Questions for social media grads

The increasing demand for strategic social media campaigns and management has employers looking for the freshest batch of graduates to join their forces. The National Center for Education Statistics projects 1,791,000 students will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in the class of 2013. Recent grads are polishing their resumes and striving to secure coveted interviews for open social media positions. They’re not the only ones who should be preparing for the onslaught of entry-level interviews.

Here are a few essential questions every employer should ask before hiring a recent grad to join their social media squad.

What recent social media release or article has sparked your attention?

Textbooks arm students with a sound understanding of the inverted pyramid and advertising ethics, but college education and book smarts can only get a new social media professional so far. Since the social world is constantly evolving, strategists must possess a persistent desire for consuming new knowledge. A good answer should effortlessly roll off the tip of their tongue. After all, late-breaking social media news is being tweeted practically every minute!

How do you measure social return on investment?

Chances are, anyone who says social ROI is vague and cannot be precisely determined has never been an administrator of a Facebook page, much less managed a brand’s presence across several social channels. Furthermore, those who respond that the number of “likes” on a Facebook post indicates ROI don’t have the slightest understanding of social strategy either.

Social platforms are, in fact, abundant with rich metrics. The best candidates will suggest orienting reporting metrics around brand goals and objectives. For example: The number of redemptions and cost per sale of a coupon code shared on Twitter.

Is social media a marketing, customer service, advertising or public relations tool?

The correct answer is “all of the above.” Segmented and narrow views of social media mean this candidate doesn’t truly understand the depth of social media. The best brands involve all components of their organization within social strategy.

The 2013 graduate pool has grown up immersed in social channels and is the prime demographic many brands are striving to reach. Don’t assume these two bits of criteria make them qualified to lead a social brand strategy. It’s up to inquisitive employers to comb through candidates to find the cream of the crop.

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