When Is It Time to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Money will always be tight, and paying for marketing seems to be a back-burner expense. After all, spending money on something that doesn’t yield immediate results in the form of millions of views followed by millions of sales is hard. So when it comes to seeing if it’s time to hire a social media manager, it’s hard to budget money for a person who cannot promise you that your video will become as viral as Daniel Craig dancing in a Belvedere vodka commercial.

But the fact is, that more than 4.9 billion people use social media, and by 2027, that number is expected to jump to 5.9 billion. As an interesting aside, the average American has around seven social media accounts!

A chart that shows social media users broken out in age groups with their preferred social media platforms.

Not Realizing You or Your Industry Are Gaining and Retaining Customers on Social Media

Lead generation goes hand-in-hand with social media, especially for small businesses and start-up companies. Social media makes it easy to generate leads by allowing you to give away lead-generating magnets–free books or a free class–to collect people’s emails. Yippee!

Social media is filled with words and visuals focused on education, inspiration, and entertainment. But social media is also filled with companies who know that 33% of people with a question rather use a company’s social media platform versus the company’s phone or email.

Look at your posts and videos. Are they focused on education, inspiration, or entertainment? And are you on every platform your customers are on to provide them top-notch customer service? If this feels too overwhelming, it might be time to seek help from a  social media manager.

Not Recognizing That Social Media Content Is Not a Natural Fit for You

Planning content, creating content, and scheduling content across every platform you want to be on is time-consuming. It also depends on creativity, photo skills, video skills, writing skills, analytic skills, and a hardcore understanding of social media. 

We also understand that you might be someone who loves social media and you are actually posting to it. But are you posting enough and are you posting the right content? Do you know how to speak to a person online in the way you expect them to? For instance, the people commenting under the National Park Service want a sassy reply; people commenting under the Red Cross do not.

Look at your numbers. If you aren’t growing and have been stagnant for a month or even years, it’s time to invest in a social media manager.

Not Acknowledging You Don’t Have Time to Make Content for Social Media

Creating social media content is no longer about posting a picture of a piece of pizza you’re eating in Florence, Italy. Now it’s about posting and:

  • Keeping on brand constantly
  • Knowing how to use each platform for each different audience
  • Using hashtags and SEO to get the right audience looking at your content
  • Creating clear hooks, stories, and calls to action for each post
  • Understanding that you are inspiring, educating, or entertaining with each post

You also need to know how to schedule your content, how to organize your assets (captions, videos, photos, B-roll), and how to stay consistent across every platform you need to be on.

Look at the calendar, and then look at your current social media presence. Do you have time to put in the work to engage your followers and visitors? If you are realistic with what you can do versus what you can do, you may actually start growing across platforms! And, yes, hiring a social media manager can help.

Not Accepting That Your Gen Z Daughter/Cousin/Friend You're Paying $10 Per Hour Isn't Getting You Engagement or the Right Followers

Once upon a time, social media jobs went to the junior staffer or the low-pay hire in the form of a family member. These jobs also went to friends and family who most likely called themselves social media addicts.

However, a dedicated social media manager is needed to oversee all parts of social media, not just the quick tasks and fun parts. They also need to:

  • Keep up to date on the daily changes each platform is making, whether that’s no longer being able to block people on X (formerly Twitter) or no longer sharing news stories from news outlets (now being suppressed on Facebook)
  • Stay agile between platforms by recognizing all platforms have a purpose, not just your favorite platforms
  • Design a content calendar that helps you have a consistent presence on the platforms where you need to be
  • Create multi-week and multi-month campaigns for you, understanding the consumer journey and creating posts for brand awareness versus first-time buyers versus loyal customers
  • Brainstorm and create captions, photos, and videos that engage viewers
  • Record hashtags, posting times, engagement, follows, unfollows, and likes to then create a report about where a company is growing or shrinking
  • Engage with commenters and work with each platform’s algorithm to comment and post in the optimum sequence of events
  • Work as PR in times when negative news hits the company, and you need capable hands (or an expert sounding board!) to help reply to the social media users who are upset or confused

How does this list of tasks look? If it’s overwhelming, it’s time to invest in a social media manager.

Wrapping Up and Some Homework!

Every year, people are turning to social media for not only entertainment, kinship, and news, but also company products and services–it’s now the way 59% of Americans research a brand, and a reported 75% of consumers have bought a product off of social media.

So, yes, when the time comes, you may need to spend money on a social media manager. Or, you can save money and never hire one. Your quantity of qualified leads will show you if that’s the right decision or not.

Your homework:

If you decide to dip your toe in the water and seek out a social media manager, these are some good questions to ask them:

  • What does your portfolio look like? Portfolios have a lot more information than if you just looked at a social platform! They are all different but they typically have: Graphic & Content Examples, Reporting Examples, Case Studies, Client Reviews, and more!
  • What is your communication style? You want to know if it aligns with your style. Ask what are their days/hours they are willing to communicate.
  • What are your thoughts on flexibility? Are they very black and white or are they willing to pivot in the middle of the month? Will they not make changes until the next month?
  • Are your packages preset or customized?  Do you have to fit your goals into a preset package? Will they customize a package to fit your exact goals?
  • Will they be showing you reports on your analytics based on what matters most to you? How often will they be giving you reports?
  • What is their pricing like; is it hourly or are the rates preset? Do you want to know exactly what you will be billed? Are you willing to be billed at an hourly rate with an undetermined number of hours? Can you limit the number of hours?