Not so long ago, businesses questioned whether they needed to include a social media role within their staff.
Today, social media teams are a vital part of large businesses and many smaller businesses have a social media presence at the very least. In fact, there are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to reach their customers.
A quick search on social media for a company that has little or no social media presence can quickly put a customer off with a feeling that the business might be behind the times, untrustworthy or simply unsuccessful.
On the flipside, if a company is on social media and the consumer has a good experience, 71% are more likely to recommend the brand to others.
Hiring suitably qualified individuals for social media team negates the risk of missing their audience on social media and ensures a level of strategy to campaigns, tracking and analyzing results to make sure that the posts are seen by the right people.
So, what process do you need to go through before seeking potential candidates - and where do you begin?
- Assess your budget and your needs
- Look at your social media goals and the skills you need to bring in
- Decide on the size of your team and choose roles
- Choose the structure of your social media team
What skills do you need to look for to form a successful social media team?
After you have assessed your social media needs, you will have to look at the specific skills that you need to bring into your team. Here are some key skills to look for that together will provide a strong force.
Numerous studies have shown that images and video are more important than ever when used on social media, so creating visual content has become a vital skill for social media teams.
Visual content is more than forty times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
The following statistics from 2018 reflect this continuing trend:
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
- People are more likely to retain information if it is paired with an image (10% retained the information without an image, compared to 65% with an image).
- In a 2018 HubSpot survey, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from brands.
- Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%
ii. Public speaking
As of 2018, 35% of marketers use live video. Social media has long caught on to the importance of video with Instagram Live and Facebook Live.
Social media teams have to have the confidence to get onto social media live to connect with their audience, whether that is to interview guests or chat to followers in real time.
To drive engagement, strong copywriting skills are crucial. Your social media expert needs the ability to craft every sentence deliberately, often with a limited word count. They also need an understanding of different types of language and tone to fit a target audience.
A spelling mistake can quickly turn potential customers off to they also need a good command of grammar and punctuation.
iv. Customer care
Customers turn to social media to publicly make their frustrations with a company known and expect the company to respond. 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour and if they don’t respond quickly they feel negative feelings towards the brand.
It’s important for social media teams to be able to chat with customers, answer questions, empathize and calm them if needed. Some brands also have a spokesperson with a distinctive humor and personality that people begin to associate positively with the brand.
v. An understanding of human behavior
This doesn’t need a psychology degree, but rather the ability to be intuitive towards consumer behavior.
To stay ahead of the game, you will need a social media team who can understand why certain target audiences are attracted to posts and why to create future success.
Of course, trends are always changing, so your chosen social media expert will have to have a curious personality and one which is continually seeking out the latest buzz. They will have to fully immerse themselves in social media.
vi. The ability to analyze data
A social media team will have to be able to track the right metrics and interpret the data for your company and your competitors.
For example, if your aim is to get followers on social media back to the company website, they will be able to see where the traffic is coming from.
There are a number of online tools that can provide insight into running and analyzing social media campaigns, experience in these would be preferable when hiring.
What are common roles within a social media team and how do they add value?
i. Social media manager
The social media manager will take a lead of the team, heading up strategies and campaigns to increase brand awareness and ultimately, sales.
ii. Social media specialist
A social media specialist will create content across all social media and will provide customer care.
iii. Social media graphic designer
The social media graphic designer will create all the visual elements of the campaigns - from images to typography and infographics.
iv. Video marketing manager
The video specialist will organize demos, interviews, and forms of storytelling using video format.
v. Social media analyst
A social media analyst will track the performance of the campaigns and look for ways to improve.
How do you start hiring a social team?
It is often a good starting point to hire a social media manager first and then build the team from there.
At a manager level, the social media manager needs to have an all-around ability when it comes to social media responsibilities, so they can get stuck into everything. At this level, they are also likely to have some useful contacts for networking.
If you can only hire one person for your social media needs, make sure they are experienced with video and design as these are vital for social media marketing strategy today.
Why recruit internally for a social media role?
If you want to save time and money, recruiting for a social media role internally can be advantageous as long as the candidate meets the required skill-set.
- The person knows your brand message - this is key in social media where your employees have the potential to reach thousands of people in their networks
- You will know the person's skills and how best to progress them. Realize the value of upskilling and retraining current workers - saving on money and increasing productivity
- The employee feels rewarded by your faith in them and will work harder
- The experience and knowledge needed can often be organisationally based
- Today the ‘face of the company’ is often best represented by your workforce on social media rather than a CEO or sales staff who can be harder to relate to
There is no set need for an employer to advertise job vacancies, but an employer must not discriminate against employees or potential employees.
If an employee thinks that a job has not been fairly advertised they could formally complain to the employer. Adverts can also be indirectly discriminatory if the advertisement applies to everyone, but disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic (for example, gender, age, race).
When employing someone for your social media team you might be interested to see how they represent themselves on social media.
However, pay caution to review a candidates social media profiles without their consent. Guidelines were published in Europe last year saying companies would need a ‘legal ground’ to check candidates’ social media profiles and any data collected must be relevant to their job performance.
However, more and more people are using social media to find a job - putting their CV on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. You will be able to see what content they are engaging with, what articles and publications they read and share and what information they are posting.
Social media is also used for screening - a survey by CareerBuilder found that 70% of US companies use social media to screen applicants and more than half of employers had found postings that had led them not to hire a candidate.
McDonalds uses SnapChat to recruit staff, using employees to discuss their experience working there and meet candidates where they are - on their phones. This is pivotal to recruiting a social media team from outside your company - knowing where to find the best talent.
Currently working as a content and business strategist for a number of small businesses that operate on a local and national level, in the past, Matt has worked with major global brands in online content & digital PR. He writes about marketing, PR, SEO, and digital strategies for business.