Hiring the Right Social Media Marketing Manager – The First Time

Social media marketing can be a powerful tool for business growth, or it can be a waste of time and a source of frustration. This guide will help you hire the right pro the first time and jumpstart social media marketing success.

Written By Matthew Martin

July 28, 2020

Raise your hand if you’ve heard claims about how social media marketing can flood your business with leads, traffic, growth, sales, and everything else good. Now raise your hand if you’ve tried it and heard crickets. If you responded both times, you’re in the majority.

It isn’t that social media marketing doesn’t work, it’s just not as easy as it’s sometimes made out to be. You can’t just post stuff and see results.

But extremely positive, revenue-generating results are possible.

Social media marketing really can be an extremely cost-effective way to raise awareness, drive more traffic to your website, improve search engine rankings, offer better customer satisfaction and so many other benefits. At Spade Design, we help one client after another see regular, measurable results.

If you’re frustrated and not seeing a positive response to your social media marketing efforts, you could benefit from hiring a professional, but it’s critical to find one who is the right fit. This guide is about how to hire the right social media marketing team and do it the first time.

Before we get started, you may not be here because you want to hire a team. Maybe you’re just learning the basics. If that’s the case, make sure you download our free guide 5 Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing.

Defining Social Media Marketing Staff Roles

Depending on your goals, the assets you already generate in-house, and the size of your organization, you may need one individual to handle your social media marketing or a team. Feel free to borrow language from this article for use when creating job descriptions.

Social Media Manager

This is the head of your social media marketing team, or the sole professional in charge of developing and executing campaigns for greater engagement, brand awareness, and traffic.

Key Responsibilities

If you’re working with a team, this person is in charge of overseeing the planning and implementation of every part of your social media campaigns. They’ll need experience leading a team to meet deadlines and achieve goals. He or she develops strategies that get your brand in front of fresh eyes, engage audiences, influence behavior, and bring in revenue. If you’re hiring one individual to manage all of your social media marketing, he or she is responsible for the above, plus the duties that follow.

Social Media Analyst

This team member is all about the data. He or she has a finger on the pulse of social media campaign performance and delivers insights based on that data.

Key Responsibilities

Your social media analyst is hyper-aware of trends across social media, within your business accounts, and between competitors. He or she identifies, makes sense of, and reports on those trends with the team and stakeholders. He or she uses those insights to recommend strategies for stronger performance and for future content creation. Reporting and strategies are always connected to established goals.

When you’re hiring for this role, look for someone who can give you concrete examples of how they’ve used data effectively in the past. They should be able to speak comfortably about what tools they used, what data on which they based insights, and how they used those insights to optimize tactics and strategies.

social media analyst

Social Media Specialist

This staff member is in charge of content creation and distribution. He or she helps promote brand authority, create partnerships with influencers, and distribute offers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media channels. He or she also monitors accounts and engages with your online community.

Key Responsibilities

This person plans, produces, and posts winning content, always with strategic audience targeting. He or she uses social listening tools to receive a notification every time someone mentions your brand on social media and to respond appropriately. This professional tailors brand voice to each network according to best practices. The content he or she shares builds relationships and encourages action. They also know how to use curated content for maximum effectiveness.

A creative mind isn’t all that’s required. This person needs scrupulous editing skills. Because there’s a team involved, strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills are also a must.

Graphic Designer

All your images, typography, and other visual assets come from this person or department so you demonstrate brand consistency.

Key Responsibilities

The Graphic Designer collaborates with other team members to plan high-value content, then design engaging images for a variety of content types. He or she competently furnishes images, infographics, charts, graphs, and other materials to engage audiences and support brand messaging.

This person should have extensive experience in Adobe Creative Cloud (what used to be Adobe Creative Suite). Look for a portfolio that showcases their effective use of typography, imagery, layout, color, and other elements.

Video Marketing Manager

Video is powerful, whether it’s a demonstration, project launch, testimonial, or customer story. Your video marketing manager knows just when and how best to use it.

If you’re a small company, one person might wear all of these hats. It’s important, though, to note that they’re all necessary. Each is a piece of the social media marketing success puzzle. Whether you’re hiring a single staff member, a one-person social media marketing agency, or an entire team, make sure to check all the boxes to get the type of results you’re looking for.

video marketing

Key Responsibilities

The Video Marketing Manager collaborates with other team members to create a social media content calendar that incorporates video to accomplish social media marketing goals. He or she shoots, edits, uploads, and optimizes video content. This professional knows how to use interviews, demonstrations, explainer videos, testimonials, and other content to grab attention and win hearts.

Video works when it makes an immediate emotional connection. To do this effectively, he or she should be a storyteller at heart. Their work samples should evidence a superior ability to draw viewers into the narrative.

Ask These Questions to Hire the Right Social Media Marketing Manager

If you’ve hired for any other position, you already know qualified candidates can give examples that show their qualifications. The sample interview questions we’re about to suggest are a starting point. Listen for answers that give concrete scenarios and specific data.

What was the most successful social media marketing project you were involved with?

Listen for information about how many people were involved, what the interviewee’s role was in the process, how the team set project goals, and how they decided whether those goals were met. If they encountered obstacles along the way and were able to overcome them, that’s a good sign they will be able to do the same during your campaigns.

Give me an example of a situation where you adjusted your campaign or strategy because of analytics.

The candidate should be able to reference specific metrics. He or she should explain why they were important and how they made adjustments.

Tell me a few brands that you think do a great job at social media marketing. 

Strong social media marketing managers and team members are always learning. They recognize a great thing when they see it. Once your candidate lists a few names, ask what they admire about those brands and how they implement what they’ve learned from them.

How do you handle negative comments or reviews when users leave them on social media?

It’s going to happen, no matter how much attention you give to customer service. Strong candidates can tell you how they diffused the tension. You shouldn’t sense personal frustration on their end. Their attitude should show a priority for acting in the brand’s best interests while showing sensitivity and empathy.

What’s the most creative piece of social media content you’ve been involved in helping create?

Ask what goals sparked that piece’s creation and how they helped in planning,  designing, or distributing it. Find out what metrics they monitored to measure its effectiveness.

Give me an example of a time you modified content to make it more engaging or effective.

Even the strongest teams don’t hit it out of the park every time. Those with experience notice quickly when things aren’t going as planned. They don’t panic or get defensive. They go back to the data to pinpoint the problem and figure out how to fix it.

Free Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing

Maybe you’re just starting out, and you want to try your hand at social media marketing. Or perhaps you want to make sure you understand the key concepts before you start interviewing professionals. Either way, you’ll benefit from our social media marketing guide, and the download is free. In it you’ll find:

  • How to choose what social media platforms are most suited to your business
  • Important steps to setting up effective business accounts
  • Secrets to creating engaging content
  • Time-saving tools and where to get them
  • How to grow your audience through paid advertising

We wrote it to demystify social media marketing and to make it less overwhelming, even for beginners. Click here to go to the download page. 


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