What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

28 Oct

Marketing is probably one of the most vital aspects to any organization and a huge portion of that time is usually spent in the social media realm. Where else can you reach hundreds of people in a limited amount of time with virtually no material costs? Many non-profits are choosing to hire a Social Media Manager to juggle these new technology tools, and that’s not a bad idea.

I found a good article on LinkedIn that discusses the qualities needed in an effective Social Media Manager. It was taken from Fundraising Success Magazine and the article opens up with an extremely valid observation: “Despite all the buzz about social media, the reality is that your social media campaigns are only as good as the human being(s) behind them. Going ‘viral’ on social media sites is extremely rare, and instantaneous success is a myth. Being an effective social media manager is both an art and a skill. Some personalities are more inclined to be successful at managing and inspiring online communities, but the vast majority of practitioners will need months, if not years, to learn to produce social media success through a process of trial and error.”

Once you determine the goals and proper expectations of this position, look for a person who has a passion for both social media and your cause. They have to have a heart and mind for both to be dedicated and inspired by either.

Next, “Effective social media managers enjoy engaging with and responding to comments on social media sites. They relish discussing ideas and issues online, and they do it with patience and kindness. They are attentive to their communities on an almost daily basis. They express gratitude for support, and they acknowledge questions and concerns. They have the unique ability to defuse troublesome (and sometimes obnoxious and rude) personalities with kind, but firm commentary. It’s a real skill to navigate and guide the online commons and know how and when to react.”

Your new social media manager also needs to be creative in designing campaigns that stand out, has experience in online communications (skills that are honed and not just used casually for personal use), learns quickly, thinks like a journalist and is mobile to write about your topic at any time or place.

So how do you find someone with all of these qualities and is willing to be paid at a non-profit wage? Advertise using social media and word of mouth and the right person with a passion for your cause is sure to come along (it just may take a little time.)

Pick the right social media marketing manager who will provide the most value to your social fundraising endeavors online, and you will experience a higher level of fundraising success and growth as an organization.

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2 Responses to “What to Look for in a Social Media Manager”

  1. Genesis Nov 16 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  2. Samantha Feb 21 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I think another important quality of a successful social media manager is a willingness to take risks and make mistakes (within reason, of course!). Experimentation and getting it wrong is sometimes the best way to move forward, even if the failure is public. Fortunately, the social media space is pretty forgiving of minor faux pas.

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