Before you read this post I would encourage reviewing the starting point of this series. If you have already read it you still may want to review again as I added a little more background and the comments for the first post are great.
Alright, assuming you went back and read the first post….. Well, hang on, if you’re anything like me you didn’t go back and read it, did you? Alright, assuming you did not follow my advice, some quick thoughts…
Yes, I am going immediately from goal setting to hiring this first employee. If you haven’t read the first post, you’re probably saying something like “John, you are a technology executive, you should know we need a well-defined ROI, heck, you really didn’t even define a strategy…” You’re right, of course. However, you own your overall business strategy, not me. If you want to pay me to come in we can refine your social business design/strategy as needed, that first check you sent me still has not even cleared. :-)
Now, ROI…. Yes, I always argue for the need to define ROI as well…. Truth is, year one you must ignore the ROI. Keep your investment to an affordable level but do not expect measurable ROI in year 1, it will come in year 2. Come see me at the end of 2010 as we define your plan for 2011, we’ll be discussing ROI then. Alright, now that we’re caught up…
Before we begin… Some stats…
- According to a recent report on Pew Internet “the median age of a Twitter user is 31, which has remained stable over the past year. The median age for MySpace is now 26, down from 27 in May 2008, and the median age for LinkedIn is now 39, down from 40. Facebook, however, is graying a bit: the median age for this social network site is now 33, up from 26 in May 2008.”
- According to a recent study by Business.com of 1900 social media professionals:
- 65% have less than 2 years of experience working with social media.
- The companies represented by these professionals are just as new to the ballgame with 71% having less than 2 years of experience with Social Media.
- In 66% of these companies the marketing department leads the social media efforts.
- In 23% of these companies the customer service department leads the social media efforts.
- While I was unable to find a perfect match for this position on Salary.com, I selected the Market Research Analyst on Salary.com, for the Boston area, to try and give you an idea of the salary range this position might require.
- The junior position (less than 2 years experience) of Market Research Analyst 1, at the 75th percentile, calls for an average of approximately $63,000 per year.
- The next level (2 to 4 years of experience) is Market Research Analyst 2. Again, at the 75th percentile, Salary.com calls for an average of approximately $73,000 per year.
Great stats, now what?
I feel that, ultimately, you will need to form a joint department with marketing and customer service jointly leading the charge on your social media efforts. You need your efforts to be customer-centric and these two groups understand that need best. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on experience, skills, etc.., you should be looking for in this candidate.
- Experience levels
- This person must understand your company, your culture. If you have someone in your customer service or marketing team that meets the majority of the other the other requirements, shift them into this new role.
- If you do not have the right person in-house, remember that I will not be around all the time. You are paying me a l, I will help, but you should look for someone with 3 – 4 years of experience. This will put you ahead of most companies and get you off on the right foot.
- Writing, speaking, grunting, and other modes of communication
- During the interview ask the candidate to define how your company is helping it’s customers. Can they talk the talk?
- During the interview ask the candidate how their own personal brand can benefit your company? Are they walking the walk?
- Give them a homework exercise to send you an email, roughly 500 words, that could be used as a blog post to introduce your company and it’s value to existing customers. When you get this, share it with people in customer service and marketing… How good is it?
- Social networking experience
- They must have existing accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Anyone who is not participating on these networks is living in the 1990s and does not understand the importance of social networking.
- What other social networks do they use? I would also give them bonus points for any other social networks they are on as long as they can explain the personal or business value of that social network.
- The candidate should be familiar with the key social networks they will be utilizing in this job. The following numbers are not absolutes. However, as you review the numbers make sure you ask them about what makes each of these social communities stand out. Who do they most interact with? For Twitter, how did they attract their followers? How have these communities benefited them, personally or professionally?
- The candidate should have at least 1000 twitter followers.
- The candidate should have at least 100 Facebook friends.
- Ideally the person has a blog, demonstrating an understanding, at least at some level, of how to express their voice.
- Ask them about their favorite blogs, they need to live this stuff.
- From my community
- Roy Atkinson, a member of my Twitter community, noted: ”Must be conversant with contemporary measures and metrics and with transforming data to information to knowledge.”
- Eric Andersen, another member of my Twitter community, noted the need for “someone who is both tech savvy and biz savvy IMHO…a special breed :-).”
- Candidate Questions
- The candidate has hopefully done their homework and is asking you great questions about your business, your marketplace.
- The candidate should ask you about why you’re investing in social media. I hope…
- The candidate should mention me by name, just saying.
The above are just a few examples, you need to determine fit within the company and we all know interviews are not perfect. Don’t screw it up, though, I will be watching.