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Hiring a Social Media Manager

Chapter 8
Hiring a Social Media Manager

Our friends at Sprout Social do a great job of explaining the importance of a social media manager, saying:

“Social media managers essentially act as actual brands. Ever see ‘The Wizard of Oz?’ You can think of a social media manager as the sort of ‘person behind the curtain.’”

From creating engaging posts on your pages to responding to comments on behalf of the brand to listening for mentions of your product or service across social channels, a social media manager is the one pulling all the strings in the eyes of your buyer.

So, an hour or two out of someone’s day won’t cut it if you want to be successful with social media marketing for your business.

At IMPACT, we are firm believers that if “no one owns it, it won’t get done” — and this applies to social media as well.

With 71% of customers recommending a brand to friends after a great social media experience and 86% being put off from a company because of a bad one, you can’t afford to have your social media fall to the wayside.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do Exactly?

A social media manager has a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Keeping your profiles up to date and accurate.
  • Crafting, optimizing, and scheduling posts.
  • Responding to comments.
  • Social listening, which is tracking and watching for what people are saying about your brand, industry, competitors, and problems related to your solution.
  • Keeping up with constant changes to rules, algorithms, and best practices.
  • Posting in real-time during live events.
  • Working with marketing to be sure content is promoted on social media with proper people and companies tagged, hashtags, imagery, etc.
  • Managing your paid social advertising (sometimes).
  • Functioning as a front-line customer service representative. 34.5% of customers refer to social media as their customer care option, so social media managers must be prepared to function as customer service. Customers look to social for fast responses. If they don’t get them, you’ll leave a sour taste in their mouths.

Clearly, being in a social media role on behalf of a business is no easy task. Between the “always online” nature of the job and the complete overlap between work and personal life online, it’s a tough balance.

It’s key to find the right person for the job who is experienced in handling all of these responsibilities while positively representing your brand.

What To Look For in a Social Media Manager

Your social profiles are some of the most visible pieces of your business and a direct reflection of your company’s culture and values. Plus, because social media is inherently, well, social, everything you say online is open to comments and criticism from everyone on the internet.

With all of this in mind, if you think you can just hire your “HR director’s nephew who graduates next May” or a part-time intern to do your social media, you’re sadly mistaken.

Do you want someone who is comfortable with technology? Absolutely. Is this typically someone who’s younger? Social media has only been around for so long, so yes.

However, it is also a job for a full-time, trained professional – someone who knows how to represent a brand’s voice, tone, and style and who knows the rules and behavior expected from a business online.

Sprout Social recommends looking for these social media skills when assessing potential candidates:

  • Writing skills, for communicating internally, interacting with customers and writing marketing copy (think: captions and calls-to-action)
  • Experience, such as working with multiple social media platforms and understanding their best practices
  • Customer service skills, including customer success and escalation management
  • Understanding of analytics, as well as other tools that make up a marketing tech stack
  • Organizational skills to handle their duties while also sticking to a schedule and deadlines”

How To Know if You Need a Social Media Manager

If you’re not sure if you need to hire a social media manager, consider these questions:

  • Do the number of sites available and the constant updates that will be required overwhelm you?
  • Do you understand the importance of social media, but are afraid to manage it yourself?
  • Do you have someone at your company who is available and willing to pay attention to your social media pages on a regular basis?
  • Do you have someone who has the bandwidth to craft optimized social posts for all your content and schedule or publish them across social networks?
  • Do you have someone with a passion for social media who will keep up with all the constant changes?
  • Do you have someone who embodies the voice and tone of your brand and is confident with technology and social media?

Whether you decide to promote someone from within your organization or hire someone brand new, these questions will help you go through a thorough vetting process before moving forward.

Either way, if you truly want to see success with social media, our recommendation is always to hire someone to solely focus on its strategy and execution.

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