How to Hire a Social Media Manager

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Startup Advice / July 28, 2021

During these unprecedented times, it seems as though everyone is learning how to live and work online. This is one reason why, more than ever, your business requires promotion on social media, which means you might need the expertise of a social media manager.

Your customers’ first interaction with your product might even come through social media. People usually search for a brand before deciding whether to give them their money and trust. A Global Web Index research (2018) found out that 54% of social browsers use social media to search for products. They’re looking for relevant information and most won’t hesitate to ask questions. Social networks are much like modern-day call centers, albeit more complex.

By now, you’ve probably realized that promoting your brand on social media is far from easy. For starters, you’ll need a team working on different aspects of your brand, and assembling a team that works smoothly requires time and patience. Many marketing agencies that specialize in branding have writers, developers, account managers, graphic designers, and social media managers in their teams. But the social media manager is the one who executes the strategy.

Start with some self-diagnostics.

Handling your business profile can be time-consuming. Overseeing it seems like it might not be that much different from running your personal profile, but it’s far from it. Here are some telltale signs you might be going sideways.

  • Getting tons of messages…but can’t manage to reply in time.
  • Having a hard time following a schedule of updating information and posting content.
  • Unable to coordinate leads generated from social media.
  • Having trouble driving traffic to your website from social media.
  • Not getting enough engagement on posts.

If you checked more than one of these, it’s almost certainly time to hire a social media manager. Let’s break down how to recruit someone to fulfill this role in your company.

1. Define the role.

Outlining a job description should be straightforward. Determine your company’s goals and you’ll figure out how the role of social media manager fits in as well as some desired qualifications. Initially, you should get a grip on what it means to be a social media manager and what they typically do.

What is a social media manager?

Let’s start by expanding on the job title. As mentioned before, a social media manager is someone who runs social media accounts. But that’s a simplified description. A social media manager also creates, manages, and oversees content on the company’s social profiles. They are responsible for producing content, organizing campaigns, and maintaining good customer relations. Let’s be real — all this requires expert work.

What skills should a social media manager have?

It depends on your brand’s needs, but every social media manager must have a varied blend of skills. You can argue that they are like a Swiss Army knife. They should be very good at copywriting, strategic and analytical thinking, be design-savvy, be a gifted content creator, and be organizationally capable. But, they are accountable for much more.

What are some responsibilities of a social media manager?

Seasoned managers know what their roles and duties are. They are experienced in multiple platforms — LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. — and are centered around converting your business plan into a social media strategy. These are some of their basic responsibilities:

  • Develop and monitor strategies through organic and paid campaigns, which are KPI-driven.
  • Follow the latest social media trends to implement them into campaigns.
  • Work on multiple platforms.
  • Use tools such as Microsoft Office, Google Analytics, Google Ads (Google Workspace in general), Business Manager, etc.
  • Be familiar with tools such as WordPress, Photoshop, Hootsuite.
  • Analyze social media insights, as well as competitors’ results.
  • Provide information and communicate with followers regularly, replying to messages and comments even after work hours.

2. Write an accurate job description.

Given everything above, you should have a picture of what suits your brand and which responsibilities are required. Emphasize how much copywriting, community management, strategy planning, and performance analysis will be required. Also, highlight which skill requires what level of expertise. That way, you’ll get closer to finding the ideal candidate that meets your needs.

Avoid lingo that’s too complicated. Marketing is a field stuffed with sometimes unnecessary, clever words, which can be intimidating. By creating a simple, concise job description, applicants will understand what you’re looking for. It benefits both sides. This way, the right ones will separate from the rest. Now, it’s up to you to further examine which are the right candidates.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to mention included benefits such as paid time off, bonuses, etc. Explain why they should want to work for you.

3. Ask the right interview questions.

Once you’ve decided on a shortlist of the best candidates, the next step is the interview. This allows you to pick their brain and understand how they meet your needs. Ask them how they carry out strategies and create campaigns. Go through their relevant past experiences and pay attention to their tendencies.

Hypothetical questions will help you get a grasp of how well they perform in certain scenarios. If you need more specific advice, try some of the useful questions listed below.

Questions to Ask Applicants

These questions cover some important topics you should talk about with your candidates.

  • What drives you as a social media manager?
  • What was your favorite marketing campaign and why?
  • Which social media marketing tools do you prefer?
  • What brand (and their social media work) do you admire?
  • How do you follow the latest social media trends?
  • How do you determine the best network for a brand?
  • What lead-generating strategy gave you the best results?
  • What Key Performance Indicators (KPI) do you value the most when analyzing results?
  • How would you handle negative comments?

This is a rough idea of ​​how the interview should go. If you’re hiring remotely, consider conducting an online interview and, depending on the specifics of your business, ask questions that you think are suitable for the role and give your candidates a chance to prove their knowledge. 

Pro Tip: Before the interview, look up their private profiles. While it’s not a deciding factor, how they run their profiles can help you in your decision.

4. Will you hire an in-house social media manager…or outsource?

Whether you should hire a full-time manager or outsource the job to an agency or a freelancer, that depends on your needs and objectives. Each choice has its pros and cons.

The downside of freelancers is that they can flake on you out of nowhere. Agencies might have tons of work and won’t prioritize your business. On the other hand, an in-house social media manager requires certain financial stability, which can be hard if you’re on a budget.

The truth is, it’s easier to supervise your social media manager if he’s an employee. Plus, they’ll develop in correlation with the growth of your business. Switching agencies or freelancers means you’ll need to educate them about your business, over and over.

5. Find top talent.

When you decide whether you’re hiring a full-time employee or outsourcing, the next step is to choose where you should pursue them. You are likely familiar with popular freelancing platforms. There, you can find talented people that you can hire either in-house or as a freelance social media manager.

Find a social media manager on…social media?

There might not be a better place to find an ideal candidate than social networks. Presumably, every social media manager uses networks such as LinkedIn. One of its main purposes is to connect professionals and it’s specifically designed to help you search for potential employees and business connections.

One good way is to post a job offer on LinkedIn and promote it so that more people can see it. LinkedIn advertising allows you to be creative and use different types of ads, which can be highly effective. Additionally, you can target specific groups of people or, to be more precise, social media managers.

Weigh the costs against potential increases.

Running a good social media profile for your brand is, by no means, something you should overlook. Use it as a powerful tool to grow your business. But it’s an investment and needs to be well managed.

Figure out your objectives and it will become clear what kind of employee you need. Determine what the requirements for the role are so you can write a thorough job description. The best candidates will surface. After that, it’s on you to prepare the right questions for the interview. It will help you weigh in on which applicant suits you the most. Whether it’s a full-time employee or a freelancer depends on your needs, but the truth is — it’s a job that requires expertise. Follow the recommendations above and you’ll wind up on the right track.

About The Author

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Stefan Smulders is a SaaS entrepreneur and a founder of the world's safest software for LinkedIn automation - /Expandi.io. He’s enjoying his family life in the Netherlands being a proud father of a lovely 4-year-old son Steef.

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