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What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

social media manager

Ten years ago clubs were not even thinking about hiring someone to strictly handle social media. Now if your club does not have someone doing this, you are missing out on a huge piece of your digital footprint. So if you don’t have a social media manager on staff, hire one.

Many people are intimidated by social media, and the fact that it changes daily. You need someone on staff who keeps their finger on the pulse of what is happening with social media and who can effectively use social media to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your club.

So what do you look for in a social media manager? You may be surprised to find that the right person is already working in your club, but in a different role. Try to look at internal candidates first. They know your club already, they know your brand and your members. You need someone who truly understands the fitness industry and your club.

Remember, people don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people, so it is vital to make sure you create an accurate social media persona that members and prospects can engage with. Your social media manager is the person who will create and maintain your club’s persona, so make sure it is someone who understands most importantly why you do what you do.

I have had problems working with social media managers who do not understand the fitness industry and the “why.” The problem is they do not know how to create content that engages our members or prospects, because they do not understand the fitness industry.

If you do not have someone currently on staff, existing members are also a good source for candidates. If all else fails and you need to look outside of the walls of your club, but make sure you find someone who is currently in the fitness industry or has a real passion for health and fitness.

Before you hire someone, you need to identify the social channels that are right for your club. A problem a lot of clubs have is they try to master every social media platform, and that is impossible. You know your target audience, so find the platforms that resonate with your target audience and find a manager who can master those platforms.

Everyone thinks, “I can do that, social media is fun.” You will get people who post on Facebook, or Instagram or Snapchat every day — but that doesn’t mean they are experts. Ask them to show you examples of engaging content they have produced on social media that have produced real results. Results might not be people walking through your door and joining your club, but comments and shares are a big piece of the social media puzzle. The right share can get in front of hundreds of non-members, who may take an interest in joining your club because their friend shared your content. Original, engaging content is key to social media, so your manager should be able to produce some engaging stuff.

Find out how they stay up to date on all of the recent changes on social media. Do your research and know changes going on with any of the platforms that may have just taken place. Then ask your candidates something like, “What do you think the impact the new Facebook lead generation forms will have on our club and how would you use these to help the club?” Or “Give me an idea of how you think we could use the new Snapchat geo-filters to help the club?” If they give you the deer in headlights look, they are not the right person for you. A good social media manager knows everything that is going on in the social world.

One of the last things I like to do when interviewing is asking the candidate what their KPI is, so that I know they are doing their job well. How will I measure their success? If they don’t know what their KPI is, how will I know if they are the right person for the job?

Social media is one of the most important parts of marketing today, so you need to make sure you have the right person handling such a vital part of your business.

Donyel Cerceo

Donyel Cerceo is the director of marketing for Merritt Athletic Clubs. She can be reached at dcerceo@merrittclubs.com.

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