TestGorilla LogoTestGorilla Logo

How to hire a social media marketer


Investing in a strong social media presence will help you improve brand awareness and drive traffic and sales. But for this, you need a skilled social media marketer who knows how to build a strong content strategy and schedule, manage online communities, and oversee paid advertising campaigns. 

So, if you’re wondering how to hire a professional social media marketer for your accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other channels, this article is for you. 

In it, we’ll talk about what social media management entails, how to decide whether you need to hire a freelancer or a full-time employee, what skills to look for, how to assess them, and how to interview your next social media marketer.

One of the most important elements to making the right hire is assessing your applicants’ skills objectively and fairly. One of the best ways to do that is to use pre-employment screening tests, such as our Social Media Management test, to quickly qualify matching candidates and focus your attention on high-potential talent.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is a social media marketer? 

A social media marketer (sometimes abbreviated as SMM) is a person who is in charge of a company’s social media strategy and its execution. 

A smaller business might hire a marketing specialist who manages all aspects of the business’ marketing operations. As the company grows, hiring a dedicated social media marketer may make sense, especially if some of your key leads already come from social networks: This means that you’re looking at a growth opportunity with strong potential. 

A skilled social manager will bring a wealth of experience and insights into how social media algorithms work and what tactics to use on each platform to build a raving community for your brand.

What are the key responsibilities of a social media marketer? 

So, what exactly does a social media marketer do? Here are some of the key duties and responsibilities of the role: 

  • Define your social media brand voice and tone: A specialist will know how to align your social media messaging with overall marketing and business vision and tone of voice. To be seen in cluttered feeds, your brand needs to find its unique voice and talk about what your followers care about. You also want to sound authentic, personal, and in line with your brand’s tone. Whether it's cheeky and irrelevant or formal and succinct, it's uniquely yours. Lose it, and you risk blending in with everyone else.

  • Ideate and create content: To build a strong presence, you need to post often. An effective manager will know your products or services inside out and create valuable content that draws users’ attention. Social marketers always collaborate with other marketing specialists and the company at large. Learning from other departments and externalizing valuable insights is what creates value for clients. 

  • Learn from the competition: Your users consume content from many brands, individuals and curators. So does your social media marketer. They'll analyze how competitors succeed on socials and look for effective techniques to borrow. Also, they'll look for any gaps, so that they can deliver value to your community. Competitive analysis and content planning are very similar to focusing on long-tail keywords in SEO.

  • Interact with users: Contributing to conversations is as important as posting new content. A skilled social media marketer will identify viral threads and popular groups and contribute with insightful and useful comments. Smart managers know that being active in discussions about your industry will help build your brand authority.

  • Work in collaboration with your customer service department: It’s important to consider that customers today expect to receive answers to their pressing questions and queries on social media – and reward brands that provide that. According to McKinsey, customers spend up to 40% more with companies that provide customer service on social media compared to organizations that don’t. So, your social media marketer might also need to work in close collaboration with your customer service department to provide users with the multichannel experience they’re expecting.

Now that you know why you should hire a professional social media marketer, let's talk about the skills you should look for.

Hard skills to look for in a social media marketer

An effective social marketer will use certain hard skills to help your brand raise awareness and generate engagement on social media. 

Social media management

The first skill you need to look for is an obvious one: proficiency with social media and community management. You need an expert who:

  • Knows the ins and outs of each social media platform you’ll be using to promote your brand

  • Is aware of the best tactics to use for each network

  • Is able to drive engagement by providing users with interesting and insightful information and contributing to conversations

  • Is able to analyze your social media performance and look for areas of improvement

Each social media channel has a certain target audience and has unique features. Your ideal marketer will have extensive experience of using those platforms to reach objectives and grow your business. 


Look for a specialist who excels at creating impactful captions and posts on your preferred social channels. Such a marketer will use various copywriting formulas to structure narratives and amplify the potential impact your posts have. 

Check portfolios to get a better idea of applicants’ copywriting skills. 

Visual and graphic design

Images always draw more attention. Hiring a social media expert who's able to create graphics, captions, and other creative elements will allow your brand to present a more cohesive identity and attract more eyeballs. 

While you can’t expect your future marketer to have the in-depth skills of a graphic designer, if they have hands-on experience with design software (such as Adobe Photoshop or even Canva) and an eye for aesthetics, that’ll definitely be helpful.

Data analytics and AI

An experienced social media marketer understands that their marketing efforts help achieve company-wide goals. 

Look for someone who can see the big picture and knows how to empower your sales and marketing teams with a steady steady stream of leads – and how to effectively use various analytics tools and AI-enabled systems, such as Buffer, HubSpot, and Hootsuite, among others. 

Effective social media listening will allow your social media marketer to quickly identify nascent trends and measure sentiment around your brand.

Top soft skills every social media marketer needs

Soft skills are just as important: Social management is driven by the manager's ability to engage users, stay relevant, and communicate with other departments and teams.


Your social manager should be able to communicate well in writing and verbally and effectively articulate their thoughts and ideas in the form of presentations, pitches, emails, and more. 

Look for an expert who knows their way around structured presentations and pitch decks. A good communicator knows how to use active listening when they need to quickly gather insights into pain points and requirements.

Curiosity and adaptability

Social media networks constantly evolve, so your manager needs to be curious about each new trend and always be on the lookout for ways to tweak their strategy. They should be able to quickly adapt to the changes and rebuild their processes in line with the evolving rules of the game.

Networking and sales

Social media management is all about building new connections, so when hiring, you need to look for a social media marketer who is a skilled networker and knows how to sell your product without being overly salesy. 

For this, you need a marketer who stays away from sales pitches but instead knows how to articulate the benefits your brand offers while delivering valuable insights to the community around it.

And if you need more information on the top skills for the role, here's a deeper look into what to look for in your next social media marketer.

How to test your future social media marketer's skills

To streamline your hiring process and evaluate all applicants objectively and fairly, you can use pre-employment tests. 

If you use TestGorilla, you can combine up to five tests from our test library in a single assessment and invite your candidates to take it. This way, you’ll be able to quickly see who has the right skills for the role. Here are some ideas for the tests you can use: 

  • Social Media Management test: This test helps you quickly see whether your candidates know the basics of social media management, including ways to develop a strategy, optimize reach, and use analytics to assess results. This test will serve you well even when you are looking to fill an adjacent role, such as those in brand management, community management or social media strategy.

  • Communication test: Run a quick communication skills test to see how the candidate will fit into your team. Check whether the applicant knows workplace etiquette rules and whether they can effectively summarize information and determine the next steps.

  • Meta (Facebook) Ads test: With this test, you'll learn how proficient the applicant is in setting up advertising campaigns in Facebook, implementing pixels and tracking results, targeting the right audiences, as well as monitoring performance of your ongoing campaigns. 

  • Social Media Community Management test: Assess your applicants’ ability to build appropriate and effective strategies to build social media communities to improve your business’ online presence and increase brand loyalty.

How to test your future social media marketers skills graphic

Where to find a social media marketer – and should you hire a freelancer or an employee?

Before looking for a social media marketer, determine the scope of work and the budgets you have available for you. 

You also need to decide whether you need to hire a freelancer or an employee. You can always upgrade from a freelancer to a full-time employee, but going back might not be such a good decision. 

Read on to learn about the pros and cons for each of these options below.

Hiring a freelance social media marketer

You can find freelancers on sites like Upwork, Guru, or Fiverr, where you can browse profiles, reviews, and portfolios of experienced social media marketers. 

Freelancers can be a great option if you need someone to handle specific tasks or campaigns, or if you want to test different strategies and styles before committing to a long-term relationship.

Here are the pros of hiring a freelance marketer: 

  • Lower overhead costs: Freelancers take care of their own health insurance, taxes, and retirement savings, meaning that your overhead costs will be lower.

  • Scalability: When working with a freelancer, you can easily ask them to take on more – or less – work. Freelancers are accustomed to seeing customers come and go and adapt to changing workloads.

  • Versatile experience: Freelance social media specialists are probably juggling a number of customers. They stay updated on the latest trends and changes to algorithms. They're constantly cutting their teeth on projects like yours.

  • Strong push toward results: Freelancers need to perform, or they risk losing their clients. Skilled freelancers will know how to get you more followers and raise awareness. Freelancers do what it takes to deliver growth.

You also need to take into account the cons of working with freelancers, such as: 

  • Lack of focus: Social media is all about disseminating highly targeted information among the right people and at the right time. A freelancer juggling multiple projects might not be able to fully deliver on this critical mission.

  • May stop taking new assignments: A freelance social media marketer might simply not renew the contract, which will leave your brand scrambling for a solution. Social media platforms reward consistency. A couple of weeks with no posting might hurt your long-term standing.

Hiring an in-house social media marketer

In-house employees offer consistency, loyalty, and alignment with your brand vision and values. You can find in-house employees on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, or Glassdoor, where you can post job ads, network with potential candidates, and show your company culture. 

In-house employees can be a great option if you need someone to manage your overall social media presence, or if you want to invest in training and developing a dedicated team member.

Here are the pros of hiring an in-house employee for the role: 

  • Focus on your brand: An in-house social media marketer will dedicate their full attention to your brand. They'll have the time to research your niche, talk with key stakeholders and learn everything they need.

  • Closer alignment with your global vision: An employee will take action to gather valuable pieces of information through informal communications with other team members. This will open the way to becoming a thought leader. Buyers are getting smarter, as they use tools like ChatGPT to quickly research your niche. Having a full-time employee might help your brand stand out from the competition.

  • Ability to scale: An employee will happily collaborate with influencers, photographers, and designers to build a highly effective and scalable strategy. 

As for the cons, here are some of them you should consider: 

  • Costs and obligations: Employees come with higher overhead costs – plus, you need to make sure you have enough work for them to keep them busy. 

  • Lack of flexibility: You won't be able to experiment with a few experts’ approaches. You'll need to make it work with the chosen employee, investing in training and onboarding your employee and integrating them in your marketing team. 

Social media marketer job description template

Focus on looking for managers with a proven track record in your niche. A job description for a social media marketer should include a list of responsibilities, day-to-day duties, requirements, and long-term opportunities for advancement within your company. 

Here’s a template you can use: 

We’re looking for a creative and experienced social media marketer to join our marketing team. You will be responsible for planning, executing, and optimizing our social media campaigns across various platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Threads, and YouTube. You will also be in charge of creating engaging and relevant content, interacting with our online community, and analyzing the performance of our social media efforts.


  • Build and execute a social media strategy that aligns with our brand identity and goals

  • Create and publish engaging content for various social media platforms, including text, images, videos, stories, and reels

  • Respond to comments and messages, moderating user-generated content, and participating in relevant conversations

  • Monitor and analyze the performance of our social media campaigns

  • Conduct research on competitors, the latest social media trends, best practices, and tactics

  • Collaborate with other teams to ensure consistency and synergy across all marketing channels and campaigns

  • Identify and engage with influencers, bloggers, media outlets, and other potential partners 


  • Proven track record as a social media marketer or a similar role

  • Proficient in using various social media platforms and tools for content creation and management

  • A strong sense of aesthetics and style and intermediate design skills

If you are interested in this position, click here to apply. 

How much does a social media marketer cost? 

The pay for social media marketers varies depending on experience, duties and niche. The average total compensation package is at $80,000, with a base pay of approx. $72,000

Expect to pay more for highly experienced marketers, especially if they have in-depth knowledge in your specific niche. When determining the salary for your potential hire, consider the future long-term value they'll add. 

Interview questions for social media marketer

When interviewing candidates, focus on the numbers to quickly see what they can do for your brand. For example: 

  • Which are the most important metrics to consider when analyzing the performance of social media content?

  • What was the monthly growth in terms of followers that you were able to achieve? 

  • Have you measured followers-to-conversions metrics in the past? If yes, then what were the numbers? 

Then consider diving into situational questions, such as: 

  • You have a great idea for a new campaign, but your manager’s reaction is lukewarm. How can you persuade your manager to try it out? 

  • How would you go about researching competitors?

  • Higher management wants to challenge your latest social media post. How do you deal with this? 

For more inspiration, check out our 30 social media management interview questions and 50 social media interview questions for marketers and content managers.

Hiring an experienced social media marketer is easy with skills testing

When you connect with applicants, mine for talent that has the hard and soft skills we've mentioned above. 

The best way to do that is to use an effective pre-employment screening platform like TestGorilla. This enables you to dedicate time only to those applicants who are worth it, i.e. who truly have the skills and experience to succeed as social media marketers.

Sign up for a 30-minutes live demo to see for yourself how TestGorilla can help you streamline your social media marketer recruitment process. Hire the right person, the easy way.


Hire the best candidates with TestGorilla

Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.

The best advice in pre-employment testing, in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

TestGorilla Logo

Hire the best. No bias. No stress.

Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.

Free resources

Anti-cheating checklist

This checklist covers key features you should look for when choosing a skills testing platform

Onboarding checklist

This resource will help you develop an onboarding checklist for new hires.

How to find candidates with strong attention to detail

How to assess your candidates' attention to detail.

How to get HR certified

Learn how to get human resources certified through HRCI or SHRM.

Improve quality of hire

Learn how you can improve the level of talent at your company.

Case study
Case study: How CapitalT reduces hiring bias

Learn how CapitalT reduced hiring bias with online skills assessments.

Resume screening guide

Learn how to make the resume process more efficient and more effective.

Recruiting metrics
Important recruitment metrics

Improve your hiring strategy with these 7 critical recruitment metrics.

Case study
Case study: How Sukhi reduces shortlisting time

Learn how Sukhi decreased time spent reviewing resumes by 83%!

12 pre-employment testing hacks

Hire more efficiently with these hacks that 99% of recruiters aren't using.

The benefits of diversity

Make a business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives with this data.