How to hire a social media marketer ⚡

How to hire a social media marketer ⚡

Social media managers and content creators are the unsung heroes of every successful brand: Entertaining audiences, making us laugh, helping us think, and nurturing a healthy relationship between our brand and our customer. 

The value of this work has always been a challenge to quantify via direct attribution and yet, smart entrepreneurs and marketers know that it’s, in many ways, invaluable to a brand’s long-term success. Having said that, brands have wasted unforgivable amounts of time, money, and energy hiring and firing social media managers that “just don’t cut it.” So what’s happening? 

Aside from maybe the bootstrapping founder/ceo, the social media marketer skillset is far broader than anything we expect from any other position in a company.

  • We need excellent writing skills – and the training and knowledge to get inside an audience’s head to craft relatable and relevant messaging... 
  • Video editing, acting, and design skills…
  • A firm handle on the rapidly changing landscape…
  • And an analytical mind to evaluate and improve performance.

    Logically, we know this is too much for most people. But we keep trying to hire one person to do this job after a few conversations and a single work sample. What’s the definition of insanity? Oh right – doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome. Here’s what I recommend trying instead. 

    First of all, don’t spend time interviewing, hiring, and onboarding a social media marketer to a brand that is lacking a content strategy and social playbook. If you ignore this advice, you’re setting all stakeholders up for failure and you’re the only one to blame for wasted resources. I’m sorry to be blunt, but it’s the truth and I want you to win. If you need help with this work, watch our most popular workshop, F* The Algorithm! where you can begin building your strategy alongside me and leave with everything you need to get it done!

    • Once your playbook is in place, publish a job posting and start the recruiting process. Stop publishing boring, outdated versions of job descriptions, they won’t get you the talent you’re looking for. The person you want to hire is a talented individual which means they have options (you need them more than they need you).
    • The job posting should demonstrate transparency into the brand, build trust with prospects, and work to attract the type of personality you’re looking for. Here’s our most recent example. Side note: The best talent I’ve ever hired came from my own email list. If you have an email list, I highly recommend starting there. 
    • Conduct a first round of interviews, and select your top three candidates for a paid test project. If you ask people to work for free, please unsubscribe from Strong Brand Social. 
    • The hardest part of social is creating great content. You can keep your social media program running – maybe even improving – while getting your hands on great content through the interview and vetting process. You or your assistant can simply be the person hitting publish during a 30 to 90 day trial period where you’re trying to find the right fit. Again, the real value we’re after is great content. 
    • Direction for the test project should be minimal: “Refer to the playbook and create a mix of 3 posts for each pillar.” That’s the whole point of the playbook – to save you time and ensure everyone is on the same page. 
    • If the first batch goes well, ask them if they want to contribute a few more rounds. Your budget that you would be paying an employee or agency will more than cover the cost of this content! 
    • For 30 to 90 days, publish content from a few different content creators. While you observe what content performs the best, get to know these individuals. How does it feel working with them? What are they looking for from full-time work? Is there enough synergy here to believe that taking a risk on a full time offer is going to pan out? 

      This is one of the most beautiful, underrated opportunities we have in this space — very few full-time positions lend themselves so nicely to this equally cautious and productive approach. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the outcome! 


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