While it’s critical for small businesses to have a social media manager in modern times, hiring one when you don’t exactly know what you’re looking for or how to go about filling this role can be a daunting task. So here are a few tips for hiring the right social media manager for your growing small business.
Define what the role means to your company
What specific responsibilities do you want your social media manager to have? Make sure to clearly define the duties and responsibilities of the role. Sonia Nagar, Co-Founder of Little Ritual Kids and PLANOLY user, says, “As a small business, resources are scarce (finances and staff) to build content and an audience. There’s so much competition and noise on social media, quality content matters.”
“You also have to overcome a trust hurdle—when you see an account with millions of followers, they get the benefit of the doubt that their content is good. When you’re starting from 0 and building to thousands of followers it’s harder because you don’t have social proof (in the form of a high follower count) to help new followers feel comfortable joining your audience.”
For Sonia, hiring a social media manager will help build the Little Ritual Kids brand trust through an increased follower count. Without it, it’s hard to build deep relationships with potential customers. So in the case of Little Ritual Kids, hiring a social media manager is a “trust builder.” Think about what hiring a social media manager means to your company and build your hiring strategy around that.
Write a solid job description and bring it to life
Using an expert to build your social media presence is money well spent. Sonia shares that the clincher in her decision to hire a dedicated social media manager is understanding that this person could do 10x what she can accomplish on her own. As a mother and small business owner, her time is spread extremely thin. So the impact surrounding the 10x factor a social media manager can bring should be illustrated through a job description write-up.
How to breakdown your social media manager job description into 3 main sections:
1. Start with a high-level impact statement. What does your company do, and why is it an exciting time to join? Why should they want to work for you? Bottom line, what’s in it for them?
2. Now that you’ve captivated the job seeker, the second section should consist of the day-to-day. Get granular here. Social media manager responsibilities vary from organizing content calendars, sourcing images, creating assets, writing copy, posting to social channels, boosting engagement and visibility, building relationships with customers and partners, obtaining user-generated content (like testimonials, customer journey stories, and user photos), serving as the main point of contact on all social channels, recruiting influencers, researching market trends, analyzing the social media engagement data and come up with ways to continuously optimize. It’s a big job. Be transparent about what you need.
3. The final section should list out a blueprint of who you are looking to hire. Be broad here so the description casts a wide net. According to Harvard Business Review, women don’t apply for jobs unless they are 100% qualified. Unnecessary hurdles of exact past job experience limits the talent pool and can even be discriminatory. Be inclusive and make hiring for aptitude a main priority. Skill can be taught with the right attitude.
Know what you want to pay
Time is money and the time you save by hiring a social media manager comes at a price. Run the numbers and decide how much money you are willing to spend to give you time back so you can focus on running your business. Keep in mind, cheaper isn’t always better. Hiring someone with more experience may be worth the price–especially if you are not in a position to train someone.
Websites like Salary.com, Payscale.com, and Glassdoor.com will inform you about how much a social media manager makes in your city. There are states that prohibit employers from asking candidates to disclose salary history during a job interview. Check your state employment sites to ensure how you approach the salary conversation is compliant and legal.
Post your job description and share it with your network
It’s time to share your written job description with your network and post on job boards. Common job boards like Linkedin, Indeed, and Craigslist are a good place to start. Builtin.com is a smaller tech-focused job board site with coverage in 8 major cities around the country. There’s also value in networking with meetup groups and digital communities.
Cruise your local meetup groups to find social media common interest groups. Reach out to the moderators of those groups to see if they will post your job on your behalf. Ask friends, neighbors, friends of friends, and anyone you come in contact with for recommendations. Because after all, there is a high chance someone in your personal social circle knows someone qualified for the position.
I’ve conducted hundreds of interview training workshops over the years – and I cannot stress enough to interview with grace. Candidates will naturally be nervous. I go into every interview with a positive attitude. A good social media manager is organized, plans ahead, sees the big picture, executes with precision, and is extremely intrigued by what’s going on in the social media space. Refrain from stressful rapid-fire questioning that stays surface level. Set up scenarios such as “tell me about a time where you built a social media strategy for a small business that had no social community?”.
An open-ended question will give your candidate the space to talk about what matters most to them, and as they work through their narrative, peel back the onion and drill down on how they get organized, what social media tools they use, and what market research they rely on to build a company’s social media strategy.
Every interview you conduct should end on a positive note, regardless if you plan to extend a job offer or not. Don’t risk tarnishing your brand. Reject every candidate with grace so they continue to advocate for your brand and stay in touch for future job opportunities.
Hiring a social media manager to grow your business is an investment that will elevate your brand and tighten the connectivity with your online community. This hire will also give you the gift of time, allowing you to focus on growing other aspects of your business.
So empower a pro to do it – hire a social media manager.