Finding someone to hire for handling your social media / be part of your social media team is a daunting prospect.
Not only are you handing over your precious social media accounts to a stranger usually remotely, but you’re also investing in marketing potentially without knowing much about it, hence needing the help.
This is made all the more challenging when you’re not certain about what makes a great social media manager.
But fear not! 🙌
I’m here to make you comfortable that you’re choosing to hire the perfect social media manager, and how to spot someone who isn’t right, even if you’re not a marketing guru yourself!
My ‘hiring a social media manager checklist’, will help you find a perfect balance between a genuinely great social media manager and reaping rewards, without wasting money.
1. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any relevant case studies to show you”
Social media managers have managed social accounts before, and therefore they will have case studies to show off to you. If they don’t, most likely they are a graphic designer/copywriter who names their role as “social media manager” but hasn’t actually got any social media management skills beyond managing their own accounts.
Handy tip: Be careful to check the account growth actually delivered. There can be factors at play in growth including a big business deal for the brand behind social or the account was already growing super fast. So, find out what the person actually did for the accounts. You can find out by using tools like Social Blade and compare stats before and after they helped the client.
Case studies with screenshots of posts/analytics/growth graphs are the best. Always look out for engagement rate, overall growth, and interaction (replies, comments, etc) of their client accounts.
2. They’re not asking about your brand and overall marketing strategy
There’s no “one size fits all” strategy for all brands, even if they’re in the same industry.
What defines you as your brand? Your USPs, target audience, and psychology behind reaching people are what combine to form your bespoke social media strategy.
If your social media manager knows very little about you, they may be using a basic “all-round” strategy.
3. They don’t set SMART goals
SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-bound) create targets for your social media manager to help tweak a strategy/approach to reach said goals.
Have they asked about your business objectives? Have they explained how they will be testing approaches and aligning them to meet these specific business objectives?
4. “I can promise you hundreds of followers a month”
A social media manager you’re looking to hire may intend on purchasing followers (normally ghost accounts) for your account, probably without telling you.
This is a really poor and awful approach if you want to grow a genuine following from people who actually care about your brand, and worse still, you could be punished by the platforms in the form of account suspension who don’t tolerate this whatsoever – quite rightly so!
They’re in it purely for the follower vanity metric, and social is so much more than that.
Not even the best social media managers in the world know how people will react to a brand and their social media channels without spending time on the platforms.
What’re 1000 followers if only 2 of them actually engage with your content and care about your brand?
5. They are unable to deliver a written proposal or strategy
A plan without a goal is just a wish (merci, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, for blessing us with this quote). If there’s no sign of a social media strategy, that’s a sign they’re an inexperienced social media manager.
Strategies are formed and tweaked so that everyone is on the same page, clear approaches are defined and KPIs (key performance indicators) are set to monitor progress.
Without any structure, your social media manager is unlikely to be aspiring to goals for your brand. You’re left feeling a bit “meh”.
They should have strategies in their portfolio work to show you. If not, avoid!
6. They use automation tools (not including scheduling software)
Automation in marketing is a recipe for disaster and can be a huge problem for brands, but unfortunately many “social media managers” use them as a marketing tactic.
It’s easy to spot a bot and it makes people behind a brand appear lazy and false.
These tools include automatic replies, likes, followers and comments. I genuinely once saw a comment on someone who had posted a picture of their dog who had recently passed away with something along the lines of “your dog is so cute, we’d love to send him/her some treats from our pet subscription box!”. 😬
Your brand appearing “robotic” will deter potential customers towards your competitor brands that engage much more appropriately with their followers. Genuine, relevant interaction is absolutely key!
Hire a great social media manager – overview
I hope this blog has sparked some ideas about how to hire the perfect social media manager!
Hopefully, I’ve made the process that bit easier by helping you spot errors that an inexperienced, and perhaps less genuine, social media manager would make.
Best of luck with your search and let me know if this has helped you feel more confident to hire!
Don’t forget to check out our upcoming social media tool! 🎉