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Who should manage your social media efforts?

Let's say you're a business. Any size - from a small retail shop to a large corporation. You're intrigued byBlog social media and its possibilities, and you're ready to dedicate a staff member to these efforts. Now the question is: What staff member should have these responsibilities? What qualities should you look for when hiring for the position?

Conventional wisdom would say that this person might need some sort of Web design, information technology or marketing background. While those skill sets certainly don't hurt, they don't need to be requirements.

An effective social media manager should have the following traits:
  • Curiosity - He/she will be curious about new mediums and new technology. You won't need to tell them to check out the newest social network - they'll already be signed up, playing around with it and determining whether or not it has any relevance to your business.
  • Immersed - This person will not only have Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts, they'll be activate participants. If they aren't familiar with these tools, they're probably not a good fit for you.
  • Personable - By engaging with customers in social mediums, he/she will immediately be thrown into a customer support role. This person must be able to pleasantly and patiently interface with your business audience on a daily basis.
  • Willing to teach others - A social media manager will constantly be educating their co-workers and superiors on the latest technology. 
  • Ability to write - So much of digital communication takes the form of the written word. Despite it's inherent immediacy, any social media effort is an extension of your company's brand and should reflect professionalism. A firm grasp of spelling and proper sentence structure is a must!
Another great resource that I frequently refer back to is Jason Falls' April 2008 blog post about what he was looking for in a social media co-pilot at his employer, Doe-Anderson.

If you've recently hired - or identified - someone to champion social media within your organization, I'd love to hear your thoughts below on what traits you looked for.


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Wow, you just described me. Do you know of any openings? :-)

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