3 Essential Questions to Ask Social Media Candidates for Hire

I admit these questions are strange. But if you need leads these are THE questions to ask social media candidates. Because social media is a sales tool that will filter leads, you need to hire people or agencies who define success as sales, not just engagement. So, without further ado, here are three “must ask” questions to aim at would-be social marking managers or agency reps—straight from a guy who generated a 400 percent increase in leads in 90 days for call tracking provider, LogMyCalls.

I admit these questions are strange. But if you need leads these are THE questions to ask social media candidates. Because social media is a sales tool that will filter leads, you need to hire people or agencies who define success as sales, not just engagement.

So, without further ado, here are three “must ask” questions to aim at would-be social marking managers or agency reps—straight from a guy who generated a 400 percent increase in leads in 90 days for call tracking provider, LogMyCalls.

  1. What questions do you have of ME?
  2. Give me 10 blog post titles you would write about us, right now, please.
  3. How will you track your success as a social/content marketer?

McKay Allen of LogMyCalls.com is a one-man social media lead generation powerhouse. So I asked him: How can folks hire someone as good as he is? How can an employer lower the risk of hiring an unproductive resource?

Here are more details on the questions he shared with me, raw and unfiltered.

No. 1: What Questions Do You Have of ME?
This one can really throw social media candidates. They’ll either swing and miss, or hit a home run. Point being, good candidates will ask you questions that reveal how they think. Bad ones won’t.

Asking questions of you also shows how they would act if you employed them.

“I want them to ask me questions about our lead generation strategy, and how our blog fits into our lead generation strategy,” says Allen.

“When we hire new content marketing people here at LogMyCalls, I want to hear these types of questions … they should ask, ‘How many leads does LogMyCalls generate each week from the blog? How many leads do you want to generate each week from the blog?'”

Allen says these kinds of questions demonstrate how a candidate, “truly views a blog as more than a place to write stuff. It is a tool to generate leads.”

He’s brutally honest about the importance of questions coming at you from candidates.

“As an employer, I wouldn’t consider hiring someone that didn’t have any questions for me,” Allen says.

No. 2: Give Me 10 Blog Post Titles, Please
“This will put them on the spot, but it is a critical question to ask,” says Allen.

Indeed. If your candidates have experience in writing blog post titles that sell they’ll be able to provide you with:

  • Concepts for articles that are “how to” and problem solving oriented (focused on your customers’ pain and/or goals)
  • Titles that exploit proven copywriting rules by getting prospects to take action

Allen says the social media candidate, “should be able to, very quickly, come up with 10 blog post titles they could write about NOW. Obviously this presupposes that they’re educated on what the company does.”

No. 3: How Will You Track Your Success as a Content Marketer?
Again, Allen is point blank: “The answer should not be based on traffic or YouTube views. Their answer must revolve around leads and phone calls. If they are generating more form fill-outs, phone calls, and revenue for your company, they will be successful. If they’re only interested in Facebook ‘Likes’ for example, it just won’t work.”

Be warned: Many candidates are reluctant to use such measurable, bottomline-oriented performance metrics. They’ll often overuse the word “engagement” when responding.

Be strong. Hang in there. You’ll probably need to burn through a bunch of candidates before you find a gem or two.

Have Candidates Show You the Goods
A good social media manager or content marketing pro will produce leads and sales. Period. So how can you to hire someone that will, with some certainty, work out?

Allen says hire someone who will clearly demonstrate an ability to write articles, videos and other content that produced leads.

  • Get writing samples and look for calls-to-action within them.
  • Verify they produced leads as best you can with prior employers or clients.

“You also want to make sure that this person is okay writing and engaging with people online all day every day,” says Allen who recommends exploring former journalists or copywriters.

McKay Allen is a social media lead generation rockstar worth following. He says biggest way to lessen a hiring risk is to have applicants produce content for you in a short period of time during the interview.

“For example, give them 20 minutes to write a blog post on a certain subject and see how they do … see if they can write quickly, accurately, and cleanly in a very short period of time. This will stress them out, but it will tell you what you need to know.”

Do you have questions to ask social media candidates that work for you? Let me know in comments!

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

2 thoughts on “3 Essential Questions to Ask Social Media Candidates for Hire”

  1. Yes and no. Especially on the idea of having the candidate write a blog post on the spot. I feel a better test would be to check out their existing content, either from their previous job or their own personal blog. Anyone (or almost anyone) can write a great one-off post, but the real test is can they do that consistently. And if you’re able to judge that based on content already online, all the more to you!

  2. You said, "if we had questions", and mentioned the same word in your post multiple times. So, my question is, "I’m as probably as technically astute as a provider of production ready print or web graphics as anyone I know within 50 miles of where I stand". "Should I even mention social media services"? I use them, understand them, have always been a "solution provider" and understand the analytical aspects, but, am I doing my clients any favor by offering "honesty" in my limitations, but, offering what I know to be correct approaches.

    I’m a digital prepress and color managment print professional but I understand the advantages of a well planned and successful ROI social media event. I coordinated a "treasure hunt" at a trade show that required scanned badges from certain booths but offerd som nice swag bags for those who participated.

    I study, understand and use Augmented Reality tech, and the advantages of having not only a great trigger, but, a great UE when the app launches and the AR kicks in. Am I doing any disservice by doing all I can and admitting when it’s time to pass the ball, or, unless it’s my mission in life to use targeted marketing to produce leads and sales, I need to stick to my Apple and Adobe skills and print or web production, and leave the rest alone?

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