How To Hire a Social Media Manager

Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to hire a social media manager, to keep on top of the ongoing conversation surrounding your brand.

My company is getting ready to take social media manager applications. Because I don’t take this process lightly, I have come up with some criteria that I thought would be cool to share.

1. Do a background check.
Start by obtaining your applicants twitter, Facebook, linkedin, digg profiles. Follow, or friend this person and start monitoring their interactions. A good social media user will barely advertise products or services. If you see lots of @replies to other users, they are probably doing a better job than if you see lots of updates with links.

A really good website to track how influential someone is on twitter is

Ask for references, go and see the social media accounts and progress your applicant has made with other clients.

2. Ask the right questions and look for the right answers.
When you ask your applicant the following questions, you will hopefully weed out the people who understand social media from the wannabes.

What is your vision for our companies social media future?
The answer should be all about improving customer experience. Depending on the size of your company, there may already be a conversation that needs to be monitored. Interacting with people who mention your brand will increase customer loyalty and create brand ambassadors.

What will you do in your first 30 days?
The first 30 days should be spent implementing the right look and feel for your online presence. Additionally you will need to come up with a strategy for how to reach existing and new customers. As a for instance if you own a restaurant, you may want to monitor twitter search for mentions of your city, competitors restaurants, bars etc. this will allow you to interact with people and provide them with special offers.

After 30 days you should be completely entrenched within the social media landscape. From that point on the job becomes building and maintenance.

3. It’s not just about followers.
If your social media manager applicant talks about getting a large number of followers as the main focus, end the interview and move on.

Many people who think they understand social media, are misled into believing that it’s a numbers game. Using a tool like twitter greater will show you that some people with a very low number of followers have a greater influence than others with a large number.

If you are a small business, and you are putting someone on the job part time, you may be happy with a few hundred followers as long as those people are influential to your business.

4. It’s not about automation.
Be careful if your applicant talks about using tools to automate following, direct messaging, or any other activity on social media websites. It’s okay to use software like Tweet deck to manage multiple accounts or multiple search streams. It’s not okay to use software that auto follows or unfollows users.

This is by no means a complete list of criteria. But it should point you in the right direction for finding the right person. Please share your experience with hiring a social media manager or any tips you find useful by commenting below.

  • Great post. Especially using Twitter Grader. They (Hubspot) also have a Blog Grader. I went through their training and they present a very solid inbound marketing curriculum. The training, just as a note, is free. (I don't work for them, nor am I paid to give them props...)

  • Great article! I wish more companies would read this article. I think it gives companies new to social media some realistic guidelines.

  • I got 98.8/100 is it good score? kinda interesting..

  • I would imagine anything in the upper 90s is a good score. Mine was 99.6

  • Chris Eh Young

    I scored a 97.0 with Twittergrader, still waiting for my score using Klout. Interesting tools indeed.

  • Chris Eh Young

    I'm putting on a couple of seminars to help small businesses get started with social media marketing. I am finding a huge demand in this area as i'm sure there is everywhere. What i'm finding is that a lot of companies are using SMM but very few are using it effectively. I've developed a simple strategy that it is easy to implement. I call it the LEAVE strategy, either follow the rules or LEAVE. Listen, Engage, Action, Value, Establish trust.


  • Please consider my application carefully. :)

  • Brad,

    I just hired a part time social media manager. I couldn't find all the qualities you suggested, it was surprising how many applicants didn't know what social media was all about. I will follow some of your suggestions and hope the learning curve will be fast.

    I follow a good prospect on twitter that is beyond my budget, but maybe work for you... I really like his approach...@be3d see what you think.

    Good luck,


  • Hey man I know your struggle, I am hiring one myself now.

    If you want to have your part timer spend an hour on skype with me let me know. I am sure I can offer some ideas to run with.

  • Hey bradgosse!

    I'm sure by now you have found the right candidate, but if you haven't I'd love to chat with you if you are located in the Greater Cincinnati area. Or alternatively if you are open to telecommuting.

    Either way, have a great weekend!

  • Wow, that would be great! You serious?

  • Yes I am serious. E-mail me sales @ and we will set something up.

  • kelly

    Are you still accepting applications?

  • iainreid

    Very good points.

    On the subject of grading our potential employee I would say that is a better choice than Twitter Grader. I score an 83/100 on Twitter Grader. Very high considering my tweets are usually rambling messages between friends. However, I only score 28/100 on Klout. This is much more my level. I do agree that you should look to see what that person has achieved for his/herself on the various social media platforms.

  • Interesting. I got a 26 on Klout and 99.6 on Twitter Grader.

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