People pretty regularly put out calls for position descriptions, skills needed, interview questions, etc. for social media specialists. I suppose some folks have them, but let's use the power of social media to identify what it takes to lead social media for an agency. Wisdom of the crowd, anyone?
For this post, we'll discuss the skills needed. In future posts, we'll explore necessary experience and questions to ask if you're thinking of doing this work.
Update: I've written the second post, about experience needed. Please join that discussion, too!
Broadly speaking, I would say leading social media for an agency entails two big tasks:
- Helping the agency as a whole continue to explore and take advantage of social media, and
- Managing some specific social media tools (for example, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a photo contest, a YouTube channel)
In more detail, the first one would include:
- Writing policy, guidance and other governing documents ("you will ...")
- Establishing strategies ("here's how ...") for using social media, including best approaches to records management, accessibility, privacy, ethics, and information security
- Providing guidance to people throughout the agency to help them use social media well
- Assessing the agency's use of social media through metrics and anecdotes
- Assessing the need for training, both on overarching strategy and specific tools, and then developing and delivering it
And the second would include:
- Actually running some tools, creating and posting content and responding to comments
- Creatively developing new ways of using existing tools (for example, using a Twitter avatar to promote a message over a week or month)
- Exploring new tools on a regular basis, evaluating their usefulness to the agency
I'm sure there are other tasks that would be appropriate, but no list will ever be complete.
Here's the key question for discussion below: what skills would you say would be needed to perform well in this role?