Picking the Person

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Six traits of successful social media managers

By Ann Chen

Let’s face it: You’re not going to hand over your community bank’s online reputation to just anyone. It’s important to evaluate a potential social media manager. That person needs to be a good fit for this sensitive responsibility in several ways.

Here are six traits to look for when choosing someone to serve as your community bank’s social media manager.

Interviewing Tips

  • Ask the candidate applying for your community bank’s social media manager position to draft a social media campaign that incorporates all of your bank’s social channels.
  • Give a scenario of a customer complaint, then ask how the candidate would handle it.
  • Ask the person to provide evergreen content ideas for sustaining your bank’s social channels.
  • Ask the candidate what metrics or statistics they would use and why, to help build your bank’s social presence.

1. Gut Check. Call it a judgment call or plain discernment, but a good social media manager should be able to know when to ask for a second opinion. A second opinion could involve something as simple as checking with a compliance officer about a possible post that would mention a product or sending a quick email before responding to a customer complaint. Sometimes this requires having certain banking knowledge, but, generally speaking, you want someone handling your social accounts to know when to ask before acting.

2. Analytics Junkie. How do you know whether your community bank’s social media efforts are effective? It takes someone who looks at details and pays attention to statistics and trends. There are tools and metrics that can definitely show you what is working and what isn’t, but a social media manager who can break down the data and wade through it to foresee worthwhile campaigns for the future is worth his or her weight in gold.

3. The Voice. No, I’m not referring to the show that turns chairs. Your social media manager must be able to personalize the voice of your community bank in a way that accurately reflects the branding identity and persona you want to convey on social media. And he or she should be able to communicate that personality and tone across different channels, with and without hashtags, and in fewer than 140 characters. Talk about a very effective communicator!

4. Daily Multitasker with the Big Picture. As a social media manager, it’s easy to get bogged down in the daily ins and outs of postings and scanning for content. You need someone who can constantly feed the individual crops while also overseeing the entire farm.
Some good questions to ask and keep in mind are these: What is your community bank’s social media presence going to look like in one year? Five years? And beyond?

5. Social Cheerleader. Not everyone in your community bank is as in tune with social media as your social media manager will be. That is why it’s important for him or her to advocate inside your community bank for all things social media related. The human element is very important in social media, and knowing how to use photos of your employees will make your bank’s social visuals more effective.

ICBA Resources
Connect with us: www.icba.org/socialmedia
Social media articles: www.independentbanker.org/social-media-matters

6. Creative Maven. This goes without saying, but outside-the-box thinking and risk taking for new campaigns are sometimes the way to hit the social media jackpot. Your social media manager should be willing to try some new ideas and not get stuck in the rut of doing things the same old way.


Ann Chen (ann.chen@icba.org) is ICBA’s director, social media engagement. Follow her on Twitter @AnnJ_Chen.

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