Finding and Hiring Your Social Media Manager

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I’ve spent the last year or so dedicating myself to rounding out my skill set and ensuring that I’ve taken my communications background and given it an even amount of attention across marketing, public relations and digital strategy. In 2014 I spent some time at Conestoga College teaching a Digital Tools and Emerging Technologies workshop to the Integrated Marketing Communications students. Through this I was able to share my experiences in the field on how social media and digital tools can assist with enhancing a business strategy. I am thrilled to share that my workshop has grown into a course! I will be teaching Digital Tools & Analytics in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Conestoga College this fall; I also will be teaching Media Planning in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program!

Teaching and freelancing in the digital marketing space over the years has taught me many lessons, but one in particular always stands out: social media is a two-way street… and social media is not the silver bullet to success. So with all these “social media managers” out there, who do you hire? Here are a few things to look for when hiring your social media manager:

  1. They are social in the online space – they have a presence on social platforms and have a respectable following.
  2. Accountability – task driven, goal oriented, maybe even a bit OCD.
  3. Creativity –  they ask throught-provoking questions and are ahead of the curve in many ways.
  4. Passion – I’ve worked on projects where I knew very little about the industry… it’s about finding someone who is eager to learn, passionate and driven to understand your business needs.
  5. Understands ROI and how to measure it. You’ve set a goal (new followers, perhaps?); now you need to assign a monetary value and calculate your investment.
  6. Has a skill set and knowledge base that goes far beyond posting to platforms. A good social media manager understands analytics, best practices, multi-management platforms, brand identity models, media planning, social influencer programs, blogging, SEO and engagement techniques… just to name a few.
  7. Someone with a diverse background. I have worked in public relations and traditional marketing roles… all of which have helped me to understand the bigger picture.

I could go on for hours but there is a second part to this search that you must be aware of: as the client how involved do you plan to be? I have worked with people who want you to work on everything and take control of the brand voice, and, those who want to have input and provide feedback every step of the way. There is no right or wrong approach to either of these partnerships as long as things are clear from the beginning. Are you, as the client starting a new business or creating a new product? If so, do you have the branding and initial steps of development done? You cannot hire a social media manager and expect them to develop your brand as they go; social media is a marketing tool used to extend the reach of your brand in the online space. Social media is for conversations, engagement, advertising and customer feedback… but this all comes after you have developed your brand and consistent messaging.

Regardless of where you are at from starting a business or continuing a project, if you want to bounce an idea off of me over coffee, I am always available to meet up… two heads can be better than one.

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