In our last Industry Experts blog, we heard from Simon Ensor, Managing Director and SEO expert with London, England-based Yellowball (weareyellowball.com) an award-winning creative consultancy that works with diverse clients including some in hospitality. Ensor shared strategies for how to streamline your social media efforts by using dashboards like Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) and Sprout Social (sproutsocial.com).
Ensor is back again, this time to provide guidance for travel professionals who are considering hiring a social media manager.
“One of the key attributes of a good social media manager – other than creative ideas – is organization,” says Ensor. “Social media is incredibly effective at wasting time, so your social manager needs to be very focused.”
If you’ve ever spent any amount of time on social media, you’ll know exactly what Ensor means. Real-time conversations on Twitter are easy to join but sometimes hard to leave, and the visual smorgasbord that is Instagram is often impossible to resist.
But above all else, a social media manager needs to be an expert in all things Facebook and Pinterest and Google+ and more – right? Well, not exactly.
Ensor gives five good reasons why hiring a social media manager who has an interest and knowledge of the travel industry is far more valuable. 1. If your social media manager is interested in your industry, they’ll stay motivated. 2. They’ll be more efficient researchers because they know what to look for and where to find it. 3. They have the desire and know-how to stay on top of latest industry news. 4. Since they have likely been interacting within the travel industry they understand the brand tones and 5. Knowing the brand knows, in turn, means they know how best to appeal to your target market.
Being a good question-asker and conversationalist are valuable skills because social media is all about attracting and engaging an audience, and the more engaging your social media manager, the better positioned you will be.
Finally, there’s the trust factor. Your social media manager is your company’s online face. It must look good and sound professional at all times.
Thinking of hiring a social media manager? Here are some sample interview questions courtesy of Simon Ensor, weareyellowball.com.
1. What social media platforms do you use personally and for what purposes?
(Be sure to research this yourself. This will help you determine how active they are on social, their interests and if they are being honest.)
2. What has been your most successful social media project and why so you think it worked so well? Could you have done anything better? If so, what?
(This will give you an idea of their level of experience and how willing they are to offer up a self critique in the interview.)
3. Rate how relevant Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (and others) would be to my business, and why.
(Their answers will tell you how much they understand the travel industry).
4. Brainstorm ideas for a sample travel package.
(This demonstrates their ability to think creatively and quickly and sheds light on how they would likely interact with current and potential clients.)