If you decide to fill this position, there are a few key qualities your potential social media manager should possess in addition to being passionate and knowledgeable about the field:

■ A complete grasp of the regulatory rules around advisor communication in the financial industry in general, and as it relates to social media in particular

■ A good working understanding of you or your firm's culture, products, services, and specialties as they relate to the financial industry as a whole

■ Experience in sales, marketing, or customer service

■ Strong writing and editing skills (it helps to ask for writing samples, especially anything they've done that's related to financial services social media)

■ Excellent critical-thinking skills

■ The ability to solve problems independently

■ A personality that jibes with you or your company culture, as they'll be representing you or your company brand

■ Good listening and analytical skills

■ Any industry or other contacts that could help build your brand

If you're comfortable with the idea, a great way to gauge a prospective new hire's functional and industry knowledge as well as their personality and communication skills is to ask them to offer criticism or suggestions on your current social media position. If they can offer any constructive feedback, as well as suggestions for improvement in a tactful, diplomatic way, you may have found a winner.

Additionally, when interviewing outside firms or individuals, one of the key things to look at is their own social networks. Are they active on the networks you plan to participate in? Do they have a large following and engagement? If they can't manage social media for their own brand, don't expect them to be successful in managing yours. Also, see what industries they specialize in. The way you manage social media for a restaurant is completely different from how you would manage social media for a financial service company.

Some advisors and firms choose to use both internal resources in addition to outsourcing certain tasks to get the message out, and others elect just to hire a social media communications firm to do it all, particularly when they're just starting out. Whichever way you go, these same capabilities and skills apply and will help you use your time and resources well.

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