Social Media Manager Cover

Everything you need to know about a Social Media Manager

March 15, 2019

This is the ULTIMATE guide to hiring a social media manager.

If you want to grow your social audience, boost engagement, and sell more products…

without letting social media distract you from running your business…

Then you’re going to LOVE this.

Find out everything you need to know about social media managers right now.

We’ve even tossed in some downloadable artwork to help you remember it all!

What Is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager (SMM) is the person that maintains and grows your brand’s presence on social media to meet specific goals and objectives.

The SMM is a communications specialist who builds a community while employing strategies and tactics to ensure measurable results.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

What Does a Social Media Manager Do? infographic

A Social Media Manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Creating and publishing content
  • Tracking insights and using them measure, improve, and report progress
  • Conducting social monitoring and listening

The SMM works closely with your marketing, public relations, and e-commerce teams to augment their efforts in other areas of marketing, such as:

  • SEO
  • Inbound marketing/website
  • Email marketing
  • Events
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What Can a Social Media Manager Do for Your Brand?

There are many reasons why companies hire social media managers. A good SMM can:

  • Saves you money and increase your ROI
  • Build a relationship between your brand and its audience, influencers, and other businesses
  • Accelerate your success

A Social Media Manager Saves You Time

Because of the many tasks involved, companies often struggle to keep up with the demands of social media marketing. This can mean a stream of missed opportunities that your competitors don’t hesitate to scoop up.

A Social Media Manager Increases Your Profits

SMM’s are communication experts who thrive on analytics.

An SMM will keep your social media activities on track with your team’s goals. They track insights and KPI’s daily to create reports for your team and improve success over time.

A Social Media Manager Builds Relationships

An SMM works tirelessly to build relationships on behalf of your brand.

This includes getting to know your buyer personas and building a target audience.

The SMM develops relationships with influencers in your industry who can help expand your reach.

An SMM also acts on your behalf to build relationships and partnerships with other businesses in your industry. This helps when you’re ready to partner with other brands for events and promotions.

A Social Media Manager Builds Relationships

An SMM works tirelessly to build relationships on behalf of your brand.

This includes getting to know your buyer personas and building a target audience.

The SMM develops relationships with influencers in your industry who can help expand your reach.

An SMM also acts on your behalf to build relationships and partnerships with other businesses in your industry. This helps when you’re ready to partner with other brands for events and promotions.

4 Skills to Look for in a Social Media Manager

Look for an SMM that’s knowledgeable and creative. He or she should also have an obsessive eye toward metrics; insights, analytics, KPI’s, and ROI.

Managing your social media presence requires a variety of skills, plus the ability to multi-task and manage multiple projects with ease.

To find out what skills a SMM needs, check out the infographic below or keep reading for more details.

4 Skills to Look for in a Social Media Manager infographic

Some of the specific skill sets to look for in an SMM include:

1. Communication Skills

Mastery of the English language (or whatever language is native to your audience) is crucial for any SMM.

Their primary job is to communicate with people on your behalf in writing, by phone, and through video meetings.

A typical day in the life of an SMM includes many different forms of communication.

  • Responding to customer service inquiries
  • Engaging with followers
  • Communicating with other businesses
  • Meeting with your marketing, PR, and e-commerce teams
  • Working with copywriters, video producers, photographers, and creators

An SMM needs to adjust his or her style of communication to every person he/she crosses paths with during the day.

A positive attitude and the patience to work with people in many different situations is a must.

Basic writing skills are also fundamental to the role of an SMM.

An SMM doesn’t need advanced copywriting skills but should be able to introduce content and write social media posts with ease.

2. Design and Image Editing Skills

Your SMM should have enough graphics skills to conceptualize and create compelling visual content for social media.

3. Video Production Skills

Your SMM should be able to create, upload and optimize video content for each platform.

No longer can brands upload a video to YouTube and share it across all other channels.

Facebook, for example, doesn’t play YouTube videos onsite anymore. This means the SMM has to upload videos to the Facebook platform separately.

Live broadcasts have become an essential part of social media marketing. Your SMM should understand how to live stream on the different channels. An SMM who’s comfortable in front of a camera is a plus.

4. Analytics Skills

An SMM reviews analytics daily. He or she should know how to read and measure all social media insights on every channel and use them to improve engagement, growth, and conversions.

8 Things a Social Media Manager Must Know

The more your SMM understands the following concepts, the more likely they are to achieve success for your brand.

1. When, How, and What to Post on Social Media Channels

An SMM should know what types of posting schedules and content work well on social media.

Best Times to Post

What to Post on Different Platforms

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest all have different personalities.

Social media managers need a solid understanding of what works for each platform.

For example,

  • Twitter users respond well to questions, and LinkedIn users prefer summary-type introductions.
  • Instagram users love hashtags, but using them on Facebook can lower your engagement rates.
  • Facebook and Twitter have a relaxed style, while LinkedIn requires a professional approach.
  • What’s the best character count for post introductions? You guessed it – that’s different on every channel also!

These are some of the decisions your SMM will make regularly.

Look for someone with detailed knowledge of how channel personalities affect when, how, and what to post.

2. The Basics of SEO and Content Marketing

Your SMM should understand how inbound marketing works on your website, and the importance of content marketing.

They should also have a big-picture view of how blogs play a role in search rankings and marketing funnels.

3. Social Media Advertising

Chances are, your social media manager will be the person choosing which posts and videos to use for paid social advertising.

A knowledge of how social media advertising, works is helpful.

4. How Algorithms Work

Each platform has a different algorithm. This means that what causes your content to show up in followers’ newsfeeds is different on every channel.

SMM’s are familiar with the different algorithms and understand what gives your brand the best chance of getting seen in newsfeeds.

5. How to Write a Killer Social Media Strategy

A good social media strategy is crucial for brand success on social media.

Look for an SMM that can write an organized, professional social media strategy based on data, history, and current trends.

6. How to Use the Tools of the Trade

Whether your SMM is looking up the latest trends on Buzzsumo or interacting with team members in Sharlov, he or she should understand social media tools.

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7. How to Create Social Media Content That Followers Love

Simply posting video and attention-getting images won’t build an active community of followers.

Your content needs to be compelling and engaging enough to catch and hold the attention of your target audience.

facebook post theallie

Some of the different types of content that work well for brands are:

  • Storytelling
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Reviews
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Influencer campaigns
  • User-generated content

Look for an SMM that has an understanding of what compels users to follow and engage with brands in your industry.

8. How to Use Platform Features

Hashtags, user tags, polls, and product stickers are all features used when posting to social media.

An SMM should understand how to use all the different features to engage customers on every channel.

For example, Reebok’s Instagram post (below) includes a tagged person and brand plus a hashtag in its description.

A thoughtful approach to using social media features can mean the difference between success and failure.

For example, dropping 30 hashtags into an Instagram post doesn’t improve your ROI. Researching hashtags and using campaign hashtags, however, may.

An expert uses tools and features strategically, based on what reaches your target audience.

How Much Does a Social Media Manager Cost?

What you pay for an AMM depends on whether you hire an in-house manager, freelance specialist, or social marketing agency.

In-House Social Media Manager Salary

A full time, in-house SMM costs an average $50,000 a year, according to Payscale. The actual salaries range from $31,000 – $74,000 a year.

One advantage of employing an in-house SMM is that they have a personal stake in your company. In-house SMMs become a tight-knit member of your team and can also help out with other marketing tasks from time to time.

Freelance Social Media Manager Pricing

Freelance social media managers typically charge  $400 – $2000/month for 2 channels if you’re  a small business. Expect to pay more for additional channels and tasks.

Below is a chart from UpWork that shows what you can expect to pay a freelance SMM.

upwork how much for smm

Top-tier freelance SMMs are experts who charge a higher hourly fee ($60 – $99/hour) than other freelancers or in-house staff. They usually work at a quicker and more efficient pace due, however, due to their level of expertise.

upwork freelance SMMs

Large and enterprise businesses can expect to pay $2500 – $10,000/month for a freelance SMM.

Social Media Marketing Agency Pricing

A social marketing agency can expedite tasks quickly and efficiently. They have a staff of people that work together and a wide range of expertise to draw from.

sm agencies

Expect to pay $1000 – $20,000 a month or more for a social media agency.

How to Recruit a Social Media Manager

8 Things a Social Media Manager Must Know infographic

According to Robert Half recruiting agency, finding an SMM entails 5 steps:

  1. Define the role
  2. Know what skills and experience to look for
  3. Ask the right questions
  4. Do your research
  5. Offer the right compensation

If you’re looking to hire in-house staff, consider using a recruitment agency or recruiting software.

robert half request talent
Source: Robert Half Agency

Hire a Recruitment Agency

A recruitment agency works on behalf of your brand to find candidates who are a match for the job and for your company culture.

Agencies help with nearly all aspects of the hiring process, including:

  • Placing ads
  • Pre-screening candidates
  • Follow-up emails

Invest in Recruitment Software

Recruitment software has built-in tools to help make the recruiting process smoother and more organized.

Some allow you to place job ads on multiple sites with the touch of a button. Many create profiles that grade candidates to help you find the best interviews.

Workable SS

Recruitment software blogs often include templates and tips that walk you through the hiring process.

jobvite blog sample
Source: Jobvite

Recruiting software can save your company time, keep you organized, and help find the right SMM for your brand.

Social Media Managers Do More Than Post Updates!

A good SMM is an excellent communicator who knows his/her way around current trends and digital marketing.

Social media management requires a long list of skills and knowledge. Look for someone who is goal-focused with an aptitude for numbers and flair for creativity.

Have you worked with a social media manager in the past? How was your experience? We’d love to know whether you chose to hire an employee, freelancer, or agency! Tell us about it in the comments below.

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