There are many things that characterize startups. In this context, the characteristic that stands out is that startups don’t [usually] have big advertising budgets. So, if a startup can’t afford the luxury of bad-ass adverts, what’s the next best thing to do? Social media marketing.

In the last year, I’ve worked as a social media manager in two startups. I goofed at one, but learned very important lessons along the way. I did well at the other, and the relationships I developed there are still some of the most important in my life right now. I know how important social media can be to a startup’s success.

Social media, when done right, gives startups easy access to several interested parties and potential customers. It allows startups learn a lot about their target customers’ preferences and habits. It also increases brand awareness.

But it’s not easy to find yourself a great social media manager. By great, I mean someone who will blow yours and your target audience’s minds away with every blog post and social media entry. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find one.

So, dear startup founder, for when you want to hire a social media manager, here are some important things to consider.

1. Creativity

Creativity is one of the most important qualities to look for in a social media manager. You need someone who can craft compelling and creative Facebook posts, or tweets, or whatever social media platform you want to use.

A creative social media manager wields the power to grab your audience’s attention and engage them in a unique and enjoyable way. They will be so engaged that they will purchase your products or endear themselves to your brand. That is the ultimate aim of social media marketing.

2. Skills [and the lack of them]

You know that you may never find the complete social media manager who has all the skills you are looking for. So you need to hire someone who knows what they can and cannot do well, and who has most of the skills you need in abundance. You can find someone who is much better at writing than graphic designing or photography. It all depends on the type of content you intend to focus on.

It’s important to hire someone who knows their limits and won’t raise your hopes by telling you they can do something they can’t. This doesn’t mean the person won’t learn or acquire those skills later, it just means they are self aware enough to know their strengths and weaknesses. Because the person who doesn’t know their weaknesses won’t know their limits, and will subsequently make attempts at tasks they are incapable of facing.

3. Work style and experience

How do you want your social media manager to work? Remotely or on site? Also, consider the condition in which they will perform best? I, for example, performed better remotely than I did on site. Working remotely gave me the chance to move around a lot, and I like to move around a lot.

So find out how your prospects work and in what conditions they do their best work. By doing this, you will provide the platform for them to produce great work.

In some cases, you will need to look at the prior experience of your prospects. But this isn’t too important, especially if you are convinced that the person has the abilities you need, to produce the results you desire.

4. Craziness

There’s creativity, and then there’s craziness – the Justin Irabor level of craziness. Which is a very good thing. I mean, if someone can consistently craft copies like these (that fall in line with your objectives and values), you will have a great asset on your hands. Get yourself a crazy (read: mad-ass genius) if possible.

Note: I am not advertising Justin. He’s taken.

5. Understanding of social media behaviour

A great social media manager needs to have deep understanding of social media behaviour.

The way people behave on Twitter is not the same way they behave on Facebook or LinkedIn. While Twitter can be a madhouse sometimes, LinkedIn has a ‘sane’ and professional feel to it. And Facebook is where the family and old friends are.

So, you will need to hire someone who knows how each of these social media platforms works and how best to approach the audience there.

Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa via Compfight cc

David Adeleke Author

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