How to Answer the Top 10 Social Media Marketing Interview Questions

Social media marketing jobs are on the rise, and they’re not going anywhere but up anytime soon. The statistics are mind-boggling: If you add up all of the time Americans spend on the internet, 23 percent of that time is spent on social media. When it comes to small businesses, 87 percent say that social media adds value. Social media budgets are expected to double over the next five years alone. So it’s no surprise that jobs in social media are hot and getting hotter. Here’s what you need to know to ace the top 10 questions you’re likely to get in an interview for a social media marketing job:


  1. Which social media channels do you use daily? Why? Successful social media marketers have a real passion for the medium. Your interviewer wants to hear that you use a number of platforms every day and that you use them for everything from keeping with the news to shopping to staying in touch with your friends.
  2. How do your manage your posts to all of those outlets? Most companies looking for a social media marketer will have (or plan to have) a presence on multiple outlets and may have multiple accounts on each one. They’ll want assurances that you can keep it all straight using something like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. The specific tool doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you recognize the need for one and know how to use it.
  3. What do you think is the most important platform for a business like ours? Your interviewer wants to make sure you understand the complexity and interactivity of social media. In the vast majority of cases, the answer will be that there is no one “most important” platform…that they all work together to increase awareness of and interaction with the company. If you really want to amp up your answer, give examples of how the company you’re interviewing with could (or does) use the different social media networks to build on one strategic goal.
  4. New social media platforms pop up all the time. How would you go about evaluating whether our company should add a new platform to our social media strategy? The purpose of this question is to make sure you aren’t so passionate about social media that you just jump on new platforms without evaluating them first. A good answer would sound something like this, “First, existing social media platforms can provide a wealth of information about newcomers. I’d read what early adopters like and don’t like, and I’d ask follow-up questions. I would also lurk on the site itself. Finally, I’d set up a personal account so I could get familiar with how it works and what it can be used for.”
  5. How does your personal social media presence affect your employer? Your prospective employer wants to make sure you won’t embarrass them. One good answer would be, “My personal social media presence can have a huge impact on my employer. With LinkedIn, it’s very easy to find out where a particular person works. So I’m aware that anything I post reflects on my employer, and I go out of my way to make sure I represent my company in a good light.”
  6. What’s the difference between SEO and SEM? The point of this question is to find out how much you know about sponsored posts. Your answer could be something along the lines of, “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it means using key words and other analytics to boost your standing in Google search results. Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, does the same thing, but it also makes use of paid, or sponsored, posts.”
  7. How would you handle a social media crisis? Your prospective employer wants to know that you won’t make a bad situation worse.The best answer is, “Immediately and honestly. One thing about social media is that once something is out there, it’s out there; so you can’t just pull it back like you would an offensive ad. There’s no point in denying or making excuses, because that will just make things go even more viral. The best thing to do is acknowledge the problem, apologize, and describe what you’ll do to fix it.”
  8. What sites do you think our company should be on that we’re not? There are two points to this question. The first is to find out whether you’ve bothered to research the company’s social media presence. The second is to find out what you’d recommend and why. Just make sure you can back up your answers with experience, recognized theory, etc.
  9. How would you handle a social media customer complaint? Again, your interviewer wants to make sure you won’t make things worse. One good answer would be, “A customer complaint isn’t that different from a social media crisis. Somebody is unhappy, and everyone is waiting to see what you’re going to do about it. That visibility makes it more important than ever to do the right thing.”
  10. How do you manage comments and mentions on social media sites? The purpose of this question is to make sure that you know how to use technology to deliver comments and mentions right to your stream or inbox. The specific answer will change as new tools roll out, but the purpose is still the same: have a specific strategy for making sure you don’t miss anything important.


Companies that are looking for social media marketers are looking for two main categories of skills and abilities: They want to know you’re a master a social media, and they want to make sure you understand the business implications of how you use it. Successful candidates will highlight those capabilities. Knowing how to answer these 10 questions is a great start.


image: flickr