Why You Should NEVER Hire a Social Media Manager

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Bold statement, I know. It’s especially bold coming from a social media guy like myself. So why in the world would I say something so bold? Why would I say to NEVER hire a social media manager?

Let me share with you a job description I ran across today. In the description it states that the social media manger will do the following:

  • Develop a winning social strategy, set KPIs and knock them out of the park
  • Understand the ins and outs of analytics and the algorithm on each social media platform to maximize content planning
  • Produce high-quality, engaging content in line with our business goals
  • Master the art of storytelling through compelling copywriting and visual art
  • Monitor feedback and respond to reviews using our company voice
  • Manage relationships with influencers and bloggers
  • Establish paid campaigns to maximize the company’s digital spend, while targeting the ideal demographic

I’m going to stop there.

Here’s my concern with this: It’s PERFECT! It literally covers everything you would ever want in social media execution for your business.

Categorizing the requirements, it is asking that the social media manger do four major things:

1) develop content

2) build strategy around analytics and algorithms

3) engage with people and build relationships

4) have the technical skill to master the paid ads platforms working within an established sales funnel.

Every little boy in the world wants a Swiss Army Knife, but when he goes to screw something in he still grabs a screwdriver.

When I was in college, we had basketball legend Quinn Buckner come speak to one of our classes. When Quinn was in college at IU his coach Bobby Knight sat him down and said to him “Quinn, you are a very good football player and a very good basketball player. When you want to be great you’ll need to choose one.” He quit football that day, focused on basketball, and went on to become team captain, win a national championship, win an NBA championship, and win an Olympic gold medal. When he decided to focus his efforts on being great at one thing instead of good at many, the rewards were amazing!

As companies search for the perfect candidate to manage their social media, it seems as if they are looking for one person who is 100% right brain as well as 100% left brain. They are looking for a Swiss Army Knife, but expect the results of a fully stocked toolbox. In order to be successful as a social media manager, a person should be an expert in four completely different areas of expertise; and this is nearly impossible to do. It’s like asking a general practitioner to perform heart surgery.

To put this in perspective, the ideal candidate is someone who is a skilled photographer, videographer, and graphic designer who has an understanding of the English language that qualifies them for a high-level copywriting position while also being analytically-minded with an understanding of algorithms, industry trends, and audience insights. This candidate would also be socially savvy with the ability to start a conversation, build a relationship, and sell a product without coming across salesy as well as have the technical acumen to navigate the complicated world of digital advertising platforms and sales funnels.

Where do you find someone with all of those skills?

This isn’t meant to be a sales pitch, but this is exactly where a company like Cyclone Social comes in.

Cyclone Social is built around four teams with four unique skillsets:

  • Creative: This team is made up of photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and copywriters
  • Community Management: This team revolves around social media strategy and analytics. They understand when to post, why to post, who to target, and how to measure results.
  • Brand Advocacy: This team is focused on engagement and response, social media customer service, influencer marketing, and public relations.
  • Advertising: This team manages all digital media buying and helps maneuver the strategy through the algorithms for best results.

When businesses work with Cyclone Social, they will get content developed by real videographers, photographers, and graphic artists. That content will be passed off to community management team members who are experts on time, trends, and traction of social media posting. The brand advocacy team will then engage with each customer or potential customer on behalf of the brand as well as manage influencer and PR campaigns. Finally, everything will be bolstered by the paid media team working on the back-end of social media to maximize the dollars spent and drive customers through the sales funnel.

Instead of one person with a single skillset, a company will get a team of experts all working on their account for the same cost of hiring one social media manager.

Hiring a social media manager will cost a company $40,000-ish on the low end and up to $120,000-ish on the high end (don’t quote these exact numbers because there are a lot of factors that go into salary). If you factor in benefits, taxes, training, and resources, add another potential 30% on top of the salary. This isn’t factoring in the thousands of dollars your company will need to spend on social media tools, equipment, software, and support services.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that you are investing $50,000 salary in a new social media manager. If you were to hire Cyclone Social instead, you would be spending $50,000 as well. So the investment is a wash. Where the difference comes in is with the value. Cyclone Social will bring $750,000 worth of employees to the table. We will put specialists on every project (photographers will take the photos, videographers will shoot the video, copywriters will write the copy, and advertising specialists will manage your ad campaigns). We will also bring hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, software, and services to your account to provide the highest level of results. Hiring an employee will bring that single person to the table. That’s all.

It’s hard to not turn this entire article into a sales pitch, but the difference between a social media manager individually and a company like Cyclone Social is absolutely night and day! Is Cyclone Social the only option? Absolutely not!

So, to wrap this up let’s go back to the initial statement: Why you should NEVER hire a social media manager. After going through the options and seeing how difficult it is to truly hire the perfect candidate to fill your social media manager role, I will leave it up to you. What do you think? Should companies still consider a full-time social media manager for their business? Or should companies explore expert social media teams to play the role of “Social Media Manager” within their company for the same cost (and usually less) instead?

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