Finding the Perfect Social Media Expert: Your Guide to Hiring the Right Professional

Written by Melissa Farley

November 10, 2023

Many people often confuse the terms Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketer, and PR Representative, but they actually refer to distinct roles. In this blog post, we will explore the responsibilities of each job to help you make an informed decision when hiring a professional to grow your business. Additionally, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of working with large digital agencies versus boutique agencies.

Discover the key differences between social media managers, marketers, and PR representatives to find the perfect fit for your business. Unlock growth potential today!

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manager is responsible for managing your social media channels. They handle everything from creating content to posting and scheduling it. They also provide insights and analytics on how your social channels are performing and offer recommendations for improvement and growth. Some social media managers may even take on the role of community engagement, responding to messages, comments, and questions, moderating groups, and interacting with potential followers. They can also manage policies for deleting negative comments or blocking inappropriate users.

At Stronger Today, our tagline is “Let us handle your social media, so you can focus on what you do best.” As a business owner or entrepreneur, your time should be spent on activities that fulfill you and contribute to your revenue, rather than worrying about the latest Instagram algorithm changes. Social media has become an essential part of a solid marketing plan, providing brand awareness and interactions with potential customers. Entrusting a capable social media manager with your content strategy and posting tasks allows you to focus on core business activities.

Depending on your preferences, your interactions with a social media manager may involve regular check-ins, content approval, providing organic content like event photos or behind-the-scenes pictures, and collaborative meetings to plan content campaigns for specific events, promotions, or announcements. It’s always important to discuss your expectations with potential social media managers to ensure alignment.

“Many people often confuse the terms Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketer, and PR Representative, but they actually refer to distinct roles

Questions to Discuss When Hiring a Social Media Manager:

  • What are your primary goals? (e.g., donations, brand awareness, recruit staff/volunteers, lead generation, sales & conversions, becoming famous)

  • How do people currently find out about your business? Can it be improved?

  • Do you host open houses, public events, or engage with the community online or in person?

  • How do you define success for your business?

  • Do you have an archive of evergreen content such as photos and videos?

  • Do you have a system for collecting and managing reviews?

  • How do you track referrals?

  • Who currently manages your marketing and social media?

  • Which social media platforms are most suitable for your target audience?

    What Does a Social Media Marketer Do?

    While a social media manager focuses on organic content, a social media marketer specializes in paid social media advertising. Their expertise lies in platforms like Meta (Facebook and Instagram), LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and sometimes additional platforms such as Google, Spotify, YouTube, or email marketing.

    Hiring a social media marketer typically goes beyond raising brand awareness; it is driven by the need to increase sales or generate leads. A social media marketing specialist collaborates with you to create engaging visuals and compelling copy for your ad campaigns. They set up and maintain all ad sets, perform A/B testing to identify high-performing ads, provide detailed metrics on ad performance, and ensure ad compliance.

    When hiring a social media marketer, it’s crucial to allocate a separate budget for ad spends on top of their fee. While advertising on Meta is relatively affordable (starting at $5-10 per day), platforms like LinkedIn and Google Ads may require more substantial investments to achieve a satisfactory return on investment (ROI). Understanding your ad budget allocation is essential.

    SIDENOTE: Boosting content on Facebook or Instagram, while technically considered advertising, is less sophisticated and effective than creating and running ads through Business Manager. With ads created in Business Manager, you can target specific audiences, resulting in a higher conversion rate and more quality leads.

    What Does a PR Representative or Agency Do?

    PR, short for Public Relations, includes activities such as securing interviews on news channels, booking appearances on talk shows and podcasts, guest blogging opportunities, print interviews, and public speaking engagements. PR agencies are typically engaged for about three months during significant releases, book launches, music video premieres, or when aiming to establish oneself as an expert in their field.

    Smaller agencies usually start around the $1,500 a month range whereas larger agencies can start more in the $3-5K a month range. In this case, you are essentially paying for their relationships and connections. Many PR agencies are founded or run by former news and radio personalities or staff and have established relationships that provide you access to these outlets. In this sense, it can make sense to save and plan for investing in a bigger agency, since most people retain a PR agency on a temporary basis.

    How Do I Know Who to Hire?

    This is such a personal decision with so many variable preferences and expectations. As with everything, I always suggest open communication and asking A LOT of questions when you are interviewing potential partners or agencies. It’s always great to start with word-of-mouth referrals and ask people and business you trust who they use for their social media or PR needs. If you don’t have that as an option, do a good old fashioned Google search and start reading ratings, reviews and testimonials about the agency. Don’t forget to check out the social media channels of people they say they represent.

    A big agency can have a lot of power, a bigger staff for support and possibly fancier software to generate reports or handle scheduling, but you may also be one of many clients at a bigger firm or agency and may be less personal or hands-on-service. A smaller agency usually handpicks clients, can provide a more white glove experience and may take the time to get to know your brand or business a little better, but they may not have as robust of available resources. It really is about what YOU want and need.

    If you have additional questions or want to chat more about this topic, let me know!

    Photo of Melissa Farley, founder of Stronger Today Marketing

    Written by Melissa Farley

    Melissa Farley is the founder of Stronger Today Marketing.

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