely cringe-inducing today, and that can really tarnish a company’s image. Skilled social experts will never let this happen to their company. They will always strive to maintain a positive and relevant tone in their social campaigns.


The Right Stuff

By taking these four primary factors into account, hiring managers can make informed decisions about whether a candidate is the right fit for a social media management role. With the right kind of specialist guiding online content, companies can build a strong social presence and connect with their target audience in new and much more meaningful ways. This will be a great start for building well-established brand recognition and, ultimately, greater profitability.

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