I’m of the view that great social media consultants are born, not made. Personality factors in so much in the world that I would rather hire based on that than skills.
Okay, so that last sentence sounds a little crazy. The basic skills of social media can be taught. The thirst for knowledge in this ever changing world cannot. It’s something that you either have or you don’t have. And if you don’t have it, you won’t make it far in social media.
But that is not the only way personality is a determining factor when it comes to whether someone will succeed with an organization.
Personality is Important Internally
The way integrate myself with a client means they hear something from me every day. Would you rather hear from someone who has a sparkling personality or someone who is a total drag? That’s a big duh.
A social media consultant is not like other consultants. They can be a bit probing and needy. For good reason. That social media content machine is never satisfied. So finding someone who you want to talk to that much is necessary.
But also, this person should inspire you to want to do something cool. I think this role requires so much of the person who takes it on. They are cheerleader, psychologist and motivational speaker, all rolled into one. And that’s in addition to doing the actual job. Finding someone with that personality for you is absolute gold. I say “for you” only because cheerleader, psychologist and motivational speaker are super broad categories. What those are for each person is different. My sarcasm inspires some people, but others don’t want to hear yet another joke. That’s okay. I’m not pizza. Find the person that fits who you are and don’t settle for less.
Personality is Important to the Community
There are a lot of personality traits when it comes to community management you just have to be born with. The chief among those is empathy. An empathetic community manager is going to get a feel for the community and be able to deliver what they need when it comes to content.
Can you figure some of that out by looking at data? Sure, but an empathetic community manager will get to it faster than the data can.
And there are other reasons why you need certain personality traits in a social media consultant…
I always say that social media is like you’re in the middle of the conversation. The role of the social media consultant is to make sure fans still want to be in the middle of this conversation. Tone, subject matter, language etc. will keep them there. Being able to talk the way your fans do is extremely important. Fans will relate to them more, and it’s a complete bonus if it’s native to them.
So yes, being empathetic is super important, but it’s just as important to have some the same personality traits your fans also have.
In the end, you won’t have an guarantees you picked the right person. But finding someone you like who seems fun to work with is a great start to any relationship. The ins and outs of what you do can always be taught from there.