Hiring a Social Media Manager: 5 Skills + Job Description
By Amy Molthan
Some businesses hire an in-house Social Media Manager (SMM) if they have a high volume of social media campaigns and management to contend with. But what kinds of things should you look for when hiring for this position? Today I will share what I found when researching this topic online in order to create a job description. I read a lot of articles and most of them said the same things. Let’s examine the common thoughts on what an excellent SMM should be good at.
If you are looking for an article on what to look for in a freelance SMM or an Agency, this is not that article, I will write that in the future, now back to the subject at hand.
1. Trends and best practices. Creating amazing content that is a value to the user. The thing I read time and time again that could not be stressed enough was the ability to keep abreast of trends in social media and to understand social media norms. Trends come and go quickly, and let’s face it. We have all seen that brand who tries way to hard and uses meme’s that are no longer relevant, or even worse use them incorrectly.
Let me paint you a picture. We have all seen and laughed at the ads put out by The Truth. If you haven’t you can try to watch this painful thing here. Why was this painful? It’s a trap belongs to Admiral Ackbar and refers to his Captain Obvious powers of observation in a Star Wars scene. The rule, and somebody clearly didn’t explain this to The Truth, was that you cannot assign one meme’s meaning over to other popular meme characters. People can be over protective of meme’s they really love, and it actually upsets them. Using overly attached girlfriend to say, “it’s a trap” made no sense at all. Either did it make sense to use any of the other meme’s they chose. A social media manager would know that if you use a catch phrase from a meme, you use the meme it belongs too. One is enough, 10 more are not needed.
2. Being a customer service representative. Yes, that is right. You will want your SMM to be a calm person who is good at solving problems and enjoys doing it. They will need to monitor all social feeds and assist customers with complaints or problems, and in case you haven’t heard it, hug your haters. Your SMM will also have to communicate with customers in all stages of their buying journey. They will also need to be great at facilitating fruitful discussions that engage your buyers and mirror what your brand is about and how it wants to convey itself online. Basically, they will need to handle all of these aspects.
3. Your SMM should also know how to strategize. They should be able to head up a project, whether they have a team of 4 people or they are a one-man-show. They should know how to set goals. This job will require strong abilities in content, promotion and engagement strategies. Being an innovative thinker with a creative side will definitely benefit this position as well.
4. Marketing knowledge. This is an area that your SMM should understand, Marketing basics, of course, these can be learned through online courses so it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but someone who understands basic marketing concepts would be a plus for obvious reasons.
5. Ability to measure results and ROI, I mean yes, some things are hard to measure and it can get a bit subjective but your SMM should know what to measure based upon the KPI’s you have set. Do you want to grow your likes? Obviously, you will want to measure likes, and not shares. Of course, that is an extremely obvious and basic example but you would be surprised how often we as human beings look at the wrong column for answers in reporting. Google analytics and other measurements and performance reports are absolutely necessary to measure results and to also learn what your buyers like and do not like.
That is 5. Okay, this is by no means an exhaustive list of things that an SMM should be able to do but it is a start. Oh yes, the job description. There are actually many examples floating around on the internet so I will not post a full description but what I found to be common.
Manage Social Media campaigns and routine activities including:
- Monitor and listen to social accounts, oversee any Social Media Specialists as they respond to users with consistent personal voice while cultivating leads and sales.
- Create relevant and useful content to influence the company’s ideal clients.
- Create, curate, and manage all distributed content on all channels for brand.
- Develop and grow public blogger outreach efforts.
- Oversee design of blogs, websites, landing pages, and profiles to create consistent engagement strategy and branding for clientele.
- Design, craft and manage promotions and Social ad campaigns.
- Compile Return on Investment (ROI) reports for management and clients.
- Design marketing strategies and drive them, confirm results via testing and metrics.
- Train team to become an advocate for the spaces, engaging in dialogues and answering questions where appropriate.
- Train team to lead and engage with the public that will facilitate conversation and interaction with your brand.
- Monitor trends in Social Media tools, applications, networks, design, and approach.
- Identify threats and prospects in user created content.
- Translate and analyze quantitative and qualitative data.
- Develop data results into recommendations and strategies for Social Media campaign revision.
- Monitor benchmarks for gauging the impact of Social Media campaigns.
- Analyze, review, and report on changes in best practices used for benchmarking.
- Coordinate activities with marketing and public relations teams to support their operations, help distribute content that educates and entertains audiences while ensuring consistency in voice and cultivating an engaging social media presence.
This is a pretty good picture of what you need as a whole. You can also develop the KSA’s that are important to a position such as this for your core competencies.
- Experience managing and sourcing content development and publishing across multiple channels.
- Possesses functional knowledge and/or personal experience with WordPress.
- Excellent communicator and creative thinker
- Excellent organizational and great planning skills.
- Skilled in content marketing theory and application.
- Maintains excellent writing and language skills.
- Displays ability to effectively communicate information and ideas in written and video format.
- Ability to use both data and intuition to make informed decisions.
- Conceptual thinker with problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
- Exceeds at building and maintaining sales relationships, online and off.
- Positive cheerful approach to challenges and creative processes. (Of course, this just my opinion 🙂 )
There you have it. If you found this post useful feel free to share it, kiss it, or use it for your next paper airplane war (because you should print it). Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.