Social media form an important part of brand building, PR, and often even marketing strategy of both small and big businesses. Statistics can’t be wrong: When someone tries to find more information about a business (be it a restaurant, media agency, pet hotel, car dealer, or any other company), they will check Facebook page first, and just then the corporate website. At least most of them will.
The reasons are obvious: on social media, and Facebook and Google My Business especially, prospects can see reviews of existing customers, quickly find the directions to the premises of the company, opening hours, and, if they want to, contact someone from the company with a simple click of a button.
Job of of Social Media Manager virtually didn’t exist ten years ago. Now you will find many vacancies on each major job board. That’s the best demonstration of an impact social networks have on business. But what will happen in an interview for this position? What questions will they ask you, and how can you make the best possible impression, and get the job? We will try to find the answers in this article.
Good research is essential for your success
To learn something about your prospective employer can help in every single interview. When you try to get a job of a social media manager, however, good research is absolutely crucial.
Try to learn as much as you can about their social media strategy:
- What channels do they use, and for how long (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube etc).
- Their strategy on each channel (how often do they post, what kind of content, what kind of corporate image they try to build on each profile).
- Engagement on each social media profile they run (number of likes, comments, shares, repins, etc).
- Growth of each channel over time (how many followers they had a year ago, month ago, today).
- Any viral campaigns they ran in last three years.
Once you do your research, you should be able to tell what you will do as their new social media manager. What is more, you should identify some areas for improvement (some opportunities), and you can talk about them in your interview.
Unless you do a proper research, you won’t succeed. Now let’s have a look at the questions they will ask you.
Why do you want to work as a social media manager?
Ensure the interviewers that you understand the importance social media play in their business. And since you have a good understanding of their brand, their business goals, and also of their audiences, you believe to have an ability to manage their social media profiles.
Tell them that you have excellent copy writing skills. You can create different types of content that induces engagement (videos, short posts, long posts, infographics, etc). What’s more, your excellent communication and problem solving skills will allow you to respond to the customers (and prospects) in a most appropriate way.
You will simply do well in this job, and that’s why you apply.
Many companies look for new social media managers. Why did you choose us?
You have several options for a good answer. First one is identifying the opportunity. Maybe they under-perform with their social media campaigns. You believe to be able to take them to the next level. Or they do not run certain profiles at all, which is motivating for your creative soul. You can’t wait to improve things for them, to help them earn more money.
Another option is praising the company for something that attracted you to their offer. Maybe they have an excellent reputation, great atmosphere in the workplace, fantastic training program for new hires, anything. Pick something you like about them, and ensure them that they are your first choice.
Please tell us more about your experience with managing social media profiles
If possible, try to prepare a simple portfolio for your interview. You should be able to identify three to five instances when you achieved something with any social media channel. Now, this doesn’t necessarily have to relate to work.
If you amassed ten thousand subscribers on your personal YouTube channel, it definitely proves your capacities with the platform.
Remember that with social media, numbers matter more than designs. Perhaps you achieved great engagement, started a campaign that went viral, or just dealt with some negative comments/reviews in a great way, saving the reputation of your former employer.
All these things will convince the hiring managers of your ability to run their social media profiles. And your portfolio will help a lot with this task…
Special Tip: Download all questions in a one page long PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
If we hire you for this job, what will be the first thing you’ll do?
You will benefit a lot from your research here. If they are doing great, you can simply identify their strategy, and say that you plan to continue building their brand, and interact with the customers in the same way they’ve always interacted with them.
If they are not doing great, however, and you identified some areas for improvement while doing your research, you can point to these things and say that you’ll address them first.
Another scenario you can face is when they do not run any social media profiles. If that’s the case, the first thing you’ll do is talking to management, trying to understand the goals they want to achieve with the help of social media. Then you will devise the entire social media strategy, and start working according to your plan (opening new profiles, branding them, and so on and so forth).
In your opinion, how can we generate leads with the help of our social profiles?
Once again, the right answer depends on the individual situation, and you won’t know the right answer without researching about the company.
Remember though that as a social media manager, you can help a lot with indirect lead generation. For example, if you build a strong brand on social medial channels, prospects are more likely to trust your company and make a purchase.
The same applies to reacting to their comments and questions. If you react promptly, if you tailor each message (and do not reply like a chat-bot or a robot), you help people to build loyalty to your brand, and to think about it positively.
These things will easily translate into sales, sometimes in a week time, and sometimes in a year time. It won’t be always possible to identify your impact. Nevertheless, it will be there, and you can talk about these things in your interview.
Do you have experience with any analytics for social media?
Measuring the impact of your campaigns is absolutely crucial for your long term success. Ensure the hiring managers that you are aware of the power of data, and plan to analyze your efforts on social media everyday.
To some well-known analytics tools belong BuzzSumo, Keyhole, Awario, or Sprout Social. If you are skilled with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics (tracking events, goals, etc), you can track the most important numbers only with free tools from Google.
You will have to justify your spending for social media campaigns. It would be impossible to do without using analytics tools and determining ROI of each campaign (at least approximately).
Other questions you may face in your interview for Social Media Manager job
- Describe your most successful and least successful social media campaign.
- What is your knowledge of SEO, and how does it apply to your work with social media?
- If you should pick only one social media platform for our business, which one would you pick, and why?
- What do you think about contests and product giveaways? Do they play some role in your social media strategy?
- What are your expectations on marketing managers, and people from the sales department?
- Define our typical customer. How would you use social media profiles to motivate them to make the desired action?
- What goals would you set for yourself in this job?
- How do you imagine a typical day in work?
- Why should we hire you, and not one of many other people who apply for this job with us?
Conclusion and next steps
Interviews for jobs in social media management belong do difficult job interviews. You will typically compete with many other job seekers (this is a popular job field), and you will have to demonstrate your creativity, understanding for the goals of your prospective employer and for their social media strategy.
You may face some tough question, while interviewers try to learn more about your attitude to work, and your experience with successful campaigns.
Good research is pivotal for your success, and an excellent portfolio (which will help you to demonstrate your knowledge and experience) can make a difference between you and the second best job candidate.
Do not underestimate your preparation. You can’t afford to do that in this case. Prepare for the questions, and continue your preparation with us:
- Body language in an interview – learn how to “say” the right things without uttering a single word.
- Behavioral interview questions – some tough questions you may get in each big corporation, when applying for any managerial job.
- Public Relations interview questions – You will find countless job openings in the field, ranging from PR Managers to Spokespersons and Social Media Managers, and we will have a look at some questions you may face in each of these interviews.