How to Hire a Great Social Media Manager

How to Hire a Great Social Media Manager

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So You Think You Need a Social Media Manager?


Knowing you need help and admitting it is the first step to Social Media excellence.

If you think you might need a social media manager, you probably do, and if you want a social media manager to manage your accounts, chances are you are looking to hire a great social media manager!

What's a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, CEO, executive, agency owner or professional marketer to do when they need to hire a great social media manager?

First things first!

Here are two things you need to know before starting your search for a great social media manager.

Know what you need help with, what you want to outsource, and know your budget limitations.

Only once you know what you need, can you start looking for a great social media manager to support your business?

What Makes a Great Social Media Manager?

Besides qualifications and training, what makes a great social media manager? 

It should go without saying that you should not hire someone you feel uncomfortable with.

Instead, look for someone you can put your trust in to represent you and your brand online.

Next, a feeling of mutual respect and aligned expectations about availability, work hours and reporting are important as well.

Last but not least, if working with a freelance social media manager, make sure you have a contract between you, and that you will always be kept in the know about password changes and account updates.

Once you've put the word out about this opportunity and you understand what you are looking for in a social media manager, you are ready to interview to hire a great social media manager!

Use the five steps below while interviewing candidates to find the right fit for you and your brand.

become a social media manager

1) Training and Experience

Ask about prior training courses, marketing degrees, and previous experience like internships.

It is to be debated whether training trumps experience; it's up to you to find out what this person has experience in and if that particular experience translates into helping your particular brand/business grow.

Ask questions about previous work responsibilities and experiences and look for red flags i.e. signs of resentment towards a previous boss, or colleagues.

2) Results and Case Studies

While often (freelance) social media managers cannot or will not divulge their current client list, you can ask for samples of writing, visuals, and even strategy.

When asking about experience and/or training, ask if they might have something prepared to hand to you, or present to you.

If nothing was prepared in advance, ask them to tell you about a time they had great social media success, and about a time when social media failed to produce the expected results.

When you are on the fence about a social media manager because s/he is new to social media management but s/he has a terrific attitude, great drive, and enthusiasm, consider hiring that person with less experience anyway! What they lack in experience could very well be compensated by their drive to succeed.

3) Online Presence and Presentation

Nothing says ‘I am an experienced social media manager' more than a dynamite online presence.

This doesn't mean the candidate has to be active everywhere online.

An active and updated LinkedIn profile, as well as a presence on the main platforms such as Facebook and Instagram should be a great start.

Look for posts shared from those accounts giving advice and tips. Above all, look for professionalism at all times.

If, on the other hand, you can not find the social media manager you are thinking of hiring online, ask them to explain their lack of online activity, and if they can't, this might not be the right person to handle your social media.

4) Hypothetical Questions

While we don't condone shady interview tactics like asking a candidate to write a marketing plan for free during the interview process, you surely can ask some hypothetical questions like:

“If a so-called-troll shows up on Twitter, how will you handle him or her?”

“What do you recommend we do when we receive a 1 star Facebook review”

“How do you measure social media success?”

Asking these type of questions during the interview will give you a good feel for their management style.

5) Interview Demeanor and Behavior

Expect questions.

No social media manager can start formulating a plan for your brand without knowing your marketing goals, your currents tactics, strategy, your ad budget and your overall expectations.

If the social media manager you are interviewing doesn't ask you anything about your brand or your service and products, but instead only listens, or worse, tells you what they will do and how they will manage your brand without considering what you want, this will not be someone who will have the best interest of your company in mind; only the interest of their own bottom line.

Ready. Set. Hire.

Once you've decided to whom to entrust your social media management, may we suggest you let the social media manager take the lead on what they need to get started?

For your reference, your social media manager will need any or all of the following for the on-boarding process.

  • executed contract
  • deposit or first month's payment
  • access to social accounts
  • Google analytics access
  • communication channel
  • exchange of style guide
  • strategic plan
  • editorial calendar
  • content calendar

Additional Questions That Arise When Hiring a Social Media Manager

Congrats on realizing you need help with growing and managing your social media!

May your business grow yet your workload be lighter!

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