Selecting the best person or company to handle your brand’s social media, and therefore your brand’s online reputation, is a daunting task. The role of your community manager should not be taken lightly, nor should it be viewed as an entry-level position. This person will be speaking with your clients, fostering relationships, driving engagement and ultimately impacting your sales.
Even if you don’t use social media, these 10 questions will help you discover the social media company best fit to support you in your marketing initiatives.
1. What social media channels are best for my business?
This is a trick question. Before a company can advise you on what channels you should be using, they need to understand the nuances of your company, your strategic goals, your marketing and digital marketing objectives, as well as your clients/customers and what channels they are using.
Keep in mind: social media marketing is not about Facebook. It is about developing relationships, and sharing your brand story in a way that best supports your brand’s marketing objectives.
2. What metrics will you use to monitor my social media activity?
Whatever the platform, there should be specific measurements in place, which relate to the goals outlined in your marketing strategy. Community size and engagement are two key metrics, consistent across most platforms. Content drives social engagement; if people are not engaging, then you are missing the mark on content.
3. What is the appropriate mix between original and curated content?
Curated content has its place and makes sense when it provides content that is of interest to your community – but it doesn’t tell your story. Nor does it direct your community to your website or blog. Ask what ratio the community manager would be using and how they plan to curate content on your behalf.
4. How do you manage the creation of original content?
Most companies or individuals use some sort of editorial calendar to map out original content. Ask how this would be shared, and how often. Who will do all of the writing? Are they outsourcing the writing? (Yes, this happens). What are the requirements for input into the calendar? Also check to see if there is an approval process for posts, tweets, and/or blogs.
5. What kind of budget do you suggest for social media advertising and campaigns?
Many of the channels allow for advertising and promotions of posts to grow audience and awareness. Ask how much they would recommend spending per month, their expectations of the campaigns, and how this supports your marketing goals.
6. Have you ever had to manage a crisis on social media?
Ask the community manager to define what social media crisis means to them, and to what outcome would they manage a crisis on your behalf. Request a specific example from past experiences. How was the crisis escalated? When was the client notified?
Also, ask about their policy on handling negative comments and if they should be deleted. Again, this is a trick question. Negative comments should rarely be deleted; instead, the community manger should be responding within the same social channel. These comments present an opportunity to learn of issues with your product or service, and a chance to make it right.
7. Will the channels be monitored 24/7? Who will watch the channels if the community manager is sick or away?
Social doesn’t just happen between 9am and 5pm. If your customer is inquiring about a new service or when your store opens, someone needs to be there to answer his or her questions.
8. What is a community manager’s most important role?
The answer you are looking for would be listening to your community and monitoring your channels. A good community manager provides insight into your community, based upon what they are seeing online.
9. Are you on social media? And do you blog?
Do they follow their own suggestions of posting regularly? Do they blog about social media? Does the tone and voice of the blog fit with what they are suggesting for your business?
10. What tools do you use for scheduling and managing social media?
If they are not using scheduling tools to manage and monitor it would be impossible for them to manage your account in an organized and methodical manner.