The Ultimate Guide for Hiring a Social Media Marketer

The Ultimate Guide for Hiring a Social Media Marketer

Social media is indispensable for your business. And the entire social media landscape evolves in real-time. Yes, it’s a powerful tool, but can you manage the painstaking and expensive process needed to make it work?

In the recent past, social platforms have become quite complicated, and so is the role of a social media marketer. The constantly changing trends require social media managers to be more creative, trend-savvy, and motivated.

If your start-up or established company acknowledges the importance of having a dedicated social media manager, what traits and qualities are you supposed to look out for?

For these experts to ace your social media marketing game, you must ensure that they’re masters of their own game. It’s not a task that you can delegate to an intern and expect your ROI to surpass your expectations overnight.

The social platforms you want to leverage come with high demands, but succeeding here is about polishing your hiring strategy. So, read on and learn the cardinal rules to follow when hiring a top-shot social media marketer.


What Is A Social Media Manager?

Yes, you and many other business owners might not be in the clear when it comes to hiring a social media manager. But the definition is quite easy.

A social media manager is at the core of your online marketing strategy. They are charged with planning, execution, implementation, and measuring the outcomes of your social media marketing efforts or campaigns.

These experts are well-versed in creating content, campaigns, advertising, and building awareness around your brand on specified social channels.

Other than amplifying brand awareness through your social profiles, they are tasked with creatively developing customer support frameworks to make your business popular online.

What is Social Media Management?

Although it can be used interchangeably with social media marketing, Social media management entails the monitoring and executing of business processes such as content distribution across appointed social media profiles.

No doubt, social media managers are always at the core of your online marketing strategy. They’re wired to know what your target audience wants, how they think and behave. When they master such trends and tendencies, they can build better customer engagement that eventually drives your leads and ROI.

Who Should Manage Social Media?

Managing social media is a multipronged approach.  You need to craft a strategy mainframe, plan your content calendars, respond to followers and leads, and the list is endless. Your options here aren’t limited. You can decide to:

  1. Manage in-house – depending on your venture’s size, you can pick an in-house expert(s) to handle the process. Such an expert can be part of the marketing or communication department.
  2. Outsource to specialists – your social media management can be outsourced to dedicated specialists or agencies.
  3. Opt for a hybrid approach – going hybrid means you can blend your in-house team with an external one. For instance, the in-house expert can create strategy and content while the external support caters to monitoring and support.


What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

I know you want to hire a social media marketer who is up-to-date with emerging trends and works with social media best practices. But do you know that social media marketer responsibilities vary by their niches? Either way, their duties are often surface deep and complex.

What do they really do? These experts create and develop social media pages, manage them, and collaborate with teams to create relevant content. They’re responsible for identifying prospects, feeding them with captivating content, and driving the engagement that pushes those prospects to interact more with your brand.

Whether you’ve chosen to ply on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, social media managers will monitor, moderate, and respond to community comments. They’re savvy at building and maintaining healthy relationships with other brands.

Above all, they strategize around online marketing efforts, track and analyse results from every campaign you run. Remember, it’s more challenging than managing that personal profile on your fancy social platform. Given their expertise, they must display vast marketing knowledge.

Additionally, these managers must align their vision to your business goals. The best in the game can comfortably create a unique brand voice, and they can manage multiple social media profiles comfortably.


Key Responsibilities of Social Media Managers

As a business owner, you know how social media gives you leverage against your competition. Social platforms can avail you and your team with unparalleled data regarding target audience interests, desires, and needs. But you must have a social media marketer who knows the ropes in the game. What are these experts charged with?

Implementing Marketing Plans

Any social media manager worth your time should be well-versed in devising and implementing your marketing strategies. It’s what outlines every other responsibility they handle. Your marketing plan defines how your business will execute on specified social channels. Further, such a plan outlines your goals on a given network and the kind of campaign that suits select channels.

Works Out Publishing/Posting Timetable

Succeeding with social media marketing is determined by your publishing and posting schedule. Your social media marketer needs to ace such a task. They need to be adept in determining what post gets published when.

Establishing Brand Identity

Your brand gets a shot in the arm when you promote it through social media. A social media manager is always at the centre of creating a great brand identity for you.

Supporting Promotional Campaigns

Social media marketers know how to boost your campaigns using promotional materials. They must demonstrate proficiency with social ads management, analysing traffic, and liaising with brand-centric influencers.

Creating Engagement Strategies

Your social media marketing goals are hard to realise if you can’t build engagement. Enter the social media marketer. The rest will fall in place easily. Competent managers should demonstrate skill in building engagement strategies showing how and when your brand should engage prospects online.

Crafting Conversion Plans

Ultimately, you need to convert to stay afloat. But what turns your leads into customers? The social media marketer you’ve picked must demonstrate how they intend to lead your prospects deeper into your conversion funnel.

In fact, it’s their responsibility to know what works or won’t work in this context.

Data Analysis

Your social media marketing guru is in charge of creating SEO-rich content. But that’s not all. They need to be excellent with data analysis. Otherwise, how will you know if your social marketing campaigns will pay off? Fortunately, the best in the field are conversant with metric tools, data analysis, and they are best suited to analyse emerging trends to create better strategies for the future.

Why Do I Need A Social Media Manager?

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We can agree that successful social media campaigns take more than responding to user comments or tweets. And your Facebook savvy relative isn’t the best-placed expert to create your business’s social profile. While nothing can stop you from creating posts, you need to evaluate whether they’ll return the best results. All you need to know is that a social media marketer is crucial because:

The Social Landscape Evolves In Real-Time

You can be that business owner who is good with books. But, are you aware of the recent algorithm changes? When you appoint a social media manager, they’ll keep tabs on new platform trends. They can tailor your strategy based on emerging trends. It’s a boon for your bottom-line.

You Can Leverage Killer Social Strategies

Your social media marketing campaigns are hollow if you don’t have a strategy. You need to operate with a roadmap, or you’ll get lost in the haze. If you want consistency with content, a social media guru needs to be on board. Reality check: just because you’re posting on social platforms, it’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. If you’re posting on Facebook or Twitter once in a while, you need to change tact.

Reputation Management

You could be on top of trending hashtags, happenings, and events. But that’s not everything. Succeeding on social requires professional reputation management. You need to respond to customer questions and grievances on time. If you ignore their concerns, they’ll gladly check with your competitors. And you’ll lose a sale.

Leverage Best Social Media Practices

Social media marketing has its grand share of best practices. Such elements help you to drive engagement. If you’re relying on dishonest practices, you risk penalties. A social media practitioner can steer you towards the safe side of things.

You Enjoy Branding and Tone Consistency

Social media managers can build and maintain your brand’s voice and tone. They are paid to provide relevant content and style.

Ace your Targets

You probably started off with a specific number of leads you want to convert. Better still, you can earmark the strategies you’ll implement to hit your targets. Suddenly, it emerges that you’re not hitting your targets. Trust me, the only card you could have left up your sleeve is bringing in a social media manager.

They’re Social Media Savvy

You’ve probably looked at metrics, stats, or posts on social platforms and wondered what they could be. Believe me, you’re not alone. Business owners aren’t cut to handle some aspects like social media managers. If you’re not social media savvy, you won’t hack it. Social media marketers have knee-deep knowledge regarding these platforms. They know where your prospects are, why they choose such platforms, and when to connect with them appropriately.


Signs You Need To Hire a Social Media Manager

Social media is the perfect platform that enables you to engage your customers on a personal level. But some businesses don’t relate to such a vibe. If you’re not engaging on social, when do you know it’s the perfect time to retain a social media manager?

You Don’t Know the Platforms Your Audience Prefers

If you’re not conversant with Instagram or Snapchat, but you hear that your prospects prefer such platforms, hurry up and hire a social media manager. It’s simple, disregarding where your audience hangs out means the money ends up with your competitors.

You Don’t Prioritise Social Media

There’s no harm in spending time promoting, marketing, building brand awareness, and sundry. But hey, they are efforts in vain if social media platforms aren’t part of the mix. When you realize you’ve been missing tons of opportunities to engage, you need to get a social media marketer in your corner ASAP.

Social Media Management Is Gobbling Your Time

Managing your social marketing won’t harm your brand until it starts taking away all your time. See, if you’re making time for social at the expense of other core business functions, you’re losing big-time. Get a professional on board and save time for networking or closing deals like everybody else.

You’ve Never Used Social Media

Yes, you launched your store online, but you can’t seem to keep up with others. The reason? You’ve never used social media. If you’re a greenhorn together with everybody else in your team. Allocating a budget to hire a social media manager can turn it around. Sometimes, it takes money to make more money.


Considerations before Hiring a Social Media Manager

Social media marketers are in high demand more than ever. Your business and your competitors are looking for innovative ways to reach and engage new and existing customers. You cannot afford to slight the process of onboarding that professional who’ll be tasked with promoting and protecting your brand online. Yes, your brand is unique, and I bet there are considerations you’ll need to factor in. here are some.

Which Social Platforms Are Best And Why?

The prospective social media manager must be conversant with your brand’s personality. You should check whether they know the perfect social channels that will work the magic for you. Every social channel has its tenets. They should know that too.

What Metrics Need Regular Monitoring?

Monitoring your leads and engagement counts for every brand- including yours. You must evaluate what matters most and the aspects that drive engagement and leads. Before you engage, you must assess how your potential candidate has handled other social marketing campaigns.

Do They Have People Skills?

I bet you’ve thought of setting your social marketing on autopilot. But you can’t do that with customer service and support. Your prospects and customers want real-time support. With a social media manager on board, you can interact invaluably with customers. 

The one thing you cannot gamble with is whether the incoming expert has the chops for communication. If they are pathetic with communication, they’ll do more harm than good.

Is Social Media Essential For Your Marketing Strategy?

If social media is a main cog in your marketing engine, a social media marketer must be involved. But before you hire, ensure that they’re professionals, or you’ll miss out on the leads and conversions.

Are You Social Media Progressive 

Yes, you can have a personal Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook account. But creating moving, value-packed and magnetising posts isn’t an easy one. You’ll need to convert leads and analyse the data. The one mistake you should avoid is to rely on your amateur skills.

Do You Have Time For Core Tasks?

The fact is that social media can be a full-time job. If you’re tasked with other key tasks, you’ll forget your social media obligations. But hiring a social media manager can turn it around. After all, their work is to create content, build engagement, and measure 24×7.

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What to Look For When Interviewing For a Social Media Manager?

I know you’re asking what one needs to become a top-ranking social media manager. There are a variety of skills and capabilities needed. But if you’re hiring, here are some must-have skills for your social media marketer.


Copywriting is an essential skill for social media marketers. Whether it’s ad copy, blogs, captions, or posts, you need an expert that can write and attract clicks, traffic, and engagement. You connect with your customers through storytelling. If the posts are informative, captivating, and brand-focused, you’ll have a constant flow of readers coming your way. Copywriting lets you communicate your brand’s goals and ideal effectively, and you want that.

Social Media Experience

This needs no second-guessing. Your candidate needs to be social media savvy. In fact, they must have a compelling presence on diverse social channels. Always ensure that the one you hire is knowledgeable, conversant, and experienced in all the channels you want to leverage. Ensure they know how and what to post, not to mention they should be adept with automation tools on every platform.

Customer Service Expertise

Your brand can drive crazy engagement on social media. Then your social media marketer should be competent in customer care and handling. They should be skilled enough to handle positive and negative comments.

Design Abilities

You don’t have to shell your budgets to pay a top-grossing graphic expert. What you can do is hire a social media guru with substantial knowledge of graphics. At least, they should know what looks great on your brand’s social profile.


Creativity isn’t a skill that social media managers can derive from a college course. However, mastering the differentiation capability helps them prop your brand above the average online. A good manager will create buzz-worthy content or viral-like videos but its creativity that enables them to crack it. Your candidate armed with creativity will:

  • Create visually compelling, aesthetic, and attention-grabbing content
  • Build innovative and enchanting social campaigns
  • Post perfectly formatted compressed and detailed content
  • Motivate the entire team to brainstorm and execute the best marketing ideas
  • Enhance your brand’s voice across social channels

Organization skills

Pretty easy. Always check whether your candidate can balance it all. If they can juggle their responsibilities, keep deadlines and adapt flexibly, you’re good to do.

Content Curation

Content curation is at the centre of social media marketing. If your brand can’t create evergreen content consistently, the savvy social media marketer will. You only need to be sure that they can create, post, and share at the most opportune times.


Additional Tips When Hiring Social Media Marketers

Pick Experts with Relevant Portfolios

Social media marketing specialists understand that the web is quite saturated. They’ll go all out to stand out from the rest. Your responsibility is to put your feelers out for such gurus. If they’re not average, they sure will have an impressive portfolio brimming with successful examples of their work.

Choose Marketers with Passion for Great Copy

First of all, your social marketing efforts will thrive if you find agile and creative writers. There are times you’ll need unique copy for your influencers in a varying tone. You can only hack it with agile copywriters. Always go for writers who provide a brand-centric copy without sounding monotonous. Also, prioritise on writers with a knack to experiment, optimise and infuse creativeness in copy.

Contingency Plans in Crisis

The changes on social platforms occur unannounced. That said, consider whether your dream expert knows how to handle such bottlenecks. The troll and the negative comments will appear, and your manager should detail how they intend to deal with such, albeit professionally.

Review Their LinkedIn Profile

Nothing compares to a social media manager who demonstrates excellent organisation skills right from the onset. You already know that social media keeps evolving, and you cannot afford to hire rigid experts. Your best hire should have the required set of tools and processes in one place. Their LinkedIn profile will tell you whether you’re making a worthy decision.


How to Find a Social Media Manager

You’ve set out on a mission to find a decorated social media manager, but it sounds overwhelming already. There’s no need to panic. Here are some great sources to try.

Freelance Job Boards

Freelance job boards list thousands of entry-level or seasoned managers that can do a lot of good for your social marketing efforts. Some of these boards, including Upwork or Fiverr, are user-friendly. They’ll indicate an expert’s skill level and rates.


If you’re keen on networking, I’m assuming you’ve built quite a network. Your associates can be great sources of referrals. In fact, they are likely to refer social media managers who’ve made a name in your niche. It could be the perfect way of landing your dream expert.

Social Media Sites

Undoubtedly, the best place to look for social media managers is social media itself. The best are bound to hang out on different platforms looking for work. Lucky? The moment you indicate your interest in such an expert on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, your quest will be simple.

What’s the Cost of Hiring a Social Media Manager?

Your business is already facing the pain of trying to figure out what social media marketer to hire. I know why. You’ve probably been thinking it isn’t a professing like any other. The truth is, hiring a social media guru is as thorough as hiring any other employee.

Now that you know social media managers are respected experts, you need to internalise the following before you allocate a budget:

  • Social media marketing doesn’t come free
  • Fee/retainers vary expert to expert or agency to agency
  • Not all businesses need the social media frills and add-ons.
  • Your business social goals are unique.
  • Social media management should only take a piece of your entire marketing budget.
  • The price you pay doesn’t always guarantee top results.

When assessing the amount you should pay to hire an expert, you must factor in what the professional is coming in to do. The size of your venture, expert skills, the suite of services, and the tools needed will help you calculate a definite figure.

If hiring an in-house expert, you may also need to factor in benefits, taxes, and immigration status. The cost of hiring social media experts can vary between $1,000/month to $20,000. Whether billed hourly, on a retainer basis, or monthly, the billing structure will determine what you’ll pay in the end.


About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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