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How to hire a professional social media manager: a detailed guide


If you’re in the process of hiring a social media manager, it’s vital to make the right hire for the position. A social media manager’s role focuses on making in-depth plans for producing, managing, and keeping track of your organization’s social media approaches. The person you hire will be pivotal in helping you boost your brand’s reputation.

Problems can arise when you hire the wrong social media manager. Your organization will miss out on critical opportunities to enhance awareness of your brand. This can mean that your sales could decline. 

How can you avoid this? You will need to source and hire a social media manager who can:

  • Understand SEO and analyze data

  • Is an expert with social media best practices

  • Is a good fit and can work alongside your team members

To assist you and help you achieve this, our guide will include:

  • The crucial skills required by your social media manager to be successful

  • An example job description to help you to discover expert social media managers

  • Endorsed ways to source and discover social media managers

  • The advantages of pre-employment skills testing for evaluating candidates

  • Critical interview questions you’ll need to ask social media manager candidates

  • The advised salary range for your social media manager 

Social media manager skills

You’ll be looking for essential skills when hiring a social media manager. These include:

  • Written communication skills. Written communication skills are critical to your social media manager candidates’ success in the role. They should be able to:

  • Interpret communication in the written form

  • Write exceptional and creative copy for adverts

  • Write succinctly when required

  • Communication skills. As a social media manager, your candidates will lead social media strategies. They should therefore have exceptional communication skills and be able to:

  • Communicate clearly when speaking with team members

  • Communicate clearly in the written form

  • Understand and interpret verbal communication from team members

  • Problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is an integral part of a social media manager’s daily responsibilities. Your social media manager should competently be able to:

  • Use and understand data to solve problems

  • Interpret community feedback to address negative responses

  • Analyze a problem from all angles, such as inconsistency in the brand voice, and fix it

  • Critical thinking abilities. Making sound judgments related to social media marketing is essential. The candidates you select for the social media marketing role should have the ability to:

  • Critically evaluate information

  • Avoid making assumptions without consulting the relevant data

  • Understand the relationship between cause and effect – such as how a brand voice can affect the customers who interpret it

  • Attention to detail. Writing copy. Creating ads. Both of these require exceptional written skills and attention to detail. Your candidates should avoid errors by:

  • Identifying grammatical mistakes in their copy

  • Highlighting punctuation errors in their team member’s copy

  • Ensure the little details that contribute to the brand voice are consistent 

  • Digital marketing experience. Crucial to the success of your social media manager is their level of digital marketing experience. They should:

  • Know about SEO

  • Understand the importance of Google Analytics

  • Be fully familiar with Facebook advertising

  • Skills in customer service. One other essential skill you should be looking for in your social media manager is customer service aptitudes. Your candidates should be able to:

  • Build relationships with influencers 

  • Take negative customer feedback on board to enhance the brand 

  • Understand how to communicate with customers and respond to comments received in social media channels

  • Design knowledge. This skill is a bonus. Your social media manager should understand how images and design fit together with social media marketing and:

  • Know the importance of images in advertising

  • Be able to produce basic graphics

  • Ideally, have some experience with photography

We know, that was a lot to digest. You can read our article on the essential skills for social managers to learn more about why these skills matter.

Social media manager job description

An important part of hiring a social media manager is writing a clear social media manager job description. It’s vital because it will outline what you are looking for and help your candidates gain insight into the specific experience needed for the role.

If it slips your mind to include that your social media manager should know how to manage and respond to posts on social media communities, the candidates you attract might not have specific skills in establishing relationships with social media influencers.

On the other hand, write a good job description, and you will receive better matches for your social media manager position. It will also help your applicants understand the requirements of the position better when they apply.

How to write a good social media manager job description

First things first. Avoid diving into a social media manager job description without considering the skills and experience needed for the vacancy. Think about these key points:

  • Does your new hire need knowledge of specific social media channels? Which channels are specific to your organization? Your social media manager should be familiar with certain social media channels to be successful in the role. Some skills might be required more frequently than others depending on the social media channels you use, so this should be specified in the job description.

  • Which specific design experience will your social media manager require? Ad copy and social media posts will require some experience and knowledge of design. Copy for posts and social media adverts should fit within particular design parameters, which is exactly what your social media manager will be in charge of. Outlining this in your job description is important to ensure you attract the right candidates.

  • Will your social media manager need knowledge of particular technologies? Knowledge of particular technologies is essential for the role of your social media manager. Tech such as social/customer relationship management systems or (CRMs) are critical to the role. Which CRM does your organization use? Your candidate should be familiar with this, so you should clearly state this in your job description.

  • Which qualifications should your social media manager possess? Does your social media manager need any specific qualifications to carry out the role successfully? If you’re looking for a social media manager who has a communications degree, or a BSc in marketing, this should feature in your social media manager job description as well.

Here is our example job description that is specifically for hiring a professional social media manager. Consider it a template that you can use to base your own social media manager job description on. 

Social media manager job description template

[YOUR COMPANY NAME] is searching for a social media manager who will shape our social media brand voice and monitor social media content for our organization.

What is the role of a social media manager?

[COMPANY NAME]’s social media manager will take responsibility for managing our social media strategies, organize social media campaigns, and create responses to community comments.

Your strategies should use a consistent brand voice that corresponds to [COMPANY NAME]’s values. You will need to work with our business plan and maintain various social media profiles.

Social media manager job responsibilities

As a social media manager at [COMPANY NAME], you will manage social media profiles and take the lead when running social media campaigns across various channels.

This means you will be responsible for:

  1. Creating social media marketing plans

  2. Coming up with a brand voice and an identity for [COMPANY NAME]

  3. Organizing and scheduling when to make social media posts

  4. Creating a plan to boost conversion

  5. Ensuring that social media strategies engage leads

  6. Maintaining relationships with influencers

  7. Implementing search engine optimization approaches to boost traffic

  8. Carrying out data analysis using data analytics tools

  9. Revisiting content and posts to create new and related content

  10. Staying up to date with social media marketing trends

Social media manager job requirements

You will need to have the following requirements to be successful for our social media manager position:

  • Minimum 2 years of professional work experience in an advertising or sales position

  • BSc qualification in marketing, communications (or similar)

  • Knowledge of social media marketing channels

  • Competency with SEO strategies to optimize content

  • Excellent communication skills

  • The ability to analyze and interpret complex data

  • The ability to write compelling copy

  • Some knowledge of web design

  • Experience with content management

  • The ability to create a range of content, including videos and images

Where to find social media managers

Now you have established the requirements for your social media manager role, next on your agenda is to source candidates. There are several options open to you, and what you choose will depend on whether you’re searching for a permanent or temporary social media manager. 

Take a look at your options below to find out where to source temporary or permanent social media managers for your organization.

Where to source temporary social media managers

Freelancer.com. Freelancer.com is ideal if you’re looking for a temporary or freelance social media manager to lead your team. Just post the project you want to be managed, select the ideal candidate by making comparisons between social media manager experts, and let them start working.

Upwork. Upwork is a great platform for sourcing candidates for temporary vacancies, particular projects, or hourly work. Once you have written the description to attract candidates, you’ll then need to review the applications. Select the ideal candidate for your social media manager position and let them take care of the project.

Craigslist. Attracting temporary social media managers for your vacancy is simple with Craigslist. This comprehensive job site has a “Gigs” filter dedicated to temporary work. All you need to do is complete the sections related to your vacancy and add your job description to begin sourcing temporary social media managers for your organization.

FlexJobs. Founded in 2007, FlexJobs has a specific section dedicated to temporary roles and specializes in linking remote candidates to recruiters. Post your job descriptions on this platform for $299 per month and start drawing in top social media manager candidates for your position. 

Where to source permanent social media managers 

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to source permanent social media managers. Why? Given that it is an actual social media platform, it’s a great source of professionals in social media management. You can post jobs for free on LinkedIn, or you can choose the promoted jobs option to widen your candidate reach to find and hire the ideal social media manager.

CloudPeeps.com. CloudPeeps.com lets you post ongoing jobs for permanent social media managers and one-time jobs for temporary candidates. You can choose to pay your employees a fixed price or pay them hourly. Just fill in the relevant fields and choose whether you want your job description hand-matched to top talent or to get it promoted as well.

Mashable. Mashable is a recommended job board with a thriving social media section. Ideal for sourcing social media managers, this job board costs $259 per month. Post your social media manager job description and watch the applications start rolling in.

Pre-employment tests for social media managers

At this point, you’re going to need a way to evaluate the applications that have been flooding in for your social media manager position.

If you don’t have the specialized knowledge required to assess your social media manager candidates, we recommend using pre-employment skills tests. They are beneficial for narrowing down your list of candidates.

But there are various other advantages to using pre-employment skills tests to assess your social media manager candidates.

Here are some of the benefits of using skills testing during your hiring process:

  • Discover candidates with leadership qualities. When you’re hiring for a social media manager, you are looking for a leader – someone who will guide and unify your social media marketing team. There are specific skills tests that will dig deeper to find out whether your candidates have the required leadership qualities that are relevant to your role.

  • Distinguish differences between top-level candidates. You’re likely to receive a large number of top-level candidates when hiring a social media manager – all claiming they can take your brand and unify it across all channels. Using skills tests will help you distinguish between top applicants and make difficult choices easier.

  • Establish if your candidate is a good cultural fit. There are even skills tests specific to cultural fit, which will help you decide whether your candidate is the best match for your organization’s culture. This is important as your whole team, including your social media manager, should be on the same page. Use skills tests to help you decide whether your social media manager is a good fit for your team and values.

How to build a skills assessment for social media manager candidates

Let’s turn our attention to building skills assessments for social media managers. How can you decide which skills tests to use for your social media manager candidates?

Sure, hard skills are important. You will need to ensure your social media manager candidates have the data analysis skills and writing aptitudes required to succeed in the role. But hard skills are not the only important factor when assessing your social media manager candidates.

Given that experience doesn’t always indicate a new hire’s success, aside from hard skills, there are other important skills that you should be looking for as well. You will want to assess your candidates for cultural fit and analyze their soft skills as well.

Recommended tests for social media managers

The tests we recommend for your social media manager candidates will assess their aptitudes in line with their responsibilities and daily tasks. Take a look at some of the recommended tests we have suggested for your social media managers.

Social media management test. The social media management test evaluates your candidates’ social media management aptitudes. It will give you a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and ability to widen the reach of their social media posts and channels.

Facebook advertising test. This is the test you will need to get accurate results relating to your candidates’ Facebook advertising aptitudes. Get accurate data on your candidates’ Facebook advertising campaign skills and find out if they can reach your audience successfully.

Google Analytics test. Google Analytics plays a fundamental part in the duties of your social media manager role. Use the Google Analytics test to discover whether your candidates have the expertise in analyzing reports to help you achieve your marketing objectives and make shrewd marketing decisions.

SEO copywriting. With the SEO copywriting test, you will be able to evaluate your social media manager candidate’s SEO knowledge and discover whether they understand SEO best practices. Find out whether your candidates understand keyword research and how to optimize their content with the help of this test.

Attention to detail (visual). Images and videos are important content that your social media manager will be using every day, as are specific designs for social media advertising. Use the attention to detail test, specifically for visual attention to detail, to determine whether your candidates can distinguish between details in specific designs.

Communication. Your social media manager will need to communicate with other designers, content writers, copywriters, and team members to get the job done efficiently. Assess their communication skills with a communication test to determine if they have active listening skills and can interpret written communication.

Culture add. Discover whether your social media manager candidates’ attitude and personal values align with your organization’s values with the culture add test, and determine whether they would be a good cultural fit.

Use custom questions for your social media managers with TestGorilla

Say you wanted to gain further information from your social media manager candidates. As well as asking further questions in the formal interview process, which we’ve included below, you can even use TestGorilla to make custom questions.

From video responses and essays to file uploads and multiple-choice questions, you can gain further information from your social media manager candidates with a combination of custom questions.

One popular option is our video response custom questions. These will allow you to understand how your candidates will fit into the culture of your team and your organization.

Qualifying questions for your social media managers

With TestGorilla, you will have the chance to create qualifying questions that will determine, instantly, whether a candidate meets your specific requirements for the social media manager vacancy.

For instance, you might decide to ask whether your candidate has a minimum of 2 years of experience as a social media manager or whether they have specific design experience for the role.

Depending on their response, you can decide whether your candidates match the particular requirements for the vacancy and let them know if they made the cut.

Social media manager interview questions

Now that your social media manager candidates have responded to your skills tests, you can think about the types of interview questions you want to ask them. Keep in mind that you’re five times more likely to make a bad hire without a standardized interview process.

The following interview questions will help you explore your candidates’ aptitudes further and help you find out more about them:

  1. Which social media channels meet the requirements for our business?

  2. How would you develop a posting schedule for our social media posts?

  3. How does SEO feature in social media marketing?

  4. How do you handle negative comments from social media communities?

  5. Which social media platform is your personal favorite? What makes it the best?

  6. Which online communities have you previously managed?

  7. What do you know about reputation management and management tools?

  8. Which approaches and best practices would you use to generate leads?

  9. Can you tell me about A/B testing?

  10. How can we improve our social media campaigns?

Which social media channels meet the requirements for our business?

Asking your social media marketing candidates this question will give you insights into their knowledge of social media channels and whether they have researched your company’s social media efforts so far.

How would you develop a posting schedule for our social media posts?

Be wary of candidates who fail to factor in time to respond to comments after posting an ad. They should create a social media content calendar to schedule regular, consistent posts, but they should also get the balance right between posting and responding. 

How does SEO feature in social media marketing?

Your top social media marketing candidates should understand SEO competently and understand the importance of SEO in the context of social signals.

How do you handle negative comments from social media communities?

This question is important as it will explain how your candidates deal with difficult situations and challenges with your social media marketing campaign. Look for particular examples of how your social media marketing candidates have handled this in the past and whether they could deescalate the negative comments offline.

Which social media platform is your personal favorite? What makes it the best?

The best answers to this question will detail the specific social media platform in question and will indicate how much your social media manager candidates know about it. Experts will be able to highlight the limitations of even their personal favorite social media platform.

Which online communities have you previously managed?

Can your social media marketing candidates demonstrate that they could grow the community specific to the social media channel in question? This question will help you separate those candidates who can make a social network page and those who can cultivate and grow an audience.

What do you know about reputation management and reputation management tools?

Does your candidate list several reputation management tools without going into detail in response to this question? The best candidates will understand how reputation management tools fit into the social media management process. They should also understand and be able to name analytics tools in the context of reputation management.

Which approaches and best practices would you use to generate leads?

Lead generation is critical to the success of a social media manager. Which best practices do your candidates use to achieve this? Can they show evidence that they have generated leads in the past? Have they got professional experience with lead generation?

Can you tell me about A/B testing?

Also crucial to a social media manager’s success is their knowledge of A/B testing. Are they aware of how advertising and analytics go hand in hand? You’re looking for an answer that demonstrates expertise in conversions and how this relates to the marketing funnel.

How can we improve our social media campaigns?

Has your candidate done their research into your company? Asking this question will reveal whether your potential next social media manager knows about innovative social media campaign approaches and how this might fit into your organization. 

How much does a social media manager cost?

How much your social media manager will cost depends on various factors. Though the typical average salary earned by social media managers is $51,795, as mentioned by Payscale.com, this can be influenced by various things.

Some of the factors that determine the cost of a social media manager include:

  • The location of your business

  • Whether they know particular tools or design knowledge

  • Whether you hire an in-house social media manager or choose a freelance candidate

Source and hire a professional social media manager, effortlessly

Sourcing and hiring a professional social media manager isn’t easy, particularly if you are not an expert in the field yourself. So, what can you do to make the right hire? How can you spot social media marketing professionals effortlessly? The key is to use pre-employment skills testing to your advantage. 

Remember, you shouldn’t use a reliable skills testing platform to assess your candidates’ hard skills and stop there. This only scratches the surface of the hiring process and might not lead you to the right candidate. You’ll need to use skills tests to assess cultural fit and soft skills as well.

To source and hire an expert social media manager, begin your free trial of TestGorilla to make hiring top talent effortless.


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