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How do you prepare to hire a social media manager?

What do you need to put together in advance to ensure you get the best from your SMM?

A strategy

Although your social media manager can work through a social media strategy with you, what they do needs to fit into your overall digital marketing strategy. 

Having this in place will help your social media manager to achieve the goals you set. If you want to kick-start your strategy, download my guide.

This brings me to…

Goals

Why are you doing social media? You need to set goals for social that will fit into your overall business and marketing goals. 

Your social media manager will love you for it because it will help them focus their activities on achieving them. Work with them to set goals that you both feel will be challenging but achievable.

Measurement

Setting goals is great, but if no one is measuring them, you’ll never know if the work is getting done. Decide on what you will measure and how often. 

Reporting

Decide how often you require reports from your SMM and what you want to go into those reports. 

Too often, I find businesses don’t look at their reports because they don’t understand them. But reports are important. To avoid this, be specific about what you want to see, and if you don’t understand something, ask.

Brand guidelines

Your social media needs to fit in with the rest of your marketing. 

Put together a style guide that includes:

☞ Hex codes (they’re the string of numbers and letters beginning with a # that represent colours) for your brand.

☞ How to use your logo and how not to.

☞ Image style. Should your imagery be dark or light? Filtered or unfiltered? High Contrast or Low Contrast?

☞ Brand personality. If your brand was a person, who would it be? And your tone of voice.

☞ Brand hashtags and emojis that need to be included in posts.

☞ Provide examples of how to apply the brand correctly.


Read more about brand personality here.

And my article for AgoraPulse about using social media for branding online.


Your ideal customer

Unless you tell your SMM who you want to reach they’ll spend a lot of time trying to reach everyone… and there are 4.66 billion people on the internet in the world. 

To get results you’re going to need to narrow that down. 😉

Construct a customer persona. It doesn’t have to be hyper-specific but think about:

This will help your SMM create content to attract those people and engage with them.

Competitors

Who is competing for the attention of your audience? When your SMM knows this, they will find ways for you to stand out. 

So make a list. Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses and what makes you different?

Budget

How much are you giving your SMM to run ads, work with influencers or promote content?

This will vary depending on the campaigns you want to run. Consult with your social media manager to set a monthly budget for this.

Communication

There are so many ways to communicate it can get intense. There’s the phone, email, WhatsApp, social media messaging, Slack, Telegram…. I could go on.

Choose one way that you want your SMM to communicate with you. This means neither you nor they need to keep checking all those apps and tools. 

And then there’s…

Meetings

It’s important to have a longer meeting at least once a month with your SMM. But don’t make it super long. Make a list of topics you’ll discuss at each meeting. This should include projects you are working on, what’s happening in the business, and feedback on the previous month’s work, both from you and the SMM.

Content Hub

Getting content from clients and knowing what is happening every day in the business is a constant struggle for social media managers.

They will require images, videos and details of campaigns you are running and up-to-date info about what is happening today.

Set up a shared folder using a tool like Dropbox or Google Drive that you and your SMM can access. In here set up folders that make it simple for them to access this content.

Plus, set up a file naming structure that makes it easy to see what each image or video is without having to open it. This will save all of you a tonne of time. 

Review process

Do you want to review and approve all social media before it goes live? Or do you want to give your social media manager complete control?

It’s a good idea to review and approve until your SMM has settled into the job. But don’t be too picky. You’re hiring someone to manage your social media because they have the expertise. Instead, check that the content is on brand and that the tone of voice is correct. Over time, you may stop the approval stage and give your SMM more autonomy.

Contracts

Always get a contract even if you trust the person you hire 100%. A contract ensures that you all understand what is required and is essential as part of your GDPR compliance.

But don’t panic, you don’t always need to hire a solicitor. 

KoffeeKlatch is a great resource where you can buy off-the-shelf contracts, including SMM contracts. https://www.koffeeklatch.co.uk/

Now you’re ready to find a social media manager who will take all those daily social media responsibilities out of your schedule and free you up to do other sales and marketing tasks.