Social media has become such an integral part of marketing, to the point that brand serious about gaining traction need to hire a specialist to achieve the best results. In a short space of time, companies have gone from delegating social media tasks between employees to hiring dedicated social media marketers. 

These days, taking the reigns of a company’s social media is so much more than simply sending a few tweets and Facebook posts. From managing ad budgets to having excellent customer service, the role of social media marketing is all-encompassing. 

Hiring someone to help grow your brand is an essential cog in the marketing system. However, if you’re not an expert in the field, identifying the key traits to be a successful social media marketer might prove tricky. That’s why we’ve put this article together, which will detail everything you need to know about hiring a social media marketer. 

Define the role you want to fill

The role of social media has grown exponentially, and it’s now at the point where more than one position relates to professional social media marketers. Before you can hire a social media professional, you need to establish which role you want to fill. 

Social media manager

Managers are required to create an action on strategies and campaigns that will increase brand awareness. They will also be expected to grow audiences, day-to-day engagement, and traffic while evaluating results and adapting accordingly.  

Social media analyst

An analyst feeds the data to managers, reviewing campaigns, suggesting the best social platforms, and identifying target audiences. Other key traits for this role include tracking overall social media performances and making suggestions to improve results.  

Social media specialist

A specialist creates and distributes content across the chosen social media channels. They also establish brand authority, craft the company’s social media image, and build partnerships with potential collaborators, such as influencers. 

Social media coordinator 

It’s the job of the coordinator to monitor and update social media channels and engage with communities in real-time, responding to queries, and keeping conversations going. Coordinators also manage content created by social media specialists. 

Set goals

Setting goals coincides with deciding on the type of social media employee you want to hire. Having a concrete goal is essential, as it helps you to understand better what you want to achieve in the long and short term. You may have one or several primary goals, which typically include:

  • Building brand engagement
  • Increasing follow counts
  • Finding a specialist for one channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)
  • Converting followers into paying customers

Setting goals also helps your potential new employee understand their role within the company. They can align their personal aims with company ones, and be clear on what is expected from them professionally.  

Create a job description

Once you know which role you want to hire for and have a list of achievable goals, it’s time to create a job description. You’ll wish for any potential hire to display key characteristics that prove their expertise in the world of social media. Some skills you should ask for include: 

  • Planning and project management
  • Customer service
  • Copywriting
  • Execution
  • Analytical mind
  • Understanding of social media tools

Not all the skills above relate to every social media role. A social media specialist will be able to display their creative chops, while any analyst should be efficient at understanding how to read data and translate them into winning insights. 

Your job description should display the traits you need for the role, along with the required years of experience and a list of the tasks they can expect from the position.  

Ask for work examples

Social media is a content-heavy practice, which means applicants should be able to provide proof of their achievements. You can check samples of a potential hire’s work, whether it’s campaigns that they came up with, follower count increases, or general tweets they sent for previous companies. 

Even if the applicant doesn’t have any previous experience with professional social media, they might still be a good fit for more junior roles. Many people who excel at social media have built their own following online, and know which skills are required to help create awareness around social media accounts. 

Understand social media marketing salaries 

The salary you pay will be dependent on the role and the applicant’s experiences, but it’s good to have an idea of average salaries for social media positions. You’ll need to be competitive, as plenty of companies hire social media employees. 

The role is also relatively new — at least it is when compared to most other professional positions. Therefore, nailing down an average for a social media position is tricky. Ultimately, you should pay someone based on the importance of the role. 

If a social media employee is going to increase brand awareness, grow follower counts and, ultimately, help to bring in more revenues, they’re worth a competitive salary. According to job website Glassdoor, the average social media employee pay is:

  • Social media manager – $50k
  • Community manager – $46k
  • Coordinator – $46k
  • Specialist – $48k

Make the most of the interview

Lastly, and perhaps the most vital component, is the interview. Once you’ve whittled down the candidates, you will need to conduct interviews to see if they’re the right fit for the position. This is your chance to really get an understanding of the person and see if they would be a good fit for your company culture. 

Here are some of the following questions you might ask during an interview with a social media candidate:

  • Do you also understand regular marketing practices?
  • Can you manage social media calendars?
  • How confident are you with creative writing?
  • Tell us some of your favorite social media brands
  • Which social media channels do you excel at using?
  • Tell us about your understanding of paid ads
  • Which metrics do you consider most important for measuring social media success? 

The above questions will give you a clear idea about a candidate’s suitability for the role and help you to make that all-important hiring decision.

Setting yourself up for social media success

It can be tricky hiring a social media professional, especially if you don’t have prior knowledge about the skill. But finding the right person — someone with the required skills and who fits company culture — will go a long way to building a successful social media outreach for your brand.