What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

Want someone to take over your social media full time? Here's what to look for.

Alison Martin
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A good social media manager is an investment in your business. Learn what to look for when hiring one. (Photo: Mike MacKenzie via Flickr)

When social media marketing first became popular, many businesses passed their social media accounts to the youngest person on their staff or in their families and said, "Here, you know how to do this." But today, that's not a winning strategy — nor really was it ever.

Social media marketing takes time, strategy, planning and commitment, and if you really want your business's social media to grow and bring in customers, then you need to commit to it. If you don't have the time, then hiring a social media manager can take your marketing strategy from non-existent to through the roof.

So how do you hire a good social media manager? Here's what to look for in a candidate and where to find the best ones.

Assess Your Needs

Every business's social media needs are different. Large showrooms with multiple locations probably have an active social media following, and they're able to invest more in marketing. Smaller showrooms may need help getting their accounts off the ground. Those in the middle may just need someone to maintain the two or three accounts they have and look for ways to grow them.

Not every business needs a full-time social media manager, but it's important to consider what you want from your social media. We already know how important it is to maintain regular postings, but are you looking to advertise on Facebook or build a YouTube following? Are you running promotions through Facebook or tracking and retargeting people across social media platforms?

All of these take time, effort and a solid understanding of social media marketing, but you may not have a budget for a full-time person. Before you start looking, assess how many hours you would like your manager to dedicate to social media. If it's less than 20, consider part-time or even an intern (more on that later).

Experience, not just youth

This may be shocking, but not every young person you know innately understands social media marketing. Sure, they know how to post updates, photos and videos, but that doesn't mean they know how to use Facebook Ads Manager or how to cultivate a following for a business. Writing for a business is much different than writing for a personal account.

That being said, you don't need to hire a veteran marketing expert (although you certainly can if you have the budget). You can still find young talent looking to build experience. If you have a nearby community college or university, then tap local talent. Newly graduated marketing students looking to stay local might enjoy joining a family business.

If you don't need full-time help, you might consider hiring a student intern to handle your social media marketing. It's a good way to help a student get some real-world experience while still in school, and you get a manager who's up to date on the latest social media marketing trends.

If you do decide to hire an intern, do not pay in experience. The quality of intern candidates will be low, and your intern might not be willing to put in extra work for a company that's not paying. Set up an hourly pay and cap the number of hours your intern can work in a week. This will keep your costs down while allowing you to pay a little extra.

Quality work examples

Whether you're looking for a full-time manager or intern, all candidates should have examples of their social media work. You want to make sure your manager understands all the major platforms and can write in a voice that is appropriate for your audience.

If you're hiring a manager with more than one or more years of experience, then make sure to ask about your candidate's strategy for growing a following and how he or she likes to use social media advertising. You can also ask your candidate to take a look at your current social media accounts and provide an assessment of how he or she would strengthen your following.

If you're looking to hire an intern, then he or she will probably not have a lot of work examples. That's okay. You can ask your candidate to complete a short social media test and have him or her write potential posts for your accounts. Your intern candidates can also assess your accounts and discuss what they would do to grow your following and encourage engagement.


Hiring a social media manager can take your social media marketing and following to the next level. What are you looking for in a social media manager? Share with us in the comments!

Photo: Mike MacKenzie via www.vpnsrus.com and Flickr.

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