Thinking of hiring a social media manager? We don’t blame you.
Yes, social media is HUGE. If used the right way, it has the potential to take your business to the next level. However, using a platform with such a big reach also means getting it wrong can have horrible consequences.
It’s no wonder so many founders are taking on social media managers (and teams!) whose only job is to make their social media accounts shine.
Read on if you want to know how a social media manager can benefit your business, and where you can find and hire the best talent.
What is a social media manager?
A social media manager is someone who sources, creates, writes and schedules social media posts on behalf of your business.
What does a social media manager do?
Ok, so you know what a social media manager ‘is’. But, if you do decide to hire one, what exactly will they get up to all day?
Every social media manager has their own way of doing things. However, their main tasks will be to:
A large part of a social media manager’s day-to-day tasks will be to create regular content to share on your social media accounts.
Whether that’s articles, podcasts, videos or infographics, this should be a healthy mixture of original, curated, and promotional content.
After they’ve got your content together, it’s time for your social media manager to schedule your posts at optimal times throughout the week.
Manage the content calendar
A very important job for your social media manager is to make sure you always have great content ready to share every week.
They should be keeping track of all content drafted, shared and how each post is performing in an organised and regularly monitored content calendar.
Engage with followers/partners
Engaging with other social media users is really important. This not only gives you more visibility, but it also makes your brand seem more personable.
Your social media manager should be regularly commenting, sharing and responding to questions/mentions of your brand.
Monitor social media trends, news and best practices
Social media moves at a really fast pace.
In order to stay current, your social media manager will be constantly monitoring trending hashtags, viral news and any changing best practices in the industry.
Review analytics and put forward a strategy
Your social media manager will keep a close eye on how your content is performing: i.e how many click throughs your blog post gets, the level of engagement on social media, how long the reader is staying on the page etc.
Based on this data, they should be able to analyze its performance, pinpoint where it could be improved and suggest a strategy to move forward.
Why do I need a social media manager?
We know what you’re thinking: I use social media every day. Can’t I just curate and schedule posts myself?
Technically, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from running your own social media. The question is: will it produce the best results?
After all, you want to be feeling like this guy, right?
Let’s get a little more specific. Having a social media manager allows you to:
Focus on your business
Running a successful social media account takes serious time.
Hiring a social media manager allows you to focus on the things you just can’t hand over to someone else.
After all, that meeting won’t go on without you, and that business plan won’t write itself… oh and there’s that never-ending list of emails popping up the corner of your screen.
Stay ahead of trends
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. Social media moves at a ridiculously fast pace. If you want to be making any sort of noise, you need stay on top of trending hashtags, news, and events.
This requires checking different social media platforms and getting involved in conversations in your industry daily, or even hourly (yes, hourly!)- something you probably don’t have time to do yourself.
Abide by good social media practices
You may be a regular social media user yourself, but do you know how many hashtags see the best engagement? Do you know what images drive more shares? Did you mention/tag the author in your tweet?
When it comes to social media, there are a lot of “best practices” to remember. For a social media manager, though, this (should be) basic stuff.
Want to make sure you’ve got the right social media manager on board? Check out our post on what mistakes to avoid when outsourcing your social media.
Maintain consistent branding and tone
One of the he benefits of having a social media manager run your accounts is that they’ll establish your brand’s tone and, most importantly, maintain it.
Whether that’s through your style of writing or type of images/content, your social media manager will make sure anything shared to your accounts are on-brand and relevant to your followers.
Post regular, high-quality content
If you’ve already tried it, you know how time-consuming sourcing and creating high-quality content on a regular basis can be.
When you’re trying to manage it on your own (as well as run your business), it’s kind of inevitable for there to be gaps in your content calendar. Having a dedicated manager to do this for you, however, means no content gaps, and no bad quality posts.
Abiding by social media practices, keeping consistency and sharing great content can only equal good stuff, right?
If you have a skilled and experienced social media manager, it will only be a matter of time before you start seeing more shares, likes, comments, and follows.
Track performance and implement growth strategy
A big mistake founders make when running their own social media is to post content and hope for the best. For your social media to be really successful, analytics and strategy are essential.
Having a social media manager ensures that all content is carefully tracked and later optimised for best results.
Before you start looking for a social media manager, ask yourself…
Convinced you need a social media manager? Great!
Before you do, though, ask yourself the following questions about your brand and social media goals. This should make finding and hiring the perfect social media manager a whole lot easier.
What are your objectives?
When you hire your social media manager, the first question they will ask you is: what are your objectives?
When this happens, you want to have a clear idea of where you want your social media to be in the next 3 months, 6 months etc.
Do you want to be sharing original content daily? Do you want thought leaders in the industry to be sharing/commenting on your posts? Maybe you want to appear in trending hashtags/industry events/news?
Make sure you set realistic, actionable goals. For example, to ‘go viral’ in a months’ time or ‘get more followers’ isn’t a very clear, or constructive, target. The more specific you can be, the easier you make it for your social media manager to succeed.
If it's actually a podcast you want to launch and promote, consider working with a podcast consultant.
Where are you in your social media life cycle?
Are you just starting out? Or do you already have a loyal following? Your strategy will look quite different depending on these two stages.
For example, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably going to try and build your following by liking and sharing other people’s content, getting involved in trending threads and following relevant people in your industry.
On the other hand, if you already have a following, you’ll want to find out which content is working really well and retarget those engaged followers.
What makes your brand unique?
With so much noise on social, you really have to find a way to stand out. A good way to do this is to find your niche and stick to it.
What makes your business unique? What tone, style and content suits the brand image you want to portray? The idea is that your followers will be able to identify your posts at a quick glance.
You want to be able to communicate this really clearly to your social media manager, so they can start creating brand-relevant content from day one.
Where to find a social media manager
Once you’ve got a good idea of where your social media should be headed, you can start searching the internet for social media managers.
This can sometimes feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. However, if you search in the right places, someone will eventually stand out.
Here are some of the best places to find top talent:
Social media groups
Social media groups are great place to ask for recommendations.
Whilst freelance sites can be great (discussed more below), we’ve found tried-and-tested managers in your industry can be invaluable-and save you time and money in the long run.
Join your industry’s groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and reach out to your fellow entrepreneurs. Who are your competitors/other people in your industry using?
You could also post on your own LinkedIn account/LinkedIn business page that you’re looking for someone. LinkedIn normally connects you with great talent.
Look at other brands’ social media
Are there any brands you think are smashing their social media? Maybe you really like their approach/tone of voice/use of visuals?
Ask them who runs their handles. It may be that their social media manager works freelance and is looking for a gig. If they’re not, chances are they’ll know someone who is.
We’ve mentioned job boards before. They can be great. However, a certain amount of luck is involved.
As many sites aren’t fully vetted, there are people out there that exaggerate (or make up!) some of their experience.
Make sure you interview your candidates thoroughly and check up on their experience. It may also be a good idea to ask them to write a few posts for you as part of the selection process. We’ll go through this in a little more detail in a bit.
In the meantime, here are some of the most popular freelance job sites you should start with:
How to hire the best talent
Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s time to start hiring!
There are plenty of talented social media managers out there. However, they’re not always that easy to find.
Truth is, you won’t know if you’ve hit the jackpot until they get to work. But don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to attract the best talent:
Write an awesome job description
A detailed, well-written job post will help you attract to the best candidates.
This is your chance to sell your business to your ideal social media manager. Why should they work for you? How will this job benefit them?
A good job description should include:
• Outline of the job
• Daily tasks
• What skills you’re looking for
• Any particular benefits
Your job description is also a good way to make sure people applying know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. You don’t want a scenario where the candidate has completely misunderstood their role/what your business is/what your goals are.
Remember: make your job offering sound exciting! The key to hiring the most engaged candidates is to sound enthusiastic and positive about your business and the role.
Make a shortlist
Once you start getting flooded with applications, you’ll need to narrow down your shortlist.
As with any hiring process, it’s always hard to know whether you’ve found the best talent until you see them in action. However, here are some qualities you should look out for in their CV/cover letter:
Are they creative?
Social media managers must be able to approach any situation with tons of creative juice. How would they approach your social media to make you stand out?
Do they understand social media for business?
It’s one thing being an avid social media user, but do they understand metrics, strategy and goals?
Can they manage a team?
Once your social media starts to grow, you’ll want your manager to take the reins on organizing writers, coordinating news/events, and making sure all leads are followed up.
Are they organized?
Managing a social media strategy takes serious organization. Can they keep your content and scheduling calendar running smoothly?
Ask the right questions in interview
Even if you’re convinced you’ve found the perfect social media manager, we always recommend scheduling a quick skype or face-to-face interview.
Here’s are some of the questions you should ask to get a better feel for your candidate:
How do you stay on top of social media trends/best practices?
Your candidate should have a solid understanding of what those trends and best practices are right now, and how to monitor them. See if they’re aware of the tools out there to help them do this.
Which channels do you think would work best for our business?
This will not only help you see if they’ve done their research about your brand, but will also demonstrate if they understand each platform.
What would be your first steps to growing our audience?
Don’t expect a full strategy here, but more of some general tactics such as focused hashtags, keywords, quality content, mentions etc.
Look out for candidates who really focus on reaching your target audience, rather than just getting followers.
Pro tip: why not put them to the test and ask them to write a couple of posts for you as part of the application process?
Having a professional dedicate their time and attention to your social accounts really is key for getting the most out of social media.
There are plenty of avenues out there for finding and hiring a social media manager. It’s just a case of having clear objectives, writing a detailed job post, and asking the right questions in interview.
For today, brainstorm your objectives, branding and current social media status. Where are you in your social media journey and where would you like to be in six months’ time?
Once you have these objectives clear in your mind, you can then set out to find your perfect social media manager.