Way back in the early days of social media hiring (2006-2008), having a blog with 1000 visitors or a twitter feed with a few thousand followers was all you needed to get company attention. Companies looking to hire a social media expert had little to go on, and views, visitors,a nd followers were the metric they needed to feel confidence.
Because we were early adopters, we got press. Television, site links, speaking opportunities, and more site links led to a power law distribution where the rich got richer and the poor quit blogging. And then we discovered how foolish we were. Social media in the public sphere was growing faster than anything in the business world, and the need to communicate with real audiences with money outpaced our ability to self-promote.
Blogs were overtaken by Twitter, which was overtaken by Facebook, then by a dozen other sites including YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Fame was still important, but companies had matured to figure out that fame didn't equal money. Fame became the minimum acceptable level to get an interview, instead of the golden key to unlock the riches of a social media job.
I'll stop the teasing. Here are what I perceive as the minimum to get hired. A few caveats before we get started. B2C is different than B2B. National is different than international. And multiple accounts lends a weight that single accounts do not (So Facebook +LinkedIn +Instagram beats a single Twitter account, unless the Twitter account is huge).
Social Media Strategist/Specialist/Consultant
A combination of at least three of the following
- LinkedIn: 500+
- Facebook: 300+
- Twitter: 1000+
- Pinterest: 100 images
- YouTube: 30 videos, 100+subscribers
- Blog: 6 months of archives, updated within two weeks of interviews.
Important: Cross links to all of your social channels to give the impression of depth
Marketer with responsibilities that include social media.
Multiple accounts, updated weekly. Can substitute the company social media properties if you're the sole author.
Non-marketing job with social media responsibilities
A single platform that is actively updated with regular content about the business/industry/company.
Entry-level social media:
Either a Facebook account with 200 friends or a Twitter account with 500.
Youtube/Pinterest/Tumblr: Something with a lot of content and action. Number of followers/comments doesn't matter as long as you show you are prolific and not immature.
Director and above (below the C-suite)
Useful To Have:
Blog with intelligent content, updated in the last month.
LinkedIn account, if it is complete, needs 500+ contacts.
Facebook/Twitter: Useful for being sourced by media and recruiters, but it's more important to understand what the accounts do for the business.
They don't care about your personal accounts unless there's something bad in there.
These are of course minimums across industries, and your mileage may vary, but this is a good baseline for understanding if someone has even a basic level of understanding of social media. Note also that these are primarily personal accounts - which although they don't necessarily correlate to business performance, do speak to your willingness to be involved in learning (which requires doing).
And a final note. In the inteview, the more you champion your knowledge, the higher those numbers go. It's not a particularly good interviewing question, as results matter more than numbers (and are easily gamed), but if you're talking about how good you are, just know the interviewer will have a har time distinguishing between your personal social media stats and your professional ones.