Category Archives: Hiring

Five Skills Social Media Managers Must Have

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Kavitha Mhatre, HR Head, Trivone Digital

Five years ago, their role did not even exist. Yet, today, theirs is a highly sought-after skillset – a role that is changing as we speak. We are talking about your Community Managers, Social Media Experts and Digital Personnel. They are whom we turn to for managing social media for our brands and your clients’ brands.

social media expert

While hiring, a tab is kept on the essentials – online experience, responsiveness, ability to multitask. But in today’s dynamic market, this niche skillset requires you to look beyond the basics. Here are some value-add skills and attributes to look for in a social media resource:

Passion and enthusiasm
A social media manager must be able to excite the audience with your brand. To do that, you need an enthusiastic social media team. One that is passionate and understands the value of creating engaging conversations and empowering the consumer with a voice.

Staying one step ahead 
The only permanent thing about Social Media is change. Your social media team deals with it by staying ahead of the curve – reading social media blogs, signing up for feeds, making Twitter their new BFF, curating their own content, joining LinkedIn groups. This helps them to understand what kind of tools and apps are available out there, what is trending and how it can be used to better your campaigns.

Relationship building 
Today every business needs to build relationships.  Your social media ambassadors need to identify with the audience and their influencers. One way to go about doing that is by finding an emotional connect with people. Not by spamming them or begging for follows.  Or saying what they think people want to hear. But by actually building and fostering online relationships with them using conversations to gain insights into their needs. 

Focus on analysis  
This one is really simple. Is your current social media strategy working out for your business?  What is the best strategy for your business?  A good social media manager should be able to answer that with sound data and metrics – audience demographics, customer preferences and behavior, what drove the maximum engagement, which campaign produced the prime buzz, and the impact of it all on the growth of your account. He or she should then be able to convert the derived data into robust business plans and outcomes.

Taking risks
Your audience wants something new all the time! It could be a campaign that strikes an emotional chord or a well thought out strategy. It’s just not about the tried and tested anymore. You need a fearless social media manager who is not afraid to innovate and try something new.  

The key to social media communication is to keep it likable; keep it consistent; keep it engaging.  If you have figured how to innovate by infusing these elements in your campaigns, then you are pretty much on track. The digital track that is!

 

Leadership Notes: Finding the Best Person for the Job?

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by Raj Narayan, Chief Content Officer, Trivone Digital Services

A few weeks back, I had blogged about how the ‘suck-up syndrome’ hampered senior managers from creating functional teams. Some friends who had the misfortune of reading the post quizzed me on how one could overcome this syndrome? My answer: “If I knew that, I’d be the Master of the Universe”.

I am not trying to be facetious here. The fact is most of us find it difficult to deal with our discomfiture with other individuals. The moment our we encounter a diversity of thought, the mind transmits a warning signal… “Watch out! This person might spell trouble for you in the future.”

Sally Krawcheck, former CEO of Smith Barney and CFO of Citibank and currently with 85Broads.com has an interesting perspective… “I look for people who make me somewhat uncomfortable. I look for people who are different from me, who hold different views, have different areas of expertise. I look for people from whom I learn in the interview.” Hiring such people makes the workplace “less comfortable” for the team, but that is exactly the point, she says.

This is easier said than done. One of my standard questions to prospective hires would be “Tell me everything you know about our company and share any experience you’ve had with us.” On one such instance, the interviewee looked me straight in the eye and said, “You guys need to grow beyond reportage and add context to the news you are covering. As a reader, I expect to find answers to ‘why’ more than to what, who or when.”

As head of the division, I had to really steel myself before this barrage of criticism, that too coming from a person seeking employment. The discomfiture referred to by Sally was palpable. My immediate reaction was to ask him why he wanted to join a company that didn’t measure up to his standards. “Well, I know what needs to be done to bring about the change,” he said serenely and 24 hours later he was on our team.

So, how does one find the best person for the job? Sally believes that one must actually look to build the best team together and this could be quite different from finding the best person for the job. She likens this to hiring all point guards – a playmaker position in basketball. If we were to replace basketball with cricket, it might be akin to hiring all-rounders in the hope that one or the other will rise to the occasion.

Expanding from the earlier example, what would happen if I continued to hire people who find flaws in our way of doing things? Obviously, I would end up hiring another ‘harbinger of change’ and the outcome would be complete lack of clarity on editorial positioning and quality metrics.

So, for every playmaker in the team, there should also be shooters and defenders. In cricketing parlance, to win a test match, the batsmen need to score enough runs and the bowlers need to scalp 20 wickets.

Each one plays for the other using the unique skills that he brings to the ground. That is probably the essence of good teamwork and the difference between success and failure. 

This post first appeared on CXOtoday.com on 25 Sep, 2013.

Category: Hiring, Leadership