List Of Director Of Social Media Interview Questions In a B2C Market

This is a list of interview questions you can use to interview director of social media. It's not comprehensive, but if you had all these answers, you should have a very good idea of that they do and if they're a fit for your position. If you find this useful, and need to hire - consider reaching out. If you use it, please leave the brand Social Media Headhunter and my name in your social sharing. 

Skillset: 

What kind of social media do you do? What I mean is that everyone thinks they do social. So I need to know if you use it for inbound marketing, customer response, branding and advertising or research? 

Do you utilize social display ads? Do you work with a Facebook/Twitter client partner? Can you call them on your cell if you needed to? Would they answer? 

How much content creation do you do personally? 

How do you feel about deleting comments on Facebook that include curse words? 

Is it worth it to invest in Twitter? Why? What businesses work best? 

Give me an example of a good viral social media plan that isn't Fiberglass pools.

Give me an example of a good national social media plan that isn't mentioned at every single conference? 

Do you speak at conferences? Do you enjoy it? Why? 

Tell me what you did yesterday. 

What kind of software do you work with? Anything you're expert in? Anything you need to function?

How versed are you in mobile? Tell me why. 

What does it mean when I say social and digital should be integrated? What does that actually mean?

 

Management:

Who do you report to? What title would you like to report to?

Do you hire people in your department? How do you know if they're good?

How many people report to you? What's the most number of people you've had report to you? 

Did you have to fight for your budget bit by bit, or did you have it set in stone? 

How do you stop PPC/Digital from stealing your budget mid-year? 

Have you selected vendors before? How do you decide who to work with? 

What is your career path? 

Wow Factor:

IBM says they care more about Klout factor than SAT scores. Defend and then attack that position. 

Who is someone in social media you know that you're impressed with? Why?

How did Digg work? What is today's Digg? 

Talk to me about sponsored posts.

How good are your private profiles? How much, I guess we'll call it Dark Hat work do you do? 

Tell me how blogs impacted SEO in 2008. What's the change today? 

Pitch me shareability like you're talking to the CEO and trying to get $1MM in budget. 


Open Searches And Candidates For Social Media and Digital, September 2015

Dallas: VP Client Relationship for an agency. 

Dallas: Account Manager Digital/Email (agency)

New York: Director, Social Media Display (agency)

Dallas: Director Digital Marketing (SEM, SEO, email, social)

New Jersey: Client has need for National Sales Director in Wine and Spirits Category. 

New Jersey: Also need an operations manager for above. 

If you see me peeking, or calling, this is likely what I'm calling about. 

 

On the candidate side: 

1) A Senior Security Architect (confidential) (Dallas)

2) B2B Sr Manager, Digital Marketing (Dallas)

3) Digital/Social Sr Manager, Retail, Hospitality, Restaurant (Dallas)

4) Sr Digital Marketing Director ready to be a VP (West Coast)

 

And of course about 25 Managers and Directors in Social Media willing to consider options, but not in a hurry to move (West Coast, Midwest, Atlantic, Southeast)


November Headhunting Report For Digital And Social Marketers

OVERVIEW:

Spring is still the big time for digital recruiting. Many company companies bonus in February and March, especially those looking at their holiday sales, which means no one likes to leave with $30,000 on the table. 

Hiring is slightly up for companies who don't depend on 4Q, and movement by candidates in companies where the bonus isn't assured is always a risk.

Below are my notes for October's calls - if they're useful to you, consider sharing it to your network. 

1) Companies are taking too long to hire

Check this article out from Harvard Business Review. It's happening, and getting worse. Basic premise is there's a lot of risk in hiring, and execs/managers/companies are nervous about it. Companies need to improve their process, and recruiters need to address concerns on both sides. There's a lot of wasted time that occurs because "top talent" likes to be courted, but isn't honest about what they want and need.

My rule of thumb is 30 days. You have 30 days from the day the candidate feels like they are a candidate to hire. After that, not only do offers fail, but performance and retention are affected as well. 


And if you're  company that has a critical digital management position open for over six months, Beware! I've seen a number of companies hollowed out when management positions aren't filled.  

2) Salaries about to explode in the social commerce space for the right people.

This is happening in a lot of tight areas, and nothing is tigher than social commerce right now. There are only 50 companies on the Social Media 500 with revenues over $1MM tracked to social media channels. There are 100 companies that want that, and they want it today. I anticipate Sr Manager and Director level positions rising dramatically by June of next year. At the same time, I anticipate much shorter leashes for those jobs. If they boost your salary by $20,000, you may have only a quarter to show results.  

3) Salary matters less then budget and authority

The really competent in this space range from the technical to the analytic to super managers. In the last month, I've heard dozens of times that salary is less important than budget commitment and authority. Salary still matters, but a big bump in pay is less important than infrastructure and marketing department integration. Great social and digital leaders need senior level executive champions who commit to letting them create working campaigns. It's not about a $10MM ad campaign. It can be $100,000, as long as you get the full amount and are allowed to complete the campaign. 

4) Telecommuting is a huge unmet need

Big Brand experience can be important in this space. Apple is not the same as Pete's Apple Emporium. But the number of large firms with a big digital presence can be very limited in a single city that isn't San Francicso or New York or Dallas. There are some very talented people who can't uproot their families, but would travel or take telecommuting jobs with large brands. 

Companies don't like this, of course. They want to see if you make it before they let you work remotely, so there's a tension there that should be interesting. The companies that figure out telecommuting or commit to remote teams are going to be big winners, or...candidates will just have to move for new jobs. Hard to tell where in the cycle we are.  

5) 1 out of 5 of you has what it takes
When I first committed to social media headhunting in 2008, 80% of the people I spoke with had never taken a check for what they claimed they could do. Now, most people get checks, but they're wildly optimistic about their impact on the company.

Well, social is now a preference layer instead of a skillset, so integration with the company is a must. It's fascinating, because social piggybacked on the old fight between Digital and Print (or Creative or Traditional), and now, full integration really is a powerful tool. Combining Direct Mail with Television with Email with Social with Sales is hard to do, but many of you are getting good at it. 1 out of 5 that I talk to understand it and have done it. 


That's good news for companies, who now are told "this person exists," instead of "um, let me look around."

About These Reports


These reports are going to start coming monthly, as a way for me to keep notes and track trends while I'm on the phone.  Expect to see more writing here as I'm now focused 100% on the recruiting side of the house for Brandstorming, and am no longer taking marketing or outsourcing contracts.

Our sweet spot is going to be executive search in  Digital/Social/Web/Content/Email/Analytics in the 100-180K salary range in the US, focusing on the South, Midwest, Mountain West, and Southern California.

 If we're not connected, do so now. Go ahead and call me a friend to connect. You're reading, the blog, right? 

View Jim Durbin's profile on LinkedIn

 If you follow me on Twitter, RT or favorite something I write, and I'll follow back so you can do a confidential DM. I don't live tweet to people who may be looking.


Facebook Is Crazy Useful For Recruiting

Last year, I added Facebook recruiting to my training webinars through Experts-Connection (over 6,000 trained!). The introduction of Facebook Graph Search was exciting, as it allowed you to search through Facebook ti find candidates that weren't on LinkedIn. 

I've done four of those webinars, and each time, the improvements to Graph Search have amazed me. 

If you've attended one of my trainings, you'll know my whole pitch is the power of the human brain. How we think and what we do is very important when it comes to sourcing, as your unique experience creates different search strings than your competitors. 

The steady march of algorithms, from LinkedIn's Galene Update to Google's One Account SERPS to Graph Search itself, alter what you see and try to homogenize your results. It is only your brain that is going to find new candidates that haven't already received a dozen inmails. 

That was Facebook's initial value. It gave you additional candidate pools, and a different starting point then job boards or LinkedIn. And now that has changed. 

The filter system in place in Graph Search, used correctly, give you clean lists that you can start calling immediately. The data isn't fully entered, because candidates on Facebook don't yet see themselves as candidates, but as public awareness of people getting jobs through Facebook continues to grow, expect to see the skills section grow, and the results magnify. 

Facebook is facing a lot of public backlash about privacy issues, and recruitment just isn't as big a market as advertising. If you could pick Google's market cap or Monster's, which would you pick? But it's usefulness is increasing. As LinkedIn pivots to B2B marketing and increases their aggressive selling to recruiters, I fully expect the staffing world to begin focusing on free options. Facebook is currently the biggest free option. 


America's Got Social Media MarketingTalent

In the last two months, I've spoken with hundreds of social media consultants, managers, directors, speakers and strategists. 

That's what happens when you call people for jobs. 

And what I've found is that the level of talent when it comes to marketing and customer service integration has absolutely exploded. I'd say a good 20% of the people I speak to really get how to integrate social into their jobs. Many have other skillsets, including email, PPC, direct mail (I said it). event marketing, nonprofit selling, sales enablement, and even international logistics (how do you think you find trusted contacts in new countries without social media?). 

But, man are we bad at hiring. I can list five senior social media people who could run divisions for large companies who are out looking for work. I have a handful of digital strategists that are open to moving, are less than six figures, and have 8-10 years of experience. 

It seems that companies have done very well training their people to handle social, but when it comes to hiring social, we're failing. 

Part of the problem is everyone is calling themselves social these days. If we could just get more specific with our skills instead of lumping everything into social, I think we could bring down the noise ratio. The other part is the hot girl effect. If someone is really good at what they do, companies are sometimes afraid to approach them. Supposedly, really hot women date less than just attractive women because men are afraid of them (I'd like to note that unlike some of my peers, I didn't post a picture here to drive traffic). 

A third problem is that the higher up the food chain you go, the harder it is to fill a job, and the patchwork economy of today leaves some talented people in the wrong cities (remote doesn't work for everyone). 

I never do this, but here's my pitch - and it's to executives. If you think your social is dull, boring, not working, an expense, or something you plan to get around to, please call me. I can help you identify what you're looking for, and probably have the person you want to hire in my database. And I've probably spoken to them in 2014. 

There are too many talented people looking for their next big win. Not for jobs, but their next big win. If you want a win, please call.  

214-509-7262. Ask for Jim Durbin, the Social Media Headhunter.

If you leave a message, it will be our new company name, Brandstoming



Live Facebook and LinkedIn Training In St Louis And Kansas City April 15-16

 

My first recruiter training event was way back in 2008 in St Louis. The Missouri & Kansas Search and Staffing Association has asked me back to do day long trainings in each city. 

We'll do a morning session on Basic LinkedIn. 

Followed by a morning session on Facebook Recruiting. 

Take a break for lunch, then do an Advanced LinkedIn Session in the afternoon . 

More details at the StlRecruiting blog below. 

St Louis event: April 15th

Kansas City event: April 16th

 

Registration: (you can use paypal or bring a company check)

St Louis Signup

Kansas City Signup


Digital Marketing Headhunter In Austin. Or Headhunting In Austin, To Be Accurate

A number of clients have reached out to me about positions in Austin, TX. 

If you're involved in sales, software marketing, digital marketing, design, UI development, or community management (yes, real social media roles), I want to get on your radar. 

My roles aren't normally posted - too many resumes, so please find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or send me an email if you want to talk. 

Here is an example of how I write certain roles. This is a live position in Austin. 

The Product Marketing Manager  is responsible for developing – and then telling – a story to both internal and external audiences about products that will help drive awareness and demand for them.  He/She will create the marketing strategy and plan, coordinate execution and ensure the sales team has the knowledge and tools to convert leads into opportunities and closed business.  The role resides within the Product Marketing Team, which is a part of the Product Organization. 

The company is a SaaS model that works primarily with large brands to understand the what individual consumers are writing and sharing about products and brands. The model collects over 400 million individual pieces of content and delivers them in actionable items to large corporate entities.

This position is for a new product - a software package that works with a distributed sales channel. Restaurant franchises, insurance agencies, retail shops, and independent sales agents in aggregate create billion dollar companies, but they lack the infrastructure to identify social content like user reviews, product mentions, events, check-ins, and recommendations.

The Product Marketing Manager, which could also be titled as a Senior Manager, a Director, or VP level depending on the company, is responsible for creating the marketing plan to sell to distributors, franchises, and associations that need the information.  This is a strategic role, responsible for selling the story to internal and external audiences.

The position has been open several months and has gone through several interviewees. Most have the senior marketing experience in digital, social, and SaaS.  What they’ve lacked in deep experience in the Small and Mid-Size Business  Market, especially in the distributor/franchise model. 

As you can see, it's not your typical job posting.  

On the other side, let me talk about how I function for the candidate. 

1) I've done much of the same work you have, which means you're talking to me without having to use small words. 

2) I do an in-depth interview, and often drive to Austin both to meet you and then to prep you for the interview.

3) If you're in my process, I'm assigning you homework.  Really. Homework. My submittals are more in-depth than a resume and a salary request. We're going to explain why you fit, what you were like during the interview, if you met your appointments, and most important, why you can do the job.

4) I prep you as much as you can take it. Our purpose is to make sure that my screening is tougher than anything you go to onsite. 

5) I'm honest. If your breath smells, if you're an asshole, if you haven't done real work in ten years, I'll tell you. If you're underpaid, of if you're a rare talent, I'll tell you. Brutal honesty about the company and the candidate is the only way I can make a living, which is what I give and get. I mean that. I've asked candidates why they're such assholes more than once. It didn't bother me - I just wanted to know if I needed to write, candidate is experienced, but needs to be locked in a cage and thrown red meat twice a day on the submittal form. 

If you've read this far - some advice. Please don't call me and ask how my services work. If you have something interesting to say, I'm all ears, but I shouldn't be the first headhunter you've ever spoken with. I haven't placed someone with less than ten years experience in a very long time.  


The Power Of Free In Social Recruiting

I just got off the phone with a friend who was curious about doing some mobile recruiting.  

She had an idea, and wanted to know if I knew who could help her execute it, and how much it would cost.  What's great, is that the cost is basically free *$0-$1000 for a year.

What's hard, is knowing how to do it, and then implementing it.  This is the value of social recruiting.  Most of what I teach or do isn't particularly hard.  I always want to do things that are complex, but technology is making it so simple, that process is often more important than the actual tool.  In this case, the easy route is just pulling out your phone and doing some work. The "expensive" route is paying a consultant thousands of dollars to imagine what needs to be done, and having them implement it and take both your time and theirs.

The middle ground is simply asking your friends, or doing some research into what is new, and finding out that you can achieve your goals for $100 a year.  

Think about that, if it's not too vague.  My friend knew what she wanted, but she didn't have the experience to solve the problem.  Once she was alerted to it, the job will be easy, but it took speaking with someone who had experience to give the the simple answer.  We often hear people sneering about social media consultants (who are we kidding, people sneer at all kinds of consultants), but someone has to do the initial thinking if there is going to be any kind of adoption curve.

And shouldn't there be a reward for that?  

The problem, in my view, is that when a consultant gives us advice that is simple, we're insulted.  We're ashamed that we didnt' think of it, or we wonder why we'd pay for something simple when really what we wanted was something that was magical and complex.  

This is all to vague.  Let me start over.

MicrowaveThis is a microwave.  I have one.  Yesterday, it stuttered and it popped and I smelled smoke.  That's bad.  

So I checked for metal in the microwave and found none.  I pulled the cup out and turned it on, empty.  Same popping.

I looked it up online, and it sounds like the magnetron is broken.

So what do I do?

 

  1. I can try to fix it.
  2. I can call someone to service it
  3. I can buy a new one

All three of these have a cost, both in time, and in money.  If I try to fix it, and it doesn't work, I've lost time, possibly done damage, and am no closer to solving my problem.  If I call someone to service it, I might find out that it costs more to fix (time and labor) then it cost to replace.

But what if I call someone to come fix it, and they fix the problem inside of 10 seconds, but still charge me $79 for coming out.  I bet you I'd be pissed.  What if the problem was a spare piece of metal I didn't see, and when they pull it out, the microwave works fine? What if they unplug the microwave, wait 10 seconds, and replug it?

I'd be angry, because I should have figured it out. But I didn't.  I called someone to solve the problem.  I'd be ashamed I couldn't figure out something I should have known.  I would have preferred, the technician wave some fancy scanner, punch a bunch of button, take the microwave apart and put it back together, because then I would feel I was paying for something I couldn't do. 

Weird.   


Minimum Acceptable Social Assets For Job Interviews

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. 

Senior Executive 

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. 

 


Social Media Is Like A Crowd Of Six Colored Hamsters

HamstersIn a few years, we're going to laugh at the idea of social media being a separate discipline.

Back in 2008, I said there was a struggle between social media as a discipline and social media as a skillset.  Skillset won out bigtime, which is why today we have six specific divisions in companies that demand social media experience as a condition of employment.

And that's there the hamsters come in.  Are you familiar with hamsters?  You ever seen one running on a wheel?  They are getting no where fast, and yet, they don't stop.  They're not getting exercise - it's not like the treadmills at the gym where you watch television without the volume to pretend that sticky bun is burning itself off your thighs - no, hamsters love that wheel.  The wheel is their purpose. 

And that's what social media has become for so many people - a purpose in and of itself.  To believe that, you'd have to pretend that prior to the invention of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an untapped potential lay inside corporations that was just waiting for the right technology to break free.  Is that what happened?

Social Media, despite the tortured attempts to give it definition since 2006, is a breakdown of two works.  Social, meaning friends, and Media, meaning information. Social Media is friends sharing information.  Companies are not your friends.  So in the context of business, social media cannot exist as anything other than a plug-in to existing hamsters functions.

Those six functions are:

  1. Sales
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Recruiting
  4. Customer Service
  5. Public Relations
  6. Customer Experience/Customer Outreach

For each function, social media is best explained as a preference layer existing on top of other functions.

Customer Service:  Call Centers taking phone, email, and now Twitter and Facebook, forum and review sites questions.

Recruiting: Using social media to identify talent (sourcing), reaching out to them through their social media channels (recruiting), and branding through social channels (recruitment marketing).

In each function, social media overlays traditional metrics, replaces other kinds of spending, and magnifies existing spend. Some examples:

 

Call Center:

Cost per call resolution:  $10-$16.
Cost per Tweet with email resolution: $6-8

                    Cost Savings 20-50%

Photo Session: $200,000

Magazine layout: 1,000,000 readers and shares over three months (theorized tracking)

Expanded presence: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, website, slideshare, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube

        400,000 views and shares (actual tracking)

                                            Magnification: 40%

Back to the Hamsters:

Social_Media_HamsterSocial Media today is not a discipline. It's a code word for modern, hip, and fundable.  What we're trying to do is take a hamster, dip it into Easter Ink, and pass it off as something new and exciting.  

The crazy part is that the colored hamsters are exciting!  The world has changed. It is moving faster. But that's not the result of social media. Social media is actually our way of coping with a world that moves faster (if you're going to blame something, blame hi-speed internet and mobile data plans).

Maybe this was necessary. Maybe without the creation 0f the social media monster, traditional companies wouldn't have had the courage to make major changes.  Certainly the social media disasters of the mid part of the decade led companies like Dell and Comcast to take big steps forward.  That's all above my paygrade, but I can tell you this:

If you want to be successful in selling, getting hired, or training, demystify social media.

Hiring managers want to know how social media will affect their spheres of influence.  Many have been tricked into thinking social media is something new they don't understand.  Learn to talk about it as a group of colored hamsters rather than the Holy Grail.