Should they have 5-plus years experience? Be younger than 25? A bear?
A couple of weeks ago Twitter went bananas with posts and responses to an article written by Cathryn Sloane with the oh-so-inflammatory title: “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.”
Response articles were posted everywhere. My personal favorite suggested a grizzly bear would make a good social media manager.
While I think a bear would be an interesting office mate, though probably one who’s inconsiderate about putting his dishes in the dishwasher, it’s likely not the option most hiring managers would go with.
But there does seem to be an unfortunate equivalent that makes it through the hiring process: some kid wearing skinny jeans and dropping buzz words like they’re hot potatoes. I think we’ve all seen it too often. A social media campaign run wild by someone not picking up on real-life social cues about what type of language to use; lacking strategy; guilty of over posting or under posting; not responding to the audience; and worst of all, neglecting the community.
Whether you’re in a quarter-life crisis, a bear, or a seasoned veteran, the game is changing. SEO is finding its way into social media. When Facebook integrated the Bing search engine into their interface, the social media giant suddenly gave Bing a boost and now it looks like social media managers are going to have to research keywords to get folks headed in their direction.
When hiring a social media manager maybe consider: are they likely to further their current understanding and education of the landscape, or do they need to go, like, watch Gossip Girl? Even more importantly, are they going to infuse social media with SEO or keep the two in separate silos?
I won’t even get into mobile here, because we all know how hard it is for grizzly bears to use iPhones and that they have the fewest number of downloaded apps on their phones compared to hoofed animals.
So whatever age skinny jeans with a side of Gossip Girl, or someone who’s been in the trenches, the most important criteria in hiring a social media manager is to get one who is ready to start learning all over again.