Outsource or Hire? What makes a good Social Media Manager?

You know that social media marketing is important to promote your business, but you don’t have time to do it yourself. What are your options? What do you look for in a social media manager?

Let’s talk about your options first.

  1. Hire an outsider to do it for you.
  2. Hire an employee in-house.
  3. Train a trusted employee on how to do social media marketing properly and effectively.

What to look for in a social media manager:

Social Media Marketing Boot Camp 101Whoever you hire, that person should…

  • be a social media specialist, who knows everything — all the ins and outs of social media marketing — not just how to post on Facebook or Instagram.
  • know how and where to keep abreast of all social media news and network changes.
  • have a decent following in the major social media networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ and be using them regularly.
  • understand the difference between all the networks — knowing the lingo and their cultures.
  • know how to use tools like HootSuite, Buffer, TweetDeck, etc. to manage all the social media networks.
  • understand SMART goal-setting to be able to outline objectives.
  • know how to prepare a social media media strategic marketing plan to help reach those goals, and outlining the strategies for each network.
  • know how to develop a tactical marketing plan based on the strategic plan to implement the strategy.
  • if blogging is involved, be a decent writer, communicator and copywriter.
  • be familiar with your industry or be willing to learn.
  • know how to handle customer service issues when they come up on social media.
  • be clever enough to know how to spin a marketing message and take advantage of what’s trending on social media without looking foolish.

As employee positions go, there are a lot of ways to say the same thing. These are some that are out there are:

  • Community Manager: this person works with one network only, usually including customer service. They are a relationship builder.
  • Social Media Manager/Coordinator/Administer: a person who does everything with managing and monitoring all networks (using the free or paid tools) as well as strategic and tactical planning, analytics and reporting. This person may or may not supervise employees. The position title depends on the salary. Visit Salary.com to determine the going rate in your area.
  • A Social Media Specialist, like myself, usually works freelance on a contract basis. They specialize in social media marketing. They don’t build websites or manage emails or marketing automation. Just like I only do social media planning, setups, following building, management and maintenance for clients. For example, I’ve seen PR firms take over social media for a client and make dozens of mistakes.

To Outsource or not to Outsource, that is the question!

Here are some things to consider:

  • What’s your budget look like?
    • An outsourced agency can charge from $750 to $2500 a month depending on the services provided. However, you don’t need to worry about payroll or benefits.
    • Having a intern part-time is way less expensive, however, you forfeit experience and marketing savviness.  (BTW, if the intern is not getting college credit, you have to pay them.)
    • If hiring a full-time employee, you have to consider salary and benefits, but you have more control over them.
    • Train an existing employee. Please don’t tell your receptionist or office manager that they’re going to start doing social media marketing too! They need to be trained to do it properly.
    • Learn how to do it all yourself! If you learn how to properly use the tools, you have total control of your marketing. It takes more time up front between learning and building a following. However, once a following is built, you can manage it in 30-60 minutes a day (besides blogging).
    • Yet another option is a hybrid plan. Hire an expert to get you set up, plan and build your following, while you learn how to use the tools, then take over.
  • You need to be a little social savvy yourself so you know what they’re doing is proper and effective.
  • Whether inside or outsourced, they should provide you with comprehensive monthly reports (at least) with analytics and insights to see what’s working and not working. Strategic and tactical plans should then be adjusted based on the report.

If you’re not sure which way to proceed, click here to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation.

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