Who vets social media jobs?

Snake Oil

A recent Forbes article suggests that social media is the hottest job in the journalism industry this year.  This trend is something that I’ve seen popping up a lot – a Google job search for “Social Media Jobs” comes up with 10 different sites in the top 10 advertising SM jobs. Mashable, number nine for the keyword search, boasts nearly 40 jobs for the industry.

New jobs are always a good thing and I hope that all of the companies looking for folks get someone good for these positions. My main question is who is vetting the candidates?

Social media is new water to many companies. They are looking for someone to bring them into the space because they read that it’s important, their competition is doing it, or it is something that they do not know too much about – or a combination of those factors.  Companies that don’t know enough about the space are at risk of being taken for a ride by a candidate that is just as clueless in the space as the company is.

While there are a ton of great people who could fill the positions, there are an equal number of snake oil salesmen out there. So how can a recruiter or hiring manager tell the difference? Here are some tips to consider.

If social media is a skill set on a candidate’s resume look for the following things

Twitter handle

  • If it’s not there ask what accounts he has managed and ask for links
  • If it is, look at the content. Is it original and relevant or does it simply rehash Mashable and luminaries like Chris Brogan?

Personal blog

  • What does the candidate blog about?
  • Is he chiming in with original content, or just repurposing high-profile blog posts?

ROI boost

  • Ask how he has tracked ROI and how he plans on making it work for your business
  • If he says it’s subjective, pry for more as that is an easy cop out. You can always track SM, just determine the metrics.

Tracking

  • What is the candidate’s idea of finding the conversations?
  • Is it a Google search or is it more?
  • If it is a monitoring service ask him if he has used it before.

While these are a few options available, it pays to do your homework. Look at what the candidates are saying before they come in to make an opinion before the interview process. You want someone in this position that can help you company grow – not just their ego. If you are in doubt about someone – ask an outside person that you hold trust in who is active in the space, as they can help spot the poop shovelers.

Image – stochastic geometry


4 comments
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jeffespo
jeffespo

Ari -
Thanks for the comment. I would agree that it is not necessary for all companies. There are many to where the audience would be too limited - taxidermists come to mind.

My bigger gripe is not with embracing or ignoring social media, its more folks looking to hire someone that gets taken for a ride. Got pitched two positions that had nothing to do with my past experience but more you know SM can you come work for our company positioning bio-tech.

Overall your question is a good one to ponder.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

You wrote:

"Social media is new water to many companies. They are looking for someone to bring them into the space because they read that it’s important, their competition is doing it, or it is something that they do not know too much about – or a combination of those factors. Companies that don’t know enough about the space are at risk of being taken for a ride by a candidate that is just as clueless in the space as the company is."

I argue that the company needs to be equally open to the idea that social media is not necessary.

jeffespo
jeffespo

Thanks for the comment Lafate, appreciate you swinging by. While I will not question you in some of the strategy implementation you talked about. However, the post was more along the lines of weeding a snake oil salesman or woman out in the interview process.

Lafate Smith
Lafate Smith

When measuring the effectiveness of a social media strategy social media managers might consider approaching their measurement techniques from a short-term and long-term approach. When you first enter into the social media marketing realm, your primary goal is to pick the right platforms or sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc), publish great content, increase your audience or following while simultaneously attempting to start conversations with your new found friends. How well you do these things as you implement your social media strategy and plan should be your first measuring rod called “Measuring Social Media Implementation and Effectiveness”. Free Twitter applications like Tweetstat, Klout, and Tweet Counter (just to name a few) can assist with measuring your Twitter effectiveness and both YouTube and Facebook have their own analytic tools to help with tracking effectiveness on their
sites.

Once you have good content, have successfully built a strong following and tweaked your strategy, then you can start to get creative and launch some social media campaigns that will actually generate revenue that can be directly tied to your social media efforts making it easy to measure Return on Investment (ROI).

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