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Should You Hire a Social Media Manager?

ByJessica Scanlon, Last Modified
Mar 16, 2015
> Marketing

If you've tried to tack social media management on to your job, then you already know how difficult it can be. It's hard to make it a priority over customer phone calls, sales, accounting and staffing (the list goes on).

If your online presence is a crucial part to your overall marketing strategy, then finding help is key to keeping your social media engagement consistent.

When it comes to hiring someone to take on  your social media presence, deciding the best way to handle it can be a challenge.

Do you hire someone or outsource it?

Ask yourself these questions first:

  • Is social media a very important part of the marketing strategy?
  • Do you consider yourself very savvy with social media marketing, but simply do not have the time to maintain it?
  • Do you have time and energy to train and maintain another employee?
  • Can you provide the equipment they need to get the job done?

If you answered "yes" to the all of the questions above, it's likely that hiring someone to be a part of your organization is the best fit.

Related Article: Do Entrepreneurs Really Need Social Media?

Hiring a Social Media Manager In-House

There are a lot of benefits to having an in-house employee managing social media that can't be matched by outsourcing. First of all, an actual employee of your company is going to be more involved with the daily operations and have a better opportunity to find interesting content. Engagement online is much higher when you share photos of the inner workings of your business. Only an employee can really show off that company culture.

Your in-house social media manager is also going to be more agile and in-tune with your ever-changing marketing program. He or she can write and post in real-time from a company event. He can be more aggressive on a daily basis, posting more often if you're trying to promote something heavily. As you have last-minute ideas, an in-house employee is more able to make those happen quickly than outsourced help.

What to Watch Out For

The biggest thing to be wary of is your own bandwidth and knowledge of social media. Low-wage managers or interns need a lot of guidance, training and hands-on management. If you can afford a good wage, then you can find someone with more experience to help you. If your position is part-time however, be prepared for turnover. If you're thinking about asking an existing employee to help, you still need to budget extra hours to ensure your social media is handled properly.

Related Article: Why Every Business Should be Using Multiple Social Media Accounts

Outsourcing to a Social Media Marketing Agency or Freelancer

This tends to be the best fit for business owners. Agency and freelancers have a lot of experience managing social media for clients, and they're going to pass that knowledge on to you when you work with them.

In addition, working with agencies takes the headache out of hiring help, managing turnover, training, paying payroll taxes, etc. Agencies tend to have pretty easy-to-follow onboarding program for their clients and systems in-place that make outsourcing much more affordable than hiring a part-time employee.

What to Watch Out For

There are two big things to look out for when researching which agency or freelancer you want to use. First, you want to make sure they have a track record of happy customers and can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge on the every changing world of social media marketing. You don't want to hire someone that can't prove to you that he or she is going to be in business in a year. And, there are a lot of fly-by-night social media companies out there. Do your research before you hire them.

The second thing to watch out for is larger agencies or businesses focused on selling you a generic package without any customization. There are a lot of options when it comes to social media automation and you can feel too far removed from your online marketing if you hire a large company that doesn't offer a personal level of service.

Jessica Scanlon
Jessica Scanlon
See Jessica Scanlon's Profile
Jessica Scanlon is a corporate marketing drop-out who is dedicated to helping small businesses thrive with effective marketing and communication strategies including brand development and online marketing. She owns Hot Dog Marketing, a marketing firm in Austin, TX that provides small businesses with consulting, print and web design, and online marketing management. In addition to her work with clients, Jessica is a public speaker and business writer. She’s a proud mom and wife.
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