There comes a time in every business, when we need to begin to hire or outsource for help to run a business. One of the biggest areas of need is Social Media. There are many ways a company (or freelancer) can help you with your social media. And just as many terms to go along with it. So it goes without saying that having an understanding of some of these would be very helpful. I’d like to start with one of the most common ones, ‘social media manager’. This is among the most common outsourced roles. I want to talk about 5 things to look for in a Social Media Manager.
What is a Social Media Manager?
According to Sprout Social, a Social Media Manager is Defined as:
“Social media managers are in charge of representing a company across social channels as the sole voice of the brand. They respond to comments, compile campaigns and create content. These experts provide organizations with the guidance needed to enhance their online presence.
With clear goals like: “improve website traffic” or “optimize brand awareness,” social media managers grow your business through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
This infographic displays the best practices when hiring a Social Media Manager for your company.
As we continue the discussion, I want to share a few things in more detail.
What We Do
I am often asked how do we help a company’s social media. As you can see from the above definition, the role involves a large amount of responsibility, time, knowledge and expertise. So how can a company know if the person or company they are speaking to is not only a good fit for their brand but also good at what they do?
What I Look For In A Social Media Manager
If I were looking for a social media manager today, I would look for a number of things:
#1 – Look at their website – see if they have a professional website. On the website, they should also have at least one of the following: social proofs, case studies, and/or testimonials that show that they have been effective in other company’s social media manager role. You are not looking for a friend of a friend to do this for you, but a professional who does this for a living.
#2 – Review their platforms – visit their social platforms and review their reach, posts, and engagement. The biggest thing I look for is consistent posting. It will also give me an idea of the content they post for their brand (yours will be different but designs and tone may be similar if you plan to have them create content). See what kind of engagement they receive. (In all fairness here, many business pages today are not getting a lot of engagement. Some may receive ‘likes’ but we are not seeing as many ‘comments’ to posts.). Do a general overview and get a ‘feel’ of the company presence.
#3 – Review their packages – most companies will offer packages for social media management. These are a grouping of services offered, usually tiered from the lowest price to highest. The lower the price, the less included in the services offered. The middle package is chosen most often because it is usually a good fit for the average small company, but not always. Be sure to review exactly what is and what is not included. Some will include engagement and others will include created content. I would review the list thoroughly.
#4 – Discuss your brand – have a deep discussion about the brand and the goals. I would discuss what I envision success in social media would look like for our business. During this time I would also explain my ‘ideal client/customer’ and where they usually are in relation to social media (if I have done the research – some social media managers and/or strategists can also do this for also – usually for a separate fee).
#5 – Ask questions – I would also ask a lot of questions. Some regarding how they will represent my brand online. Because ‘questions section’ could be split out into several sections, I’m adding a list for you here of possible questions to ask the person or company you are considering.
Questions to Ask
Below I listed a number of questions and then included what I would consider ‘acceptable’ answers based on my experience and expertise in this arena over the last 11 years. The ‘answers’ are within the brackets ‘[ ]’.
- How long have they been in the social media world? [A minimum of 6 months but also look for the long-timers who have seen the seasons change on every platform and therefore know how to shift accordingly. These may be a little more expensive but well worth it.]
- What types of things have they done with social media? [If they have been in this space long they should be able to rattle off a number of things including types of industries they have worked within the past.]
- What type of content (if you are having them create it) do they think will work best for our company? [Even if this is my first meeting with them, most should have reviewed our current pages – including website and social channels & be able to make some recommendations – without giving away their company’s strategies]
- How will they reach my ideal client? [They should be able to give at least one or two possible ways they have in mind to begin?]
- What platform do they recommend for our business to be most active? [Each platform offers a specific type of benefit. For instance, LinkedIn used to be great for businesses but now is better for job hunters, head hunters and HR companies. Facebook used to best for eCommerce but now offers great opportunities for service providers as well.]
- What do they consider their main responsibilities as my company’s Social Media Manager? [They should respond with answers similar to… ‘listening, trying to engage with prospective clients/customers, strategic ways to gain engagement and leads, as well as, promoting brand awareness & responding to or notifying you of comments’. Listening is a huge part of this. Keep in mind, analytics are important in order to have a metric of measurement but are not the most important thing. The true goal is to gain leads not followers.]
If you know me – you know I write – A LOT, so you can imagine I take tons of notes. It would be no different in this decision-making process. I would take notes, including if I felt it was a good ‘fit’ for the feel and time of our company. After going through the reviewing, questions and considering my notes again, I would settle in on the one who not only possessed the skills but was ultimately the one who ‘got us’! The one who really understood our brand and what we are about and what we are doing.
This role is an important role in any business and as Kathi Kruse says, ‘should not be taken lightly’.
“This is not a position that should be taken lightly or seen as an entry-level position. Your Social Media Manager will speak the lifeblood of your brand to an infinite amount of current, new and legacy customers. Please take deliberate steps to find the embodiment of your brand’s personality. Choose someone who takes the leadership role in building your digital reputation.”-Kathi Kruse
My brand – Your brand deserves the right VOICE! Especially online and on your social channels. Nowhere else is the voice of me and my company seen and heard more right now.
I hope these 5 Things to Look for in a Social Media Manager help when it comes time to consider adding one to your business.