You might have come to this post from a Facebook or LinkedIn newsfeed, maybe a tweet that caught your eye. This is the accomplishment of social media marketing and the fact that you’re reading this is another drop in the bucket of evidence proving how invaluable it is. Social Media Marketers make upwards of $40,0001 working to ensure that worthy content like this gets read, shared, talked about, and ultimately converted into business. Due to the high-demand for content marketing and the fierce competition companies enter in order to grab a portion of the social media spotlight, nearly 90% of marketers use social media marketing for their business.2 The rising demand for this career is not slowing down either. In fact, The New York Times reported3 a whopping $1.3 trillion that social media careers are expected to add to the economy in the near future!
If you want to pursue a career in social media marketing but don’t feel confident enough yet, there are excellent online social media marketing courses from trusted providers like Lynda.com you can take in order to build the skill first. If you’re getting into this rapidly growing career already or hunting for a job as you’re reading this, these social media marketing interview questions, answers, and terms will be the perfect resource for you to prepare for and nail your eventual social media marketing job interview! Remember that most of these questions are open ended. Use our answers as guidelines but don’t repeat them word for word. We’ll start you off with the need-to-know technical stuff where there are right and wrong answers. After that, you’ll get to practice strutting your unique opinions and insight into the world of social media marketing!
How do you use social media as a tool for customer service?
Social media is a great tool for customer service since you can converse with customers directly, use analytics to see how they’re responding to content, and find influencers to chat with and bring over to your network. Some of these influencers might even be customers. Most social media employers stress the power conversation so have examples of how you’ve reached out to customers. Social media is also a good indicator of overall company vitality and analytics.
How do you measure social return on investment (ROI)?
Use tools like the Conversion Measurement tool on Facebook and Optimized CPM. Your website will also often have analytics used to measure social media ROI. Lastly, some of the platforms themselves such as LinkedIn have their own analytics. The fundamental measures are the same as in other areas of marketing: clicks, likes, shares, purchases, change in attitude, etc.
What are the benefits of platforms such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc?
You might go on a while if you list all the benefits of these platforms. They will probably only ask you about one or two but it’s best to be prepared for several. Let’s start with Hootsuite since it is the most likely to come up.
TweetDeck is basically the same but only for Twitter.
SproutSocial is another one that creates an inbox-style way of managing all messages and engagement at once.
There are dozens of these platforms so there is a chance that you won’t be able to research all of them. If they ask you about one you’re not familiar with, simply admit you don’t know it while stating that you are willing to learn and should be able to do so thanks to your experience with other platforms.
What are the benefits of a LinkedIn group vs. LinkedIn page?
Groups tend to have a better reach and are therefore a more worthy place for sharing content. They also offer an excellent space for engaging with customers and other businesses, stresing keywords, and increasing interest in your company. A LinkedIn Page is where people go when they are already interested in the company. Thus, it should be informative above all else. Pages also function as a feed for putting out content and have at least a bit of SEO value.
How could you leverage YouTube in order to promote our brand and increase engagement?
People love to see original video content that is fun and sharable. It shouldn’t be so obviously promotional from the start. People should want to share it simply because it is amazing! This video content ultimately connects to all the other social media platforms you are working with and benefits strategy and marketing as a whole. It might even go viral. Dollar Shave Club is a great example of video content that went viral thanks to excellent social media marketing!
What social media campaigns have you produced and/or managed? Tell me about them.
Social media employers often stress conversation, storytelling, and engagement. Give examples of how you have conversed with clients and consumers, created interesting stories, and increased measures of engagement such as clicks, likes, reach, etc. Any campaign you mention should have these three elements at the very least. Be sure to save dashboards and results from your campaigns so you can show them off later!
Which social media platforms are you best at using and why?
When you answer this question, spend the most time talking about the platform you’re most skilled with and explain why this is the case. However, you should mention all the major platforms and details their strengths. Talk about how Twitter is best for conversations, Facebook is great for advertising, LinkedIn is best for recruiting and sharing career-related articles, and how Google+ is an underrated tool that is actually valuable for creating a social media community.
How much SEO knowledge and experience do you have?
SEO is a desireable skill for social media marketers and marketers in general since companies always want their content to rank as high as possible on a Google search. Explain how social media helps make this happen by boosting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs…you should know what these are!), making content more share-worthy and perhaps even viral, stressing keywords, and by simply increasing the amount of content attached to a brand. Talk about how you always factor SEO into any social media strategy and detail exactly how you did it in the past.
What is a limitation you have experienced on a social media platform? How did you overcome this?
You could just answer this by saying that you used a different platform to cover the shortcomings of the other. This isn’t a bad answer. In fact, it can be part of a good answer. However, you should definitely know how to overcome or at least deal with limitations on social media platforms. For example, Facebook has severe limitations when it comes to organic (non-paid) reach. One way to overcome this without paying on Facebook is to use email marketing and subscription-based methods to gently guide people to the page with links and suggestions (a strategy recommended by Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith).4 If you have your own awesome anecdote already, that’s even better!
What are your favorite social media blogs?
This is another question where there is no right answer. Be prepared to explain why you picked your sites though. If you don’t follow any blogs, try browsing a few so you’ll at least be prepared for this question.
How active are you on social media and how many people are you connected with?
You don’t need to have as many followers as Justin Bieber or be like Gary Vaynerchuck to impress your employers. However, your following or at least your activity on social media channels should reflect your passion for it and act as a sample of your overall communication skills.
Which social media experts and/or influencers do you follow?
You should be fine on this one as long as you have something to say. Employees are not likely to judge your decisions. Look at our article on 5 Social Media Experts You Should be Following if you’re drawing a blank and want suggestions! You can also check out another article that gives Facebook-specific advice.
What kinds of skills/qualities do you think you need to possess to be a community manager?
A great community manager should be proficient in most of the social media platforms and social media management tools we’ve mentioned so far. He/she should have unrivaled communications skills and be likeable and organized. Employers also value a background in analytics even if those analytics were not directly related to social media.
How would you handle a social media crisis? Yet again we have to highlight the US Airways social media crisis5 as an example of what can go wrong and how NOT to respond.
Make sure to respond promptly. The longer you take, the bigger the blunder looks to the consumer. Make sure any apology you give is honest and sincere. Otherwise, followers were rip it apart even more. Respond on all channels as well even if the incident only occurred on one.
Are there any up-and-coming social media platforms we should watch out for?
This one is up to you. However, people tend to talk about Pinterest. It isn’t nearly as big as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but it is prominent and on the rise. You may have already noticed the “Pin It” share button appear on articles or seen the Pinterest icon on YouTube videos (it’s right next to the Tumblr icon.) Vine is another one that has exploded lately. If your interviewer says these are too mainstream/not up-and-coming enough, try bringing up more budding platforms like Impossible, and We Heart It.
What are some of the best practices on Twitter?
Always use hashtags and mentions! Doing this will mean more people see your tweets and retweet. Some of these people might have big followings or clout that will benefit your company. Twitter is a great tool for conversing with customers so make sure to reply to their tweets as much as you can. Use hashtags to connect the conversation with other conversations in related topics.
What is your opinion on Google+? How should it be used in social media strategy?
Don’t dismiss Google+ even if it isn’t your favorite part of social media strategy. Even if the people interviewing you don’t perceive it as being valuable compared to Facebook and Twitter, they don’t want to work with someone who wouldn’t be open to integrating it into an overall strategy. Explain how Google+ is a great resource for community building since it is a heavily curated and moderated community. Having a thriving community means people are talking more about your company and sharing more content. It also increases SEO which you already know is a supplementary part of social media marketing.
Which social media brand strategy has inspired you lately and why?
Talk about why the strategy inspired you but, more importantly, also detail how you would love to create an original strategy of the same caliber. Explain how you would do this and implement it in the context of the job you’re interviewing for.
What are our competitors doing on social media?
It’s ok to praise the competitors here if they are genuinely doing something good. Don’t go overboard and make it seem like you’d rather work for these competitors but don’t be afraid to be honest if you think they have a strategy that the company you’re interviewing for could learn from. Always be sure to explain why what they are doing is working (or not working). Mention specific social media campaigns if you can.
Nailing an interview for a social media marketing position is incredibly important since you are giving your employer a preview of the same communication skills that will ultiamtely transfer over to your work. It’s also more crucial than in other industries since it is difficult to construct and display a portfolio for a social media interview. You may have done lots of social media campaigns before but it is unlikely that the employer will ask you to send screenshots of them. Unlike interviewing for something like Ruby or AutoCAD, you can’t just show your employer apps or models you have built. This is why you have to communicate all these things in the interview. If you can do that, you’ll be ready to join a rapidly expanding industry and grab that $40,000+ salary!Footnotes
- Social Media Marketer Salaries. Glassdoor[↩]
- Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Social Media Examiner[↩]
- McKinsey Says Social Media Could Add $1.3 Trillion to the Economy. Bits, The New York Times[↩]
- Inexpensive marketing strategy. Mari Smith’s post on Facebook[↩]
- US Airways Explains How It Tweeted That Infamous Nude Photo. The Huffington Post[↩]