The importance of the role social media plays in business is growing. That won’t change anytime soon. Businesses know they need social media and that they need quality people to manage their social media. However, many struggle to hire the right person.

I would love for you all to hire ARCH Digital Agency, but we know we aren’t going to be the right fit for every business. The right fit is important. We also know that some businesses prefer to hire someone into their company versus outsourcing. This blog post will give you a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you hire the right person to manage your social media.

Before I dive into how to hire a Social Media Manger, let me first take care of the objections sure to come my way. The following is a guideline to follow to position your organization to hire the most likely to succeed person. There are exceptions to each of the hiring tips I will provide. However, through my experience of having hired or helped hire over 50 people to work with clients and with or for me in various levels of social media, this is my best guideline for hiring a Social Media Manager.

The Don’ts
Don’t Hire Interns or New College Graduates:

I get the logic; younger people are great at using social media, therefore you think it is likely that will translate to he or she being able to manage your brands social media. It does not translate. Not at all. This is not to say there is not a place within a social media team for such people, but they should not be in a position of management nor should they be making any key strategy decisions. Experience and maturity matter when it comes to social media. A Social Media Manager is NOT an entry-level position.

Don’t Hire Someone Based Entirely on their Personal Brand:

By all means, examine the social media accounts of the potential job candidates. However, don’t assume that their success, or lack there of, in growing their personal brand necessarily translates to their ability to manage your businesses brand.

Most of the best social media managers have little to no personal brand. They are too busy working hard at growing and managing the brand of their employers. Sure, the person with the huge and engaging personal brand probably does move towards the front of the line, but you will want to take a good look at them beyond their personal brand. Don’t assume that their personal brand is a direct indication of what they can do for your business.

Don’t Hire Someone Because of their Engaging Extroverted Personality

I see this often. Companies hire that outgoing person with the award-winning personality to manage their social media. They hire the type of person you’d want representing your brand at a trade show or networking event. This rarely works out.

Social media managers tend to be more introverted. I find that there are more successful people in social media from a technical background than from a sales or marketing background. I am not saying to ignore personality. Personality is important, but be open to a wide variety of personalities. You’ll find that social media is as much or more about the ability to gather, analyze and respond to data than it is about creating eye-catching graphics and creative content. Those that excel with data tend to be more introverted. Don’t rule out introverts.

The Do’s
Hire People with Experience

A few years ago, it was difficult to find people with experience as a Social Media Manager. The industry was too new. That is not the case now. There are plenty of people with three plus years of experience within a social media management position. Experience is important. Experience is vital. Hire experience.

Hire People with an Education

Social media takes a long-term commitment, the type of commitment demonstrated with a four-year degree. In addition, social media managers need to be able to learn and implement new information, which is often learned through the pursuit of a college education. There are plenty of jobs that I do not believe a college education is necessarily needed for, but I personally would make a college degree a requirement for any social media hire, even a more entry level social media position.

Hire People Who Seek to Understand Your Organization and Goals

Social Media is not one-size-fits-all. One mistake I often see that leads to social media managers failing in their role is that they have one set strategy and they try to fit all brands within that strategy. A quality social media manager will ask questions about your organization and seek to identify your goals and then craft a strategy. If they don’t ask questions, it is likely they’re going to try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Hire People You Want to Invest In

You don’t get good social media managers without paying for them. If you’re thinking of trying to do some type of hybrid performance based pay scale or attempt to work in commission, your business is no ready to hire or grow. For any medium or large business, a quality social media manager will cost you a salary in the range of 120-160k. For a small business, you might be able to hire a social media manager with 2-4 years of experience for 70-90k. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, you need to be prepared to invest in a quality social media manager.

Social Media should be a highly valued part of your business. Having the right person to manage that social media is paramount. Hire the right people.