With over 4.74 billion people using social media, it’s undeniable that social media marketing deserves businesses’ time. It’s a long and challenging process with ample pitfalls along the way. Tapping into new audiences takes a strategic approach, and crafting ideal customer journeys takes time and effort.
Whether you’re now exploring social media marketing and building a content strategy from scratch or thinking of improving existing social media campaigns, hiring a social media manager may thus come as a natural solution.
But, how can you know what your applicants can bring to the table? Everyone will present themselves in the best possible light during an interview – so the burden falls on you to ask the right questions early during the hiring process.
With this in mind, here we’ve gathered some critical social media manager interview questions you can consider for your following interview. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
#1 General and Brand-specific Questions
Initially, start with the basics. Before your applicants’ social media experience, questions on which should soon follow. You may ask general questions to get the interview on the right path.
What are a social media manager’s responsibilities?
The simplest of questions for any aspiring social media manager, your applicants should be able to describe their job accurately. If they cannot, you’re likely better off moving to the next candidate.Which analytical lenses do they use, and how do they phrase their conclusions? Click To Tweet
Of course, how exactly you phrase this question depends on you and what you seek to learn about your applicants. You may ask for a simple job brief or have them analyse different aspects of the social media manager role as Forbes does:
- Job brief; what they expect to be doing once hired
- Objectives; what objectives a social media manager would likely take up
- Responsibilities; which responsibilities do they expect to take up
- Skills and qualifications; what a social media manager’s CV should likely include
Any questions of this nature should help reveal their understanding and qualifications, from which point you may follow up and continue the interview.
How would you describe our brand?
A great way to continue would be to ask them to describe your brand, your brand voice, your positioning, or other aspects relevant to the position. It may feel tricky to pose such a question, but this is one of the most valuable social media manager interview questions to bring up early.Whether you're now exploring social media marketing and building a content strategy from scratch or thinking of improving existing social media campaigns, hiring a social media manager may thus come as a natural solution. Click To Tweet
Like how you should follow competitors on social media, applicants should review their potential employers’ recent social media activities. If they haven’t, you may judge that they are underprepared for the interview – which, for many, can be an early red flag.
How would you review our social media campaigns?
Following the above, or instead of it, you may also ask them to review your social media campaigns. Such a question does help reveal preparedness and due diligence, much like a general brand description, but it’s also open-ended in that it gives the floor to your candidate.
Depending on the type of employees you prefer, how they review your campaigns can highlight their expertise and character best. Which analytical lenses do they use, and how do they phrase their conclusions? Do they suggest improvements to your social media strategy, and if so, which ones? Are their outsider perspectives on your social channels accurate?Do they suggest improvements to your social media strategy, and if so, which ones? Click To Tweet
#2 Questions on Previous Experience with Social Media Management
Once preliminary questions are in order, inquiring about your candidates’ prior experience on various social media channels is understandably vital. You will determine your experience thresholds, but here your questions should seek to dig into it.
What social media platforms have you worked on before?
A fundamental initial question, this one should outline your candidates’ expertise with different social media platforms. It should also help you determine, early on, if your goals and social networks of choice match your candidates’ experience. If they can provide examples of social media accounts or social media profiles they have managed before, then all the better.
From this simple question, you can follow up with platform-specific or campaign-specific ones, depending on your candidates’ answers. Possible SEO experience and a firm grasp of its relation to social media marketing would also be valuable to explore here, as it will inform social media posts and blogs. These follow-ups work well if they’ve been dishonest or exaggerated so far.
What was your last position?
This one is among the most common social media manager interview questions, and rightly so. As a question starter, it can dig into any relevant specifics you may be interested in, like:
- Their last company and position; their previous role and its responsibilities, reasons for departure, experiences gained, and more.
- Relevant experiences; their position-related experiences with any social platform and how they relate to their expected duties with you.
- Tools and assets; any special tools or assets their last position entailed, and similar ones they may have experience with and can be helpful to social media managers.
Of course, this question doesn’t have a “right” answer, like their last position being a social media manager or social media specialist. Instead, responses will be as “right” as they can match your own needs and expectations from applicants.
Could you outline your most and least successful campaigns?
An appropriate follow-up social media interview question from the above, this one also helps outline your applicants’ hands-on experiences. Many aspects of the campaigns they choose to bring forward will matter, from whether they involved content marketing, SEO, or PPC advertising, to what their goals and challenges were.What are a social media manager's responsibilities? The simplest of questions for any aspiring social media manager, your applicants should be able to describe their job accurately. Click To Tweet
At the same time, such questions are an excellent means of introspection. How your applicants frame an underperforming or successful campaign will say a lot, not just about their experiences but also their character and professional outlook.
#3 Questions on Social Media Content and Social Media Marketing Strategy
With initial questions in order, you may continue to drill down into your applicants’ hands-on experience. Unlike introductory social media manager interview questions, these can better serve as follow-ups as you approach job-relevant specifics.
What types of content would you suggest for our brand?
This type of question can serve as a follow-up to questions on your brand voice and social media campaigns. Like them, they must understand your brand, its target audience, and its needs. But unlike them, this one asks them to prove their expertise with your preferred social media network.
Applicants must lean into your needs and social media presence rather than common knowledge for such questions. For instance, suggesting video content is safe and typically applicable; 91% of businesses use video marketing. But why would it be a good fit for your brand, and how would it affect your social media budget?
Have you, or do you, work with influencers and brand ambassadors?
On popular marketing methods, 68% of marketers’ companies work with social media influencers. It’s a demonstrably effective tool and one which you may consider yourself. If so, experience with such strategies would be highly relevant.
If they have little experience, you may follow up with questions on similar fields of interest. Unless, of course, this is a deal breaker for you as a hiring manager.
How do you stay up to date with social media trends and developments?
Finally, you may want to ask about your applicants’ professional habits for a similar experience-adjacent question. Social media marketing is rapidly evolving, and staying informed is essential for any social media manager.
Such social media manager interview questions are also open-ended since they leave room for follow-ups. Once your applicants describe which publications, outlets, marketer and expert profiles, or other information sources they follow and keep up with, you may segue into such strategies as social listening. If they mention one of interest during the interview process, then all the better.You may ask for a simple job brief or have them analyse different aspects of the social media manager role. Click To Tweet
#4 Questions on Managing Challenging Situations
You may focus on workplace adversities for a final exploration into your applicants’ character, conduct, and experiences if you’re particularly concerned about a specific challenging situation, like one your brand faces often, this would be a great time to bring it up.
Can you describe a particularly challenging situation you’ve faced before?
Building on previous questions, this one can highlight which situations your applicants consider challenging. That can reveal valuable information and show a potential mismatch, giving applicants the floor.
What situation they faced is somewhat secondary, all in all. It will be more beneficial to note their soft skills and how they handled them. Do they understand what caused it? Did they take it calmly, gracefully, and bloodlessly? What experience did this offer them, and have they put that experience to use since?
How do you deal with negative feedback from colleagues or social media followers?
Along similar lines, these types of social media manager interview questions are invaluable to pose at this stage. How your social media manager handles workplace tension and criticism is vital; it will affect team cohesion and performance. How they approach a potential social media crisis and dissatisfied audiences or customers is also critical; simply responding to complaints increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%, while ignoring them reflects your brand poorly and harms its online presence.
For such questions, your applicants’ answers are, of course, important. What’re equal parts helpful is whether they understand the question’s significance.
In which ways do you handle burnout?
Finally, especially if you expect your social media managers to work under pressure, asking them how they handle burnout can be highly useful. Their responses will help gauge their professional outlook, how self-sufficient they are, and how responsible they are about burnout. After all, working through burnout at the detriment of one’s performance is rarely helpful.
#5 Questions on Teamwork and Analytics
And lastly, once you learn all you need to know about your candidates, you may proceed to collaboration and data. That is, how good a fit they can be for your teams and workflows and how they handle data insights.
What do you know about social media analytics?
Starting with the latter, you may ask for their expertise in social media analytics. Building upon past platform knowledge and experiences, you may delve into specific practices like audience segmentation. Do they fully grasp the relevant analytics, KPIs, and techniques you’ll need them to? Do they know to avoid vanity metrics? What other social media skills along these lines have they acquired?How should you follow competitors on social media? Click To Tweet
Granted, such social media manager interview questions are best left as follow-ups. You may pose this question as a standalone, but in this phase, it can help explore their affinity for teamwork.
How do you translate actionable data into recommendations?
Similarly, such a question can delve deeper into their expertise with analytics. More importantly, it can explore how they construct the foundation of their recommendations and how they communicate them to your teams.
For such questions, they should be prepared to answer follow-ups like dealing with poor recommendation receptions. Ideally, if their data foundations are robust, they should always be able to pinpoint which metrics and KPIs they can fall back on to insist on their recommendations’ merits.
How do you prefer to communicate and collaborate with teams?
And finally, on teamwork, such questions are about as direct as possible. Your candidates’ experience and skills aside, they must be a good fit for your social media team.
For this question, explore any specifics you deem fit. Which communication platforms do they prefer, tend to use, or are familiar with? How often are they available, and do they have emergency backup channels? Does their social media management tool of choice help facilitate communication?
Alongside such specifics, you may follow up with questions about past miscommunications. For such questions, you may probe your candidates for more introspection. How did they handle these incidents, and what did they learn? Do these incidents give any extra hints on your applicants’ working style and cultural fit for your teams?How would you review our social media campaigns? Click To Tweet
In closing, there’s an array of practical social media manager interview questions to keep at hand for your applicants. From their expertise and character to past positions, experiences, challenges, and mishaps, a thorough interview can help you pick the best person for the job and your business.
Of course, the 15 examples we outlined above are only foundations. Nobody knows your business better than you, after all – of your exact needs from your social media manager. Within these groups and following specific ones of interest, you can press on specifics that you deem valuable to you.
About the Author: Dylan Moore is a freelance copywriter and SEO enthusiast interested in the relocation industry. He frequently contributes to moverstech.com, where he discusses the industry’s unique needs and challenges and the emerging digital solutions to address them.
Disclaimer: The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of Mauco Enterprises.
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