Hiring new talent into a business is one of the most time consuming, and commitment heavy tasks a company takes on. You want to be sure that the person you bring into the fold not only can fulfil the role, but they fit into the business and the business fits with them.
If you are on the hunt for a new Social Media Manager, hopefully the list of skills to look for will help ensure the person you choose is the right person, whether they are full or part time, in house or remote, freelance or employed.
The last 5 years has seen an explosion of roles that simply did not exist in the way they do now. The internet boom and accelerated leaps in the tech world has lead to the creation of roles such as app developers, influencer engagement mangers, SEO experts, the list goes on.
Of these roles, the social media manager has become one of the most sought after and therefore one of the hardest roles to successfully fill, due simply to the vast range of expectations the role requires.
Regardless of brand or business size, the requirement for a strategised social presence is greater than ever, and more and more that role is coming into it's own and the responsibility for that can no longer be spread amongst a number of other existing roles. The following list of traits and experience should help smooth the search for the perfect social media manager
What is a Social Media Manager?
I don't know about you, but I've noticed more and more obscure job titles appearing, ones that force me to say 'what on earth do they do'
So here's a little clarity for you, as to what the Social Media Manager means;
social media managers are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for a business’s social media sites. This might include blogging, creating social media profiles, managing regular posts and responding to followers. They must stay at the leading edge of industry trends, so they can create a marketing strategy that generates inbound leads, gains followers, and creates a positive image for the company. They are also responsible for regularly evaluating the success of their marketing efforts and tweaking their marketing strategy as needed.
That's quite a description I am sure you'll agree. What type of person shouldl fill that role? What attributes and skills should they have? Hopefully the list below will help.
Social media expertise
It almost seems ridiculous to include this, especially as the first point, but let me explain why.
They must know more than the names of the platforms, what they do and to have occasionally used them. They must also understand the inner workings of the analytic side of them, the back office, and the nuances of each platform.
It's about knowing the audience and creating content they respond to, and the simple fact that there is no such thing as an 'average' social media user.
They should understand the power of 'calls to action', how to impliment and report on social spending including Facebook & Twitter Ads, Instagram sponsorship and when posts should be shared in line with the audience engagement.
If all they are interested in is helping you gain more followers, they are not the right person. Sure followers are important but they are a part of a much greater strategy that should focus on engagement and building rapport not simply beating a competitor in a like for like follower race.
Your new social media manager should come to the table with a depth of knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the tools they will use day in day out, which far surpasses what you as a business already know.
Personally I don't have an opinion as to which scheduling platform is best, it is whatever suits the person. I use Buffer because the platform is easy to navigate, the app works fantastically and the analytics provided are in depth enough for me.
That being said there are a wealth of other platforms out there and as long as your appointed social media manger has a firm grasp on the one they use, the reasons for it and the benefits to the brand, all is well.
This is a point of contention I am sure. Personally I think that to get the most out of a SEO strategy, you need someone who's specific role is SEO. That being said a level of understanding of SEO is vital for a social media manager to have within their arsenal of skills.
A blended SEO and social media strategy has the power to bring your social audience members to you with the potential to build a relationship that communicates with, not at them.
Successful social media and SEO are directed by great content, and in the words of Forbes;
content is the cornerstone of your SEO strategy, and your social media manager is the gatekeeper and promoter of much of this content
There is no possible way to be a successful social media manager without having a level of creativity that excites you. Striving to make fantastic content is key, without a doubt, it is the way in which your brand will be defined and will carve it's place in their industry.
Creativity does not mean wacky or close to the bone, it can do, but certainly doesn't have to. It means thinking with a more open mind about how best you can use those 140 characters, for example.
Creating consistency whilst avoiding monotony is key and can be the difference between coasting and flying online
I have left this until last for a very important reason. Every single one of the above mentioned skills can be learnt, can be taught, can be created. Passion is something you have, you are, you live with.
Sure you can care about your job, you can care about the company you work for, but to have passion is the attribute that elevates a person in their role.
As the digital face of a business, social media should be a shining beacon of all things 'BRAND'. It should clearly depict the business, it's tone and positioning, it is in a lot of cases the first moment of engagement for a new customer and to be met with anything other than passion is a disappointment that will always be remembered.
I hope all of this helps and you keep these things in mind when you are searching for your next or first social media manager.