4 must-haves in a community manager hire

It's time to invest in social media. The online conversation is building and your business needs a dedicated in-house resource, tasked with managing and building your online reputation. 

Nearly all of today's grads and junior-level communicators will claim "social media expertise" on their resumes, so how do you know what to look for in your new hire?

How can you tell the difference between a strategic social marketer and a self-proclaimed social pro?

1. They're a great writer.

A University of Oregon professor insisted to her guest lecturer, Jess Columbo:

"Please," she said, "remind them that good writing matters - even in your world."

Real social media strategists know that 90 characters doesn't mean creative, engaging, grammatically correct content goes out the window. On the contrary! Your ideal hire will have love and respect for the written word and a portfolio of blog posts, web copy and/or social editorial content to prove it.

2. They do free work.

Look for a hire, who has developed and applied their strategic social skills as a volunteer in their community. This can be especially important for younger pros, who should be building their skill-set by offering social marketing help to non-profits or community organizations they're passionate about. Plus, their volunteer experience will likely tell you a lot about their character.

3. Their content creation game is on point.

Your community manager should be the definition of a T-shaped hire: An employee with a broad range of skills, who has depth of expertise in one particular area. In addition to social media proficiency, they might also be skilled with Photoshop or InDesign. Maybe they're adept with video editing tools.

These added creative skills will go a long way to supplement your lean in-house resources.

4. They're friendly with Google Analytics.

It is important that everyone on your web team to have the ability to jump in to the back-end of your web properties, pull socially-relevant data, and craft coherent “stories” for stakeholders from those analytics.

Your new hire can't be scared of data: It's not math. It's archaeology. And they should love to dig for stories, unearthing the insights hidden beneath those referral and conversion metrics that drive real business growth.


Are you ready to hire an in-house superstar? Need help with recruitment? We can help.

Welcome to Med|Ed Digital

We often hear how quickly and dramatically brands are moving towards digital-first or digital-forward communication strategies in order to meet consumers "where they are." 

For healthcare systems and higher ed institutions, this can mean uncomfortable internal reorganization. It can mean big shifts in budget and human capital - a tremendous lift for some of our large, decentralized organizations.

Beyond your "consumer"

We also know disparate work groups, including media relations, human resources and your C-suite, need to increase their social media sophistication level. Your current and prospective students, your faculty and staff and your recruits are looking to engage, to build, to advocate for your organization across the social web.

Does your culture beget this kind of brand loyalty?  Moreover, does your employee-base have the tools and resources they need to use social media safely and effectively?

Evolve or Die

The teams who transition successfully will invest in the process and the people. They'll commit to change management resources, robust internal communications and T-shaped new hires (eg. creative analysts, data content strategists, digital project managers etc.). 

Perhaps more importantly, the teams who will "win this social arms race" will have courage to try and fail in the digital space. Then, they will try again.

They know failure means learning and that the benefits of strategic and authentic social engagement greatly outweigh the risks.

It's just good business

Your supporters, whether legislative or donor-based, community partners or commercial vendors, are all evaluating your brand's digital footprint as an indication of market share and commitment to organizational innovation.

The healthcare and higher ed industries are shifting - grant monies are shrinking - and fostering these online relationships will have real impact on your company's bottom line. I guarantee it.

Join us

The Med|Ed Digital team specializes in social strategy for these highly regulated industries. We bring a passion for creative content and consumer insights, along with deep platform and analytics experience.

If your team is struggling with governance, with community building, with risk management or employee education, we'd love to help. Get in touch.



Jess Columbo

Principal, Med|Ed Digital