How can I interview this person?
April 3, 2011 5:53 PM   Subscribe

I have been charged with recruiting a social media advisor for the organisation -and I'm not quite sure how I can evaluate the person's knowledge.

I work for a corporatised / government agency that delivers a service to the public. Our reputation with the public- our users is poor, but there is a new management structure and a willingness to do better. What should one look out for in recruiting a Social Media Advisor. What are some questions one could ask? How can I evaluate their answers when I am not an expert in social media. How can I detect BS?

We want to start using Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Also, there is a deal of skepticism within the organisation that a Social Media Strategy is worth pursuing, and I myself feel that the public will also greet this with skepticism. Our service delivery was truly terrible.
posted by the noob to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like an organization that absolutely needs a social media strategy.

I'm going to suggest this book: SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate.

Full disclosure: I've developed a friendship with the author through social media.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:02 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, you're going to want to ask for quantifiable achievements that the person has made. So not "I made a Facebook/Twitter account!" but "I ran the company's Facebook presence and moved our likes from x amount to y amount." Things like that.

Also, I would spend some time (if you can) getting familiar with other government social media strategies and if you can, info on actual impact they have or have not made. For instance stories like this, would be the kind of thing to look for (and then hopefully hear about from people you interview). Then ask interviewees for their ideas and see if they mesh with existing positive strategies.

P.S. I think I know what agency you're talking about, because I saw a similar job posting last week, and if it's what I'm thinking.....good luck with that!
posted by grapesaresour at 7:09 PM on April 3, 2011

I would start by looking at their own personal social media profile or that of their company. Google them before you even set up an interview. If they don't have a presence under their own name, or don't clearly provide you with examples of their presence, don't bother.

During the interview, ask how they report metrics - they should be using words like "engagement" and "reach" instead of just spouting off numbers of followers. You want legitimate followers, not spambots.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:09 PM on April 3, 2011

To go off of what grapesaresour said, do you know of any other government departments with great social media strategies? Why not call them up and ask what you should be looking for?
posted by entropyiswinning at 8:18 PM on April 3, 2011

You have to be very genuine in social media, or else people will see right through you and it will become a negative asset. Ask them questions to see if the 'spin doctor' it, or they are genuine and imperfect in their answers.
posted by Vaike at 8:28 PM on April 3, 2011

As this progresses you might want to run it by your lawyers or similar. The gov aspect may hinder you from certain applications of social media, we are presently having trouble working out the guidelines in terms of what counts as "official contact with an authority" etc
posted by Iteki at 10:11 PM on April 3, 2011

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