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June 11, 2024

How to Hire a Social Media Manager on Upwork (& Free Hiring Guide Ebook!)

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Do your social media channels need some TLC? 

If you’re like most business owners, you don’t have the time to manage your own social media accounts. Amongst the other responsibilities that come with running a business, social media is probably pretty low on the priorities, right? 

But, it shouldn’t be, and it’s actually not hard to not be. This is where a Social Media Manager comes in! 

In this article, we’ll show you how to hire a Social Media Manager on Upwork, which will be sure to ease the stresses, time and money of 1) doing it all yourself and 2) hiring someone in-house to manage your socials.

Related: Ultimate Guide: How to Find and Hire a Social Media Manager

What do Social Media Managers do?

Contrary to popular belief amongst some business owners, Social Media Managers do much more than fire out a couple of GIFS on your Twitter feeds. 

It’s a skilled job that needs skilled people. 

Think of it this way - they represent your company across public-facing platforms, which has the potential to reach a lot of people, so it’s worth doing well and it’s worth doing properly.

Social Media Managers help you achieve social media marketing success by compiling campaigns, creating engaging and compelling content, posting it in all the right places, engaging with followers and analyzing and reporting the results. 

Why hire a Social Media Manager?

When you hire a Social Media Manager, they’ll provide you with a bespoke social media strategy. Remember they’re professionals in the industry so they’ll have a pretty good idea what works well and not so well to attract more people to your social accounts and ultimately your business. With sound knowledge of social media analytics, they’ll also make informed decisions throughout campaigns and tweak the strategy if and when needed to help you achieve your wider business goals.

As a business owner, you’re more than aware of your competitors and have maybe even had a gander at their social platforms too. But how often have you acted on this? Your Social Media Manager will constantly keep their eyes on what your competitors and industry leaders are up to to identify what’s working and where there are gaps in the market to make your business stand out from the crowd. 

With the apps often no more than an arm’s length away, social media has also become a major platform for customer service.

Did you know that more than half of the world’s social media users have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media?

Social Media Managers will monitor your accounts and respond accordingly to any comments and complaints. If these are left unanswered for a long time, it could be the difference between making a sale and gaining a loyal customer, or not.

A big perk of hiring a Social Media Manager is the time that you’ll save. Good social media practice takes time and success doesn’t come overnight. Your Social Media Manager will dedicate their time to grow your social media platforms and boost your online presence for you so you can focus your time and efforts in other areas of the business.

How to hire a Social Media Manager on Upwork - a step-by-step guide

If you’re unfamiliar with Upwork, it’s an American freelancing platform that enables businesses and agencies to connect with a talent pool of millions of freelancers from around the world who work in creative industries, like social media marketing.

Here’s how it works and how you can find your next freelance Social Media Manager. 

Step 1: Set up your account and define the job description

Once you’ve created your employer Upwork profile, you now have free will to post a job and kick-start your hunt for a Social Media Manager. Head to the ‘Jobs’ tab on the top bar and click ‘Post a Job’ to get started. You can choose whether this is a short-term or long-term position. For maximum social media results, we’d recommend looking for a long-term freelancer who will be able to adapt and grow with your business. 

You will then be prompted to choose a job post template or create your own. As a newbie, using a template will be the most efficient way of posting your job as these come with handy pre-populated areas, which are based on similar Upwork job postings. 

When you’ve added your job title, it’s time to define the job description.

This is an important step to get right and you should strike the right balance between the length and the quality. Pages of descriptions aren’t necessary but too short of descriptions aren’t going to earn you quality candidates. 

Explain your project, the commitment it will take and what you would like your Social Media Manager to achieve, and describe what kind of candidate you’re looking for.

Here, consider adding what skill level and type of experience you expect from candidates. 

You can also big up your project or company on the job description. Upwork works both ways - employers endeavor to find quality candidates to work with and freelancers are looking for companies that they would like and enjoy working for. So, use your job description as a solid introduction and make a good first impression. 

Step 2: Post your job

You’ve nailed your job description. What’s next? 

You’ll be taken to a page where you can add screening questions - these are worth adding when it comes to the later stages.

If you don’t add screening questions, Upwork will automatically request a cover letter from candidates.

You will also be able to select and tag various skills that’s associated with your job posting. 

For example, you could add:

  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Analytics 
  • Graphic Design
  • Communication
  • Marketing 
  • PR

Upwork’s handy AI will already suggest some of the skills it thinks you’ll want based on the information you’ve given in the categories and job description section too. This will help Upwork filter out and match the job post with the best-fitted candidates for you. 

Remember nobody’s perfect - be realistic with how many skills you add on there. It’s better to hire an expert with a few of the main skills than someone who only has little ability at each skill. 

Before you’re ready to hit the ‘post’ button, you’ll have to choose how widespread you want the ad to go. Your options are: 

  • Anyone - freelancers and agencies who use Upwork and public search engines will be able to see and apply for your job
  • Only Upwork talent - only freelancers using Upwork will be able to view your ad
  • Invite only - you can choose to only accept applications from those who you specifically invite to apply

How many Social Media Managers do you need?

You can choose between one or multiple but if you’re looking to hire a Social Media Manager for a small business, this is likely to just be one.

Then, fill out more information like: 

  • If you’re looking for just freelance individuals or agencies
  • Their location - a perk of social media is that it can be accessed from anywhere at any time so you’re not restricted to just candidates in your local area, they can work remote too
  • Their job success score
  • Their fluency with English 
  • The amount they have earned on Upwork so far
  • If they’re a member of an underrepresented group 

Budget time! Will you pay an hourly rate or a fixed fee for the project?

Our tip would be to do your research on freelance Social Media Manager rates in your industry and see whether an hourly rate or fixed project rate would be the most appropriate payment method for you. 

Almost there… Double check all of the information you’ve entered and publish!

Step 3: Screen candidates

So, there are multiple candidates all looking to be your new freelance Social Media Manager. Where do we go from here? 

Thanks to tools and technology, you can sieve through the resumes of candidates with the skills, expertise and experience you’re looking for. 

Have a look over their cover letters and score them. Check over their job success rate and reviews from other clients and businesses that they’ve worked with. This will help you establish any candidates with red flags and any genuine candidates that sound like a good fit for your business on paper.


Step 4: Interview candidates

Next up is the interview stage. 

Now you’ve shortlisted the top few candidates, invite them to an interview. Here, you can clear up any questions you or they have, get a better understanding of their skills and experience and (important!) get a feel for their personality and if their values fit in with your existing team and business. 

Have a list of interview questions that will pinpoint exactly what the candidate can bring to the team and the project. 

Here are a few good examples that you can use: 

  • How did you get into social media management?
  • What scheduling tools have you used in the past, which is your favorite and why?
  • Tell us about a time that you had to handle a social media crisis - what did you do?
  • How do you keep up with social media trends?
  • What is it about our company that interests you? 
  • Why are you interested in this role? 

You can find more relevant interview questions here

Step 5: Hire the best candidate

After the interviews, you’re bound to have a clearer idea of which candidate you want to hire. Though - as there was a reason why all candidates made it to your shortlist - this can be a tricky decision. 

To delve deeper and make sure your final decision is solidified and justified, take another look through their references - see what others say about working with them.

We’d also recommend inspecting their social media accounts. After all, they will be representing your brand via social media so it’s best that they can also portray themselves well and professionally on their own profiles too.

We know all too well that hiring a Social Media Manager can be a daunting task. But - now you’re equipped with the knowledge of Upwork - if you follow the above steps, you’re sure to find the best candidate for the job. 

Happy hiring! Check out the rest of our hiring series:

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