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Should you hire a social media manager and how to find a good one?

As this is written by a social media manager, you might think you know the answer to expect but, as with any outsourcing decision, there are pros and cons of enlisting the help of someone else with your social media.
Over the next few minutes, I’m going to help you decide whether you should hire a social media manager and, if you decide to do so, how to find a good one.

Just because you can do it yourself, should you?

Anyone can run the social media for their business. With all the tools, tricks and tips out there to show you how to do it, anyone with a great idea and a bit of common sense can set up social media for their business and give it a go.
But this prompts the age-old question for business owners, just because you can do it yourself, should you? Executing a successful social media strategy, one that ties in with your overall business goals and reaches the right audience at the right time with the appropriate messages and tone of voice, is a time-consuming task and one that frequently gets pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

Here are a few reasons why hiring a social media manager might be the way forwards for your business:

They can get results faster than you.

A decent social media manager will be able to draw on considerable experience. They’ll already know what good looks like and won’t be learning through trial and error so can help you get there quickly without putting other aspects of your business on the backburner.

Things will get done – and get done consistently

It can be hard for business owners to make social media a priority and time and energy can easily diverted elsewhere. The only thing worse than not having a social media presence is having a poor or outdated one and a social media manager can prioritise your social media, posting the right content the right time.

Superior knowledge and skills

Many will have expertise in areas other than social media – marketing, PR, communications – so as well as tapping into their social media skills, you’ll benefit from their overall business know how.

And they’ll stay on top of the latest thinking

Social media changes rapidly. What works today may not be right for tomorrow and a social media manager will stay on top of the trends, know what’s around the corner and help you do the same.
You know and love your business better than anyone else and chances are no-one will talk about it with the same energy and enthusiasm about your business as you will. But a freelance social media manager really can be the next best thing.

So, you’ve decided you should hire a social media manager, but what should you be looking for?

There are some great social media managers around but unquestionably there are others who really aren’t worth the investment. Here are some questions you should answer before jumping in and signing one up.

Will you outsource all aspects of social media?

Consider whether you really need to outsource all your social media or just parts of it. For example, you might be great at coming up with content ideas or already work with someone who can create the content. Think about the bits that get you down, researching influencers or scheduling for example, and consider just outsourcing those elements. Or think about whether you need help for a particularly time-sensitive activity – a campaign to support a product launch or event perhaps – and start with that.

What are their strengths?

Not all social media managers are the same. Sure, you can expect them to offer broadly similar services, but they will probably be better at certain aspects be that strategy, content creation / curation, building engaged communities, growing audiences.

Do they walk the talk?

A good social media manager should practice what they preach so check out their own social media. They might not have a presence on every single platform, but they should be using social media to showcase what good looks like. Check out their profiles, whether they are posting actively and whether they seem to be using social media in the right way rather than just throwing posts out there.

What results have they got?

Find out which clients they have been working with, what they have achieved for them and how. Ask for examples of their work or testimonials too.

Will they offer you a point of view?

You really want someone who will challenge you and possibly disagree with your suggestions. You really don’t what someone who will do what you ask them simply because you are paying for them. Expect them to use all that experience and expertise to show you the way to get results for your business.

Will they invest 15 – 20 minutes on a discovery call?

If this has been booked in advance, then they should have researched your business. It’s reasonable to expect that they will have looked at your existing channels to see what you do and to quickly take stock of what’s working well and what could be improved. Listen to how they describe what they’ll do, whether they are offering an “off the shelf approach” or will really work with you in the way you need.

Social media isn’t a magic bullet. Having some experience with it, knowing a bit about what’s involved and what’s realistic to expect can be helpful. Many business owners will start off by doing their social media themselves – or having a member of their team do it – but when your business is growing, when you know what’s involved and can spend your time to better effect elsewhere, know what you are looking for and who will be right for you. That is probably the best time to hire a social media manager and, when you do, hopefully you’ll feel better placed to judge what you need.