A company’s social media presence is an important marketing strategy to reach more customers. Your company’s social media pages allow people to get to know you better and help build your online brand. We know many small business owners who love managing their social media accounts and are happy to do so. However, some people find it more beneficial to hire a social media manager to help them save time and creativity.
I recently went through the hiring process for a Buffer social media manager. I want to share my experience and help others who are looking to hire a manager. It’s broken down into five sections: creating a job description and crafting a custom app, promoting the position, and the interview process. The entire job description was included at the end. You can grab any portion of the job description that you need to create your listing.
Let’s get started!
1. Create a creative job description
Writing a job description is the first step in any hiring process. This is not only necessary to promote the job but it also serves as a guideline for what you desire from this position.
Ask questions such as:
- What experience do I need? I see many business owners making the mistake of outsourcing social media to a junior or intern to save money. If you are willing to offer training and support, this can work. However, if not, you should hire someone with more experience.
- What resources can I provide? A social media manager is expected to manage social media, create visual elements and videos, write copy, and support customers. They also need to run ads and report on analytics. Consider your top needs and the resources that you can provide to meet them.
- Which channels should they focus on? I always suggest that brands concentrate on one or two channels of social media marketing, instead of trying to master them all. You should look for candidates who have experience with social media marketing in particular areas, given the many specialties available. You should also consider whether you need someone who has more experience with organic or paid social media marketing, as these are two very different skill sets.
Buffer decided that we needed a person who was skilled in organic Twitter and had experience in our industry. We also wanted someone who could manage community (but not customer support as we have the resources).
You can find our final job description at end of article, which you can adapt for your needs.
2. Create a custom application
We asked candidates to submit a resume, cover letter, and custom application questions. This will help you quickly determine which candidates are the right fit for your company.
Please share your Twitter account:
If you don’t have a Twitter profile, describe your experience using Twitter (In 280 characters and less). )
Send the link to a tweet that you are proud of, sent from a brand account.
What made you choose this tweet? (In 280 characters and less )
Send the link to a short-form video or social media graphic that you have created:
Which social network is your favorite? Why? (In 280 characters and less. )
What do you see as the future of organic social networking? (In 280 characters and less )
What would you do as a Buffer Social Media Manager to respond to these tweets? (In 280 characters and less )
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating brand application questions
- Focus on the platforms that you are focusing on. We wanted to find someone who was great at Twitter so we asked many questions that were meant to help them understand their experience. You might also ask questions such as: What are your favourite Instagram features? Which feature do you believe would work best for our brand? TikTok can be a focal point: Can you give us an example of a TikTok that you have created for a brand? Which TikTok trends align with your brand?
- Send us your responses via social media. Because Twitter is so important for us, I kept responses to 280 characters. I’m glad that I did. It made it much easier to review applications. It also allowed me to test applicants’ ability to communicate clearly, which is crucial for social media. You might ask your potential TikTok or Instagram pro to make short videos as a response if you are looking for a TikTok or Instagram pro.
- Use them to help your brand. A small assignment can help you gauge whether a candidate is familiar with your brand voice. It can be difficult to teach if your voice is not aligned. We asked people to reply to a few samples of tweets.
3. Promote the Role of Social (Of course!)
The best way to get your job posting in front of the right people is to use social media. That’s because that’s where most of them hang out. If you are looking for a Twitter pro to help you find the right candidate, be sure to tweet the job posting from both your personal account and those of the other candidates.
Buffer has a newsletter that is sent out to all interested parties when we have new roles. I also shared the listing on LinkedIn and Twitter. It gained a lot of traction on both platforms, and it was easy for Buffer employees and others to share it.
We ended up with 704 applicants after promoting the position for three weeks. This is our industry so we expected to find a lot of qualified candidates for this job.
Depending on the size of your company and how much you are promoting, I recommend that you give it four to six weeks so people have time to apply. You can also review applicants on a rolling basis.
Get more information about how to use social media to hire employees for your business . This is Nicole Miller, Buffer’s Director Of People.
4. For success, structure the interview process
Although interview processes vary depending on the style and size of the company, there are some practices that help us to identify the best candidates.
- A test assignment is a good idea. We start the interview process with many applicants. This helps us to narrow down our candidates. Even though you may have a smaller applicant pool, this can still be a great way to assess other skills. You might ask them to create a content schedule for one week if they have shown some interest in content creation.
- Learn about soft skills. Before you meet with a candidate, it is likely that you have a good idea of their social media skills and qualifications. Spend the interview learning more about the soft skills that will be important to your success in this job. Can they work well with other teammates? Can they adapt to changes in social media? Are they able to interact with people online every day?
- Include questions about culture and values. Buffer always conducts an entire interview on values. However, smaller companies might only want to include a few questions about values in the interview. One of my favorite questions: To probe into the Buffer value “improve consistently”, we often ask candidates what they have done in recent times to improve their skills. These questions will help you identify a candidate who is enthusiastic to work in yourcompany, and who will fit seamlessly into the way you work.
Although you may be eager to have someone in place quickly once you hire a social media manager for your company, it is worth taking the time to make sure you are hiring the right person. This is a crucial role, and essentially serves as a spokesperson for the company. It’s not advisable to skimp on this job. You’ll find the right hire if you take the time to think through it. They’ll not only help you with social media, but they’ll also scale your channels to new heights.
Are you a social media manager? If you have, please share your experiences with it. Do you have questions that I did not answer? You can reach me anytime via Twitter.
Here’s the job description that we used last week, as promised.
The Buffer Social Media Manager Job Description
You will be responsible for Buffer’s social media channels as a Social Media Manager. This means that you will create written, video and visual content across all social media networks, maintain a content calendar, coordinate across teams, and ensure that Buffer’s social presence is consistent with what’s going on at Buffer. Your role will be to ensure that our community is healthy, thriving, and to take it to the next level by active engagement via social media. As a social media company, this is an important role. Our social profiles are a huge part of our brand. They are also one of the first things our customers see. The Marketing team will work with you to create and publish social media content weekly or monthly. You will also work closely with Customer Advocacy to inform them of any new content. You’ll be responsible for scheduling posts, collecting insights and engaging with customers and community members, as well as building relationships and sharing trends that could impact our overall strategy.
This role will report to the Head for Public Relations. You will work day-to-day with your marketing colleagues as well as agencies and freelancers who work with the marketing team. You will be a part of a marketing team and help to shape Buffer’s brand by creating exceptional social media posts, and keeping a strong brand voice across all platforms.
- Create social media content. Come up with ways to promote new content, product launches and other announcements. Ensure that content resonates with customers and brands. You can create written content, graphics and videos that last from several seconds up to several minutes.
- Assist in the planning and management of social media content. Coordinate the content calendar and plan, manage, and coordinate it. Participating in weekly or biweekly social media content brainstorming sessions.
- Manage your own community. Engaging with the community on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Also, responding to Zendesk tickets.
- Use data to inform strategy. Take the best from every social channel, and engage with your community to gain insights. These insights will help you create a social strategy.
- Advocate for the community. Buffer will help you to be aware of the views of our social media communities on different aspects of our product and culture.
- Stay current with industry trends. You must keep up-to-date with changes across platforms.
- Be a strong Buffer voice.Adopt Buffer’s tone and voice across content work. This will ensure that any Buffer-published material is in line with Buffer’s brand and voice.
- You must have previous experience in creating content for social media, preferably from a software company.
- Experience with creating short-form videos and social media graphics, such as Instagram Reels or TikToks, is required.
- You must have the ability to use tools to plan and work with others on social media posts.
- You must have previous experience in engaging with communities on social media and building online relationships.
- It’s exciting and motivating to be able to spend my day creating, scheduling and posting content, as well as engaging in our community via social media.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills. You care about creating content that resonates with a wide global audience.
- Capability to create engaging content, and maintain a consistent brand voice.
- Solid understanding of key social media metrics and data.
- Action-oriented with a high level of output, such as creating social media posts.
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