A Recruiter's Guide to Hiring a Social Media Manager

By Matt Shealy

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Business owners can realize significant and tangible benefits by hiring a dedicated social media manager.

In the early days of social media marketing, businesses typically allowed interns or employees to manage company accounts by creating posts at will. Today, however, enterprises need professionals who can engage consumers effectively.

Billions of potential consumers use social media, and you can connect with them. However, effective social media management is a full-time job. A dedicated manager can help you maximize the value of your social media accounts for far less than the opportunity costs of doing it in-house.

Do You Need a Social Media Manager?

It's well-known that a concrete plan can significantly improve marketing outcomes. Nevertheless, many enterprises take to social media without a clear strategy. You must establish your priorities from the start, especially if you plan to invest considerable revenue into social media marketing.

Different organizations have varying needs when it comes to establishing a social media presence. For example, some businesses leverage social media as another tool for support teams to improve their customer experience.

Other enterprises automate some social media tasks using, for example, an automated lead funnel. If you find your sales funnel ineffective, it's probably time to hire a social media manager. Also, automation isn’t always possible in mission-critical areas such as customer service.

One enterprise may need a specialist who can oversee and optimize customer service, while another may need to hire a social media manager who’s skilled with Facebook advertising. Other businesses may have an immediate need to increase their audience.

You may need a social media manager if your customer service queries go unanswered or your employees can’t find time to publish regular social media updates. By understanding your current needs, you’ll have a better idea of what type of skills to look for in a potential social media manager.

Furthermore, you’ll need to outline your brand voice so that your social media manager can maintain consistency across platforms. When looking for potential candidates, make sure that they have the skill to portray your brand beliefs, values and voice without regurgitating your outline like a drone.

The Right Skills for the Job

By finding a social media manager with the skills needed to meet your needs, you can save time and ensure that they perform as desired. If a potential job candidate cannot prove their abilities, there’s no way to tell if they can do the job.

During your candidate search, you’ll find that social media professionals have varying degrees of experience. However, more experience doesn’t equate to better performance because the field is still new and developing.

What's more important is that a potential social media manager is willing to communicate and collaborate using tools such as Slack and Trello. Also, your manager must understand how to use advanced analytics tools so that they can measure marketing performance and return-on-investment.

You don’t need a social media wizard, but a job candidate should have the ability to show that they understand how to help you meet your objectives. When choosing a manager, don’t let fancy jargon and buzzwords impress you. Make sure that you understand what a job candidate offers as proof of their past accomplishments. Also, ask for referrals from former clients with analytics to back up campaign results.

A social media manager should have the ability to explain in plain language how their work will increase your bottom line. Furthermore, they must demonstrate how they will prove that their work yields positive results.

Finding Social Media Manager Candidates

You can begin your candidate search using traditional job and freelance boards. However, social media platforms are also a great place to find a manager.

For instance, a LinkedIn search will yield a list of hundreds of groups frequented by social media specialists. If you need a local specialist, Facebook Recruiting allows you to search for talent in specific regions.

Many businesses find social media managers by posting a position on Twitter with a link to a company career page. If you find a potential manager using this method, it’s a good sign.

You'd think that an existing employee is a logical choice to manage your business's social media accounts. Truthfully, however, professional social media management is a full-time job. 

It takes considerable time to perform social media tasks such as developing content, staying in front of technical trends, strategizing engagement and monitoring activity. An existing employee cannot do their job and that of a social media manager – there's not enough time in a day to do both.

 Also, you want to find a candidate with a strong personal foundation. Many businesses have implemented the process of checking a candiate's social media accounts for behavior and personal finances through credit checks. 

A dedicated social media manager can help you adapt your marketing strategy as consumer demands and social media trends evolve. By hiring a dedicated manager, you can realize a measurable return-on-investment and ensure the continued success of your organization. 


About the Author:
Matt Shealy President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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