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How do you choose a Social Media Manager?

| Bianca Nucaro |

How do you choose a Social Media Manager?

Whether you’re a small business owner or a large brand, social media plays an integral role in daily business operations. For any sized business, having a strong online presence can be a daunting task and is sometimes overlooked Social media management requires a strong skill set in digital marketing, content creation and community management.

In this article, we’ll be discussing what exactly a social media manager does and best practices for choosing a social media manager that fits your brand and goals.

What exactly is a social media manager?

Most brands understand the importance of social media and the benefits that it can bring to a business’s bottom line. However, many business owners don’t know how to find a SMM (Social Media Manager) with the right skill set and personality to match your brand goals. While it may seem easy, managing a brand social media account is not the same as managing a personal account. There is a significant amount of research, strategy and marketing prowess required to leverage social media to your brand’s advantage. 

The roles and responsibilities of a SMM can vary greatly from day to day. Depending on your goals and social media marketing needs, the role of a social media manager can be very different from a similar role in another business or organization. Some of the primary responsibilities of a social media manager could include:

Content creation

Content creation is the process of making the creative assets used in your online marketing. Content creation can be extremely diverse and may require a wide range of skill sets, including photography, videography, video editing, Photoshop, graphic design and other multimedia design skills. For many businesses, the roles of content creation and social media management are different and often are filled by multiple individuals. However, for small businesses or individuals, these skills might fall into the same role of a social media manager. Understanding your content creation needs and goals is a critical first step in beginning the search for your ideal social media manager. 

Marketing strategy and design

The development and management of a social media strategy is critical to the long term success of your brand. Your marketing strategy should be flexible, adaptive and planned in advance. This ensures your content and engagement reflects the goals of your business. Social media managers utilize tools such as content calendars, key message repositories, standard messaging and scheduling tools. The ability to not only develop, but to adapt a social media strategy is a skill that any social media manager should possess. 

Analytics

A social media manager should be well versed in the backend of various platforms and the analytics they can provide. These analytic tools should be used to set realistic goals for your content, drive engagement and growth. This will ensure your social media is supporting your business goals. Some useful analytics data that social media platforms can provide include the quality of your social media engagement, the growth of your channel, the effectiveness of a particular campaign or post and the type of content that most engages your audience. 

Customer service

A common role of a social media manager is to help to mitigate issues on social media. This can be from followers, customers and the elusive “trolls”. A social media manager is an extension of your customer service team. They can help to address customer concerns, problems with shipping or returns and complaints about other employees. Social media managers should be adept at managing a variety of issues. They should also have a good understanding of the types of issues to flag to senior team members or customer service teams. 

Customer engagement

Social media managers are the front line of customer engagement and growing your social following. While this may sound simplistic, engaging a vast customer base is a full time job and often requires a lot of your social media manager’s time on a daily basis. Customer engagement can include creating engaging social media content, responding to direct messages and comments, engaging with similar accounts or growing your follower base through a number of engagement tactics. 

Social listening

Another way that a social media manager brings value to your business is through social listening (otherwise called a social media audit). Social listening is an active research technique that should be done on a routine basis to ensure your brand is using social media in the most effective way possible. Social listening includes auditing similar brands and businesses, understanding new trends in social media and staying on top of current pop culture conversations. The task of keeping your brand relevant on social media requires an investment in social listening. 

What skills should a social media manager have?

In order to find the perfect social media manager for your business, is it important to understand what their role will entail on a daily basis and on a long term basis. Understanding the role of your ideal social media manager will help you to tailor your job search to find the perfect candidate for your business. Without a clear and comprehensive directive on what the role should and could entail, it may be difficult to find a social media manager who meets your requirements and can grow with your business. 

Social media managers should be well versed in both the front-end and back-end elements of social media marketing.

The front end of social media is concerned with the content and engagement happening on your channel. This includes content creation, strategically growing and engaging your audiences, responding to direct messages and comments, and engaging with other accounts. The back end of social media marketing is the analytics and strategic side of social media management. This includes the analysis of social media data in its’ unstructured form to help gauge the effectiveness of your social media strategy. 

When interviewing candidates or agency for a social media management role there are a number of important skills to look for, including:

  • Graphic design skills including Canva, PhotoShop, Adobe etc. 
  • Photography and videography skills (including editing)
  • Copywriting experience (specifically for social media)
  • A proven ability to manage customer issues, complaints and crisis situations online
  • Experience developing and maintaining a social media strategy
  • A successful track record of managing and developing a content calendar
  • A strong understanding of social media analytics and how to use this data to inform a social media strategy
  • Experience with a range of social media platforms (including the social media platforms most relevant to your brand)

What soft skills should you look for when hiring a social media manager?

In addition to your social media manager’s technical skills and experience, it is important to find a social media manager that fits your brand’s voice, tone, personality and culture. After all, this person is the online representation of your brand and often engages with customers directly as your brand’s voice. 

Throughout the hiring process of your new social media manager, we recommend referring to your brand vision, mission, values and voice to guide your search. It might be valuable to identify the type of personality traits and qualities that you feel would be a best fit for your brand, but also remember to remain open-minded and flexible. Just like technical skills do not win someone the job, neither do personality traits. 

To get to know your candidates’ personality, we recommend learning about their hobbies, interests, understanding of social media trends and technologies and their personal feelings towards a number of topics that might directly (or indirectly) impact your brand. A few examples of these types of questions could include:

  • Besides our brand, what company do you admire most for their social media marketing?
  • Do you read any blogs on social media marketing to keep up with trends and developments? If so, what are your favourites?
  • What is your approach when dealing with a challenging individual online?
  • Do you have an example of a type of social media marketing campaign you think our business should consider?
  • What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
  • Do you have any recommendations on how we can improve our current social media marketing?
  • How would you describe our brand’s current tone and voice on social media?

Now what? I want to know more!

Now that you’ve learned all there is to know about finding the perfect social media manager, we’d love to chat! Our social media management and digital advertising services, along with our graphic design expertise, can help your brand break through the clutter of the digital ecosystem. Our social media management team can help bring in new leads through data driven advertising and help to amplify your voice online. For more information, visit https://705creative.ca/

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