10 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Social Media Manager

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So, you’re thinking of a hiring a social media manager?

With buzz words like “strategy” and “social media” flying around these days, I thought I’d clear out the clutter and provide some guidance on what to look for and who to hire. It’s necessary to start off by stating the difference between a social media manager and a digital marketing manager.

A Social Media Manager focuses on paid and earned campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Projects this person may take on include social media calendars, social reporting, and day-to-day management of your social media platforms.

A Digital Marketing Manager on the other hand focuses on a broader scope of digital properties and projects including social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, e-mail campaigns, blogging, etc.

I know many individuals who have added “Social Media Manager” to their resume, and unfortunately these people are not always qualified for the position. So, let’s break it down. Here’s what you need to consider before hiring a Social Media Manager:

Do they have a proven track record?

Saying you can tweet is one thing, but successfully running campaigns and meeting objectives is required.

What to ask your candidates: what campaigns have you completed, what were your goals, and how did you achieve success?

Do they have experience representing brands? 

B2B and B2C require different brand voices, strategic direction and paid/earned approaches.

Ask your candidates: who have you managed social media accounts and strategies for? What was your approach to brand voice? How did you support the organization’s goals through social media?

Can they understand and explain the value of analytics?

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Before any campaign launches there should be clear goals and objectives set.

What to ask: Are you trying to grow your following to a certain #? Achieve a certain # of post engagements? Trying to generate a # of leads?

What else to ask: What are you going to do to achieve those goals? What analytics are important to know and look at? What benchmarks can we use to measure success?

Can they give a full scope of recommendations for advertising?

If I had a penny or every time “boosting a post” was used synonymously with “social advertising” …But they are the same, right? Wrong.

What to ask: tell me what kind of advertising strategies are available on each social media platform. What advertising method aligns with what kind of objective?

Can they actually drive leads?

Some brands want to focus on driving engagement on social media (mainly B2C) but others (mostly B2B) are focused on driving leads for sales follow-ups.

What to ask: what marketing strategies do you use to generate leads? How does this connect to sales goals and processes?

Have they managed a budget before?

Social media management requires setting out a budget and actively managing and flexing it as needed. Social media campaigns are not static and require day-to-day adjustments.

What to ask: you have $50,000 for 12 months of social media campaigns. How will you apply this to successfully hep us achieve our goals?

Do they write and are they good at it?

A Social Media Manager is the voice of your brand. They should not only know your brand inside out, but understand how to speak on your behalf.

Ask: How would you describe our brand? Who is our audience? Give an example of what you would say in a Twitter/Facebook post.

Can they manage a content calendar?

Social media is 70% planned and 30% on the fly. You want to hire an organized planner who can develop a calendar to guide your strategy and messaging, but someone who is flexible enough to respond quickly and post when something unexpected comes up.

Ask: Based off of Goal X and Goal XX, how would you setup a social media calendar for our company? Why is this important?

Do they understand where social media fits into the overall plan?

Social media is a component of a strategic communications plan, not a plan that lives on its own. Hiring someone with a background beyond social media is crucial to success.

What to ask: what is your background in the industry? What role does social media play in the overall communications/marketing plan?

Do they speak the language?

They walk the walk, but can they talk the talk?

What to ask: what are some key terms in social media I should know? What do they mean?

Extra Question: What formal education and training have they had?

Ah yes, the ongoing debate: does formal education for social media management exist? Does it matter? It sure does. Colleges offer technical courses on training students to use social media for business specifically. Additionally, formal education provides in-depth analysis on real businesses cases and how to apply critical thinking to integrated communication strategies and challenges.

What to ask: what is your educational background? How does that play into your role as a Social Media Manage?

So there you have it, folks. The last part that is worth mentioning is that you have a role to play in all of this too! It is your job as the brand owner to provide strategic direction–what do you want to accomplish? Who is responsible for creating visual content and messaging? Set your expectations and goals right away so everyone is clear on next steps.

Are you looking to hire a Social Media Manager?

Contact us to manage it for you or to get us to help you hire the perfect candidate!

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