Social media has progressed from a tool for online communication and photo sharing to one of the most successful forms of marketing.
You can use social media platforms to connect with your audience, build a brand, and even increase your sales.
But to get all this you need an active and thriving social media presence.
You can achieve this by yourself if you have the time and resources to dedicate to different social media platforms. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire a social media manager.
There is no way around it!
The problem is that this position is very new. It has only been established in the last decade. Therefore, it isn’t easy to find qualified people for this job.
Many companies incline towards hiring some millennials as they come from the age of social media. But there’s a lot more to social media marketing than posting pictures. Millennials often lack skills like reporting, analysis, and strategizing for different platforms.
So the question remains, how to hire a social media manager?
In this article, I’m going to share my learning and experience in hiring the best social media marketers for my agency. I’ll share who you should hire, what skills to look for, and how to measure the ROI.
Table of Contents
- What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
- Skills required in a Social Media Manager.
- In-house Manager vs freelancer vs Agency.
- How to Measure the Success of Your Social Media Marketing?
1. What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
Here’s an accurate representation of what most people think social media managers do:
And here’s what social media managers actually do:
1.1 Curate content
The biggest and most time-consuming task of a social media manager is to find or create amazing content.
This content can be original or curated in the form of an article, video, image, or infographic.
1.2 Schedule posts
Once the content is ready, it’s time to post it. There is a specific time recommended to post in order to get the most engagement. This time keeps changing.
And moreover, we don’t believe it is possible to have one right time for every business. Your social media manager will try to experiment with different times on different platforms to find the best time to post for your niche.
1.3 Manage your content calendar
Both the above tasks don’t happen in one day. There is a weekly or monthly content calendar planned by your manager. This helps to plan and create content in a little advance to avoid last-minute panic.
1.4 Engage with your followers
The biggest function of social media is engagement. It gives you more visibility and allows you to humanize your brand.
Your manager regularly engages with your followers or your target audience by commenting, sharing, or answering questions about your brand.
1.5 Monitor the latest trends
The world of social media is like a whirlpool. Trends, hashtags, viral news, best practices changes every day. Keeping up with all this is the biggest challenge for a social media manager.
1.6 Review analytics
Your social media manager will keep a check on how your posts perform. They will review how many likes, share, retweets, or click-throughs you get with a post.
This analysis helps in optimizing efforts and pinpoint the areas that need improvement.
1.7 Build a Social Media Strategy
Based on the above analysis, you’ll be able to draft a strategy that will help in choosing the right channels and figuring out your content strategy.
A social media marketing strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose.
2. Skills required in a Social Media Manager
Now that you know what a social media manager does, you might wonder if you can do this yourself?
There is nothing stopping you from running your own social media accounts. But before that, you’ll have to look into the skills needed to manage various social media platforms.
Some companies have separate copywriters to write posts and tweets. But in most cases, the social media manager will be responsible to write good content.
This content needs to be engaging and captivating. It should convey the message in lesser and simpler words with no grammatical errors.
Also, there is a different content strategy for different channels. For example, Instagram captions can have up to 2,200 characters but the most engaging length is between 138–150 characters.
2.2 Customer Service
More and more people have started using social media as a way to reach out to a brand.
Your social media manager needs to be equipped to answer questions about your products and services. They may not be able to provide technical help but they should have the basic conversational skills to handle crisis situations.
A great deal of social media marketing is in the visuals. Although it is not possible for a social media manager to know how to create complex designs and illustrations, they must know how to create simple social media graphics.
They should also have an understanding of what designs, sizes, and orientations work on different platforms.
2.4 Analytics and Reporting
Analysis helps to know if your marketing is working and what result does it drive.
Broadly social media has two metrics that need to be analyzed. The first is the social media metric that analyzes and assesses page likes, post likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.
Another one is the business metric that includes conversion analysis, ranging from traffics, leads, bounce rate, and sales made from social media.
Social media managers use tools like Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Buffer, or Hootsuite to perform this analysis. They can then interpret the data to optimize campaigns and improve ROI.
Most companies assign a budget to social media for paid ads, management and analysis tools, images, or design tools.
In this paid ads is the field where your social media manager excels. They have knowledge about how much to spend on what platform. How many ads to run and what budget to assign to every ad.
Now if you think you have these skills, you can go ahead and handle your social media accounts. If not, you’ll have to hire a social media manager.
Let’s see how you can do this…
3. Hire a Social Media Manager: In-house vs freelancer vs Agency
There are multiple routes you can take when it comes to hiring a social media manager. You can hire someone in-house to work as a part of your team. You also have the option to hire a freelance social media manager.
Hiring agencies, however, is a new concept. But keeping in mind the current business trends and goals, outsourcing to an agency has become an effective model for profitable business operations.
Below I have laid out some pros and cons of in-house managers, freelancers, and agencies. You can use this comparison to decide how to hire a social media manager.
3.1 In-House Social Media Managers
Having a social media manager who works inside the office has many benefits. The manager will have a better understanding of the company culture and will be more in tune with your vision.
The biggest drawback of an in-house manager would be the cost. According to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a social media manager is ₹531K / yr excluding the cost of perks, insurance, and, benefits.
- Better communication
- Total control over how they handle a task
- A better grasp of company culture
- High cost
- Time-consuming hiring process
3.2 Freelance Social Media Manager
Freelancers are the most affordable route to hire a social media manager. You can easily find the right person on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. They are ready to work in a long-term partnership or on per hour basis.
However, a freelancer works on multiple projects at the same time. This can be good for you as they will have a wider knowledge of the subject. But it can also be a con as they won’t be dedicated to your needs 100% of the time.
Also, since they don’t work on-site, communication can be a hassle.
- No training required
- Bigger talent pool to choose from
- Divided attention
- Communication gap
3.3 Hiring a Social Media Marketing Agency
Social media agencies are constantly evolving to adapt to current marketing trends. They are focused on hiring only the top of tier talent to ensure quality services.
Also, outsourcing to an agency reduce overhead expenses by 10-15%. On average, an agency charges anywhere from $150 to $400 per month to manage your social media presence.
- Saves time by eliminating the hiring process
- Saves resources like employee benefits
- Available on a flat monthly cost
- Expert quality
- 24*7 support
- Agencies don’t have a familiarity with your brand
- Less management and control from your end
4. How to Measure the Success of Your Social Media Marketing?
Social media managers have a way of analyzing which campaigns are working and which ones need to be improved.
Along with them, you’ll also have to measure the success of your social media marketing. This will help you ensure whether or not you are getting the returns you wanted.
Now, most company owners who don’t have adequate knowledge think that the success of any campaign depends on page and post likes.
Well, sometimes it does but not always.
For instance, if you have an eCommerce company and your goal is to make sales, your post likes aren’t going to do anything for you. You need conversion.
Although, if you have a YouTube channel and your goal is to go viral, your post likes and shares are everything.
You’ll have to measure the success of your marketing by defining your goals.
Here are 4 most common KPIs to get started on tracking your own social media campaigns:
The reach of your post will tell you how many people have seen your content. It measures how far your content spreads.
Reach can be of 3 types: Organic that includes the number of people who see your content without paid distribution. Viral Reach shows how many people have seen your content as a result of social sharing. Paid Reach shows the number of people who saw your content through a promoted post.
You can see this metric in the Facebook Insight tool under ‘Reach’ and in Twitter Insight under ‘Impressions’.
Your organic reach will depend on how you optimize your content. So if this is low, your post content and designs need twerking.
Paid reach completely depends on your audience targeting. If this is low, that means you are not creating the right custom audience for your ads.
Once your content reaches the audience, its time to see how they engage with it.
This is an important KPI as it measures how people are interacting with your brand across all social networks.
Engagement can be measured on various terms such as likes and shares, comments, retweets, followers gained, brand mentions and tags, etc. It mostly depends on how engaging your content is and how creatively you resonate with your audience.
Also, more the engagement more the viral reach.
4.3 Referral Traffic
For most website owners, the prime goal is to drive traffic from social media channels. You can measure this traffic easily in Google Analytics under Referral Traffic.
You can also analyze how the traffic performs once it arrives at your website. This can be done by measuring the bounce rate, page views, duration, and pages visited per session.
The amount of traffic will depend on how well you use a call to action in your content. However, a high bounce rate and low page duration might point towards a badly optimized web page.
Many marketers focus on conversions and revenue-related metrics. But only when you find the right audience and keep them engaged, you’ll be able to sell them your product or service.
Selling will be the last and the ultimate measure of your social media marketing success.
Social media presence is becoming a must for every modern business. Managing your account yourself might seem simple at first but it will exhaust so much out of you.
It will be wise to invest and hire a social media manager. Or you can just contact an agency like DigiFloat to handle your social media marketing services for a flat monthly fee.