3 essential questions to ask social media candidates (so your hire creates sales)

3 essential questions to ask social media candidates (so your hire creates sales)

  • By Jeff Molander

questions to ask social media candidates

Time to read: 2.5 minutes. Here are THE questions to ask social media candidates. I admit these are strange. But if you need leads and sales ask them. If you’re just looking to get the word out on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs or Pinterest stop reading now. Still here? Awesome. Here are THE questions you should ask—straight from a social media manager who generated a 400% increase in leads in 90 days for call tracking provider, LogMyCalls.

McKay Allen is a one-man social media lead generation powerhouse at LogMyCalls.com. So I asked him: how he would hire someone as good as he is?

How can an employer lower the risk of hiring an unproductive resource? Here’s what he told me, raw and unfiltered.

#1: “What questions do you have of me?”

Boy, this one can really throw social media candidates—or not. They’ll often swing and miss, or hit a home run. Be sure candidates ask YOU questions that reveal how they think.

This shows you 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?’”

Allan 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 bluntly.

Ok, let’s look at more questions to ask social media candidates.

#2: Give me 10 blog titles you would write about us, right now

“This will put them on the spot, but it is a critical question to ask,” says Allen.

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

  • Concepts for articles that are “how to” and problem-sovling 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 titles they could write about NOW. Obviously this presupposes that they’re educated on what the company does. This is also a great question to ask to determine how quick they are on their feet and how creative they are.”

Ok, one more question to ask social media candidates.

#3: How will you track your success as a content marketer?

Again, Allen is point blank:

questions to ask social media candidate

“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, bottom-line-oriented performance metrics. They’ll lean toward using the word engagement a lot in the response.

Be strong. Hang in there.

You’ll probably need to burn through a bunch of candidates before you find a gem or two.

Mitigating risk: Making sure you hire a producer

The word “producer” is an insurance industry term. It’s a great word because it’s what we’re talking about isn’t it!

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? How can you mitigate hiring risk?

Allen says hire someone that can 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.

He says to avoid hiring someone that is too detail-oriented.

“This may sound weird. I’m not suggesting that you hire an underachiever that doesn’t care. However, someone that is a perfectionist will spend way too much time producing one 600 word blog. They need to know that every blog won’t win a Pulitzer prize. Nothing will sink your content strategy faster than a slow content producer. They need to be fast.”

Allen says the 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 on a certain subject and see how they do. You can learn a lot about a person when they are under substantial stress like that. 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!

Photo credit: Tim O’Brien


About Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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