When I owned a boutique digital marketing agency I frequently spoke with potential clients. The first thing many of them said was: “I do not want to have to touch my social media at all”. Although I understood this sentiment, I felt it was important that they understood some basic terms when hiring a social media manager.
Know How to Speak to Your Social Media Manager
If you are ready to hire a social media manager you should already understand these key terms related to social media management and digital marketing. These terms include content curation and content creation, social media strategy & social media management.
Let’s discuss these terms so that you will know as well as have them help you when you speak with your social media manager. This should be the case not only while hiring but also when you discuss strategy and review your monthly reports.
Essential Terms To Know
There are essential terms you need to know before hiring your social media manager. Let’s discuss these essential terms before going further.
- Curated Content – content that is collected and shared via your platform from someone else’s platform (website, social media, etc.)
- Created Content – is content that is original and created for your specific purposes.
- Strategy (related to social media) – social media strategy is the ability to discuss how and when to share your content (whether created or curated), as well as, who to share your content with during the month. It is not an exact science but does require research into your industry and into what competitors are doing. It also requires having discussions with you about who you are trying to reach and working together to formalize a strategy that will work for you. It will often need to be tweaked and re-tweaked, as social media can be a fickle being.
- Social Media Management – (understanding what social media management is crucial before hiring someone or a company to do this for you) A good social media manager will be able to share content successfully in a variety of ways (posts, reels, videos, and any other forms allowed) on your desired social media platforms.
- Social Media Monthly Reports – a monthly report should show you whether you are growing or losing followers as well as what type of content is getting the best engagement. This will help your social media manager plan and formalize strategies to use for the upcoming month(s).
If you want to dive deeper into digital marketing terms, Hubspot has a great glossary of them.
There are many questions that a social media manager will ask you before you ask them questions. So, let’s start with their questions first.
Question They Will Ask You:
Question 1: What Type Of Business (or industry) Do You Have?
A good social media manager will want to know the type of business (or industry) you own. This is important because not all social media experts handle all industries. It is important that you know they can manage your type of business on social media.
Question 2: How Many Platforms Do You Want To Post Content To?
When looking for a company to help with your social media you have to know how many social platforms you want to post content to in the coming months.
Question 3: What Platforms Do You Want To Post On?
You must also know what social media platforms you want to regularly post your content on. If you are already active you some platforms you will already be able to answer many of their questions.
Question 4: What Is Your Budget?
When starting a conversation with an Online Marketer you want to discuss which platforms you hope to be active on. Ask for their recommendations if you are uncertain. They will also want to know how many platforms you want a real presence. I usually recommend the ‘big four’ (Facebook, IG, Twitter & LinkedIn). Although I recommend these, it is nearly impossible to be genuinely active in all. So you should think about the two that you want most of your brand activity on. In other words, you or your marketer will probably use a scheduler to post curated content & even some created content, but be sure to comment and be active on 2 of the four.
Question 5: Are You Producing the Content or Am I?
This is a vital question that affects your budget significantly. Creating content takes time which ends up costing you money. This is, however, probably why you need the help. It takes a lot of time and effort, even utilizing all of the technology available to us today.
You should know the answers to these questions before speaking with a prospective social media manager.
Questions You Should Ask Them:
Just as they will be prepared to ask you questions you should be prepared with your own set of questions to ask. Here are some that you should consider asking.
Question 1: How Long Have You Been Doing Social Media Management?
You should prefer that they have been doing social media management for a minimum of one year. The longer the better as long as they keep up with the industry and their skills.
Follow-Up Question – Define social media management
They should be able to come up with their own words (not Google it quickly) to answer this question.
It should include items such as:
- Monitoring your social media platforms
- Engaging with your followers
- Marking ‘Likes’ to comments
- Marking ‘Likes’ on others’ social media from your account
- Share social media content from others social media you follow (as long as not a competitor)
- Coming up with strategies to help you gain followers and clients
- Sharing reports with you indicating how your social media is doing
- Notifying you quickly of questions asked by followers (so you can answer personally and promptly)
- Be available to you for questions or comments within a set time frame (such as 24-48 hours)
- And possibly more
They do not need to include all of these but if they at least include a few of them you will know that they probably know what they are talking about <wink-wink>
Question 2: May I See Examples Of Your Work and Reporting?
Asking if they have examples of their work or posting to clients is a normal question. Having said this, however, does not mean that they are allowed to share it. Most will keep a portfolio and blank out the name or they’ve prepared ahead and hopefully have asked to be able to share their work.
Question 3: How Do You Stay Current When It Changes So Often?
Pay attention carefully to this answer. There are many ways to stay current in this industry including:
- Reading Articles by Influential People
- Following Influencers on Social Media
- Taking Online (& in person) Courses to Keep Skills Up
- Developing Systems to Stay On Top of the Industry (but they should be able to tell how or what they do to do this)
- Setting Google Alerts
- Watching News Dedicated to Social Media Changes
Question 4: How Much Do You Charge?
It is important when discussing rates that you do a bit of research. I like to obtain at a minimum of two but prefer three to four pricing quotes. This does not mean you have to speak with different social media managers. Many will list their pricing online. Just put in a little research time before speaking with them.
Question 5: What Is The Cost Difference In My Creating Content Versus Your Creating It?
Okay, this is one of the most important items you will need to decide on before talking with your potential social media manager. As I mentioned earlier creating content is very time-consuming. This means it could cost considerably more to have someone create your content.
Question 6: If I Have a Launch or Appear On a Podcast, How Much Time In Advance Do You Need To Plan For Posting It?
Question 7: When Can You Begin?
Starting at the beginning of the month or mid-month is often best. Keep in mind they will need to onboard you first.
This usually includes the following:
- Welcome Letter (via email)
- Intake Form – important as this will give them access to your accounts and help them gain information needed from you. And collect your buyer persona from you if you have one prepared.
- Invoice – your first invoicing will need to be paid upfront when working with most social media managers – this is normal practice today.
- Exchange of Photos and Graphics – such as your logo and profile photos they can use to create content. Add in anything else you consider important.
Your social media manager must understand strategies that will help your company be seen and stand out best on your social platforms.