associations look into the wisdom of hiring their own social media expert, it’s
important to know what skillsets you really need.
media marketing account executive.
Senior product manager, social media.
Director, digital engagement.
Director, social marketing. Manager, social media.
As many of
us have quickly learned, to build and maintain relationships with your members
on the various social media platforms, at some point in the near future, it’s
likely you—if you haven’t already—will need to bring a social media specialist
on to your team.
are just a few things you may want to consider when you’re hiring:
1. Grammar. Ultimately, social media is about communication.
And, while social media content tends to be delivered in quick, short bursts
via Twitter, for example, the language you use is still essential. Make sure
the person you hire has the capacity to write well. Some advice: In the
position advertisement, include "Must be familiar with AP Style.” And, before you offer someone the job, give him or her
an editing test. Good writing will always reflect well on your association. It
will be as important in your blog as it is in your mailed publications.
2. Experience. Nowadays, many people are extremely active via
social media in their personal lives. When it comes to hiring the person who
will represent your organization, however, you will need someone who is not
only familiar with how to Tweet and how to create a status update on Facebook,
but with other types of platforms as well. The social media environment is
expanding at a rapid pace, and your hire will need to keep up. Is the candidate
familiar with how to edit video and post to YouTube? Could he or she use
Pinterest to promote your products? Could he or she recommend which blogging
platform is best for your website? Make sure the hire is familiar with the
social media trends and which forms would be best to have in your association’s
3. Marketing. Social media is designed to build relationships.
These connections should always be based, however loosely, on what your
association has to offer. The messages you post should be used to promote your
programs or benefits. Your social media person will need to know how to spin these
postings so that they best sell your association and all it has to offer. What’s
more, you’ll need to consider an integrated marketing approach—how do your
social media efforts support your non-social media products? How will you
promote your magazine’s content via Twitter, or Facebook, for example? All of
your efforts should support each other and drive home your association’s goals,
and a solid integrated marketing plan will help you to do just that.
4. Research. Whether you’re at the beginning of your social media
adventure or you’re already knee-deep in it, at some point, your leaders will
start asking about ROI. Measuring the success of your social media efforts can
be difficult, to say the least. Your social media person must be able to establish
metrics and report them on a regular basis and in a manner that your leaders,
many of whom may not use social media themselves, can understand, and find
if you are instituting your social media programs with caution, it’s likely
that you ultimately will find that the position is much more than a part-time
gig. You will need someone who is always planning, creating content, building
relationships with current members, and strategizing how to bring new members
into the fold. In your hiring, if it’s within your budget, consider looking to
employ someone full-time to manage your social media efforts. It will be money
well spent, especially if the efforts result in increased membership.
social media hire must work closely with your communications and marketing
staff. People who specialize in social media have a lot of new, creative
thinking to bring to the table. Current communications staff, including those
who have little involvement in social media, will have a lot to offer your new
hire via their guidance on language, goals, and policies. Together, both
old-school and contemporary media, and the staff who manage them, can work
together to create a successful and integrated social media approach.
all you need to do is run the ad.
McNamara is director, communications, for the Academy
of General Dentistry and a member of the Association Media & Publishing
Content Creation Committee.