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Should I Hire a Social Media Manager for My Small Business?

Unsure if your small business should hire a social media manager? Our guide explores the role, benefits, costs, and alternatives to help you decide.

GoSite Team
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The Role of Social Media in Small Business | Why Should You Hire a Social Media Manager? | 10 Signs You Need a Social Media Manager | Key Social Media Platforms for Local Businesses | What Does a Social Media Manager Do? | Benefits of Social Media Management | The Costs of Hiring a Social Media Manager | Alternatives to Hiring a Full-time Social Media Manager | How a Social Media Strategy Can Help Your Small Business Grow

Social media has become an integral part of business operations, and savvy small business owners understand the importance of having a comprehensive social media presence. However, this requires a lot of time and effort to maintain, which is why many small business owners - even your local “mom-and-pop” operations - are now considering hiring professional social media managers. 

If your local business is struggling to stay on top of its social media accounts or you’re looking for ways to increase customer engagement through those channels, then a social media manager may be right for you. This article will discuss the ins and outs of hiring a dedicated social media manager to help you make the best choice for your small business.

The Role of Social Media in Small Business

Social media has become the best tool for businesses of all sizes, from small local stores to large multinational corporations. It allows companies to stay connected with their customers, promote their products and services, and even hear real-time customer feedback. 

For small businesses, social media is often the only way to reach an audience on a limited budget. This makes it essential that they have a well-planned strategy for managing their accounts across multiple platforms. 


The post above by Fix-it Flores shows off a social media strategy perfect for any business. With just a few words and photos, the company has captured your attention, and the many hashtags they use ensure this post gets to where it’s supposed to go.

Why Should You Hire a Social Media Manager?

While it may seem simple to those who aren’t well-versed in social media, constructing a post like this is surprisingly difficult. Knowing how to say what you need to say in just a few words, keeping up with trends, and using the right hashtags are only some of the challenges of creating effective social media marketing for your business.

 

As you can see in the post above, Instagram user @adamrchap uses many video editing techniques to keep scrollers engaged with his content, like speeding up videos, compiling them together, and including disappearing text and graphics.

This is where a professional social media manager comes in. They have the expertise and knowledge to create content that resonates with your target audience, as well as the ability to use different strategies to keep customers engaged. 

Additionally, they can help you manage customer relations through social media accounts, respond quickly and effectively to comments or queries, and even look for opportunities for growth such as influencers or sponsored posts. 

How Many Hours a Week Should a Social Media Manager Work for the Average Local Small Business to Be Successful?

The amount of time a social media manager should work for your small business depends on the size and complexity of your operations. However, social media managers should work around 10-20 hours per week to ensure regular content updates on your accounts. 

Additionally, if you want to keep up with customer relations, then it’s important to have someone dedicated to responding promptly and appropriately to maintain customer relationships. 

This helpful chart will give you an idea of how long a social media manager should work based on the number of social channels they are working with and how much work they are doing.

  3-5 times/week posting & monitoring engagement Regular posting, content creation (captions, images/graphics, video), & monitoring engagement Posting, content creation, monitoring engagements, & handling customer inquiries in DMs
1-2 social media channels 5-10 hours/week 10-20 hours/week 20-30 hours/week
2-4 social media channels 10-20 hours/week 20-30 hours/week 30-40 hours/week
5 or more social media channels 20-30 hours/week 30-40 hours/week Full-time workload for 1-2 social media managers

Is It a Good Idea to Train One of My Current Employees to Be My Social Media Manager?

For small businesses with limited resources, hiring a full-time social media manager may not be feasible. However, if you have an existing employee who already has some basic knowledge of social media platforms and is willing to take on additional responsibility, then training them to manage your business’s social media accounts can be a great option. 

It allows you to benefit from having someone dedicated to handling your company’s social media presence without paying for the cost of an external hire. 

Before embarking on this route, however, you must assess whether the current workload of this employee will still allow them enough time to manage the social media accounts and create content. 

As we mentioned above, they could be handling anywhere from 5-20 hours a week of social media work, which can be a lot to ask of someone. It is also important to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge for this task, perhaps by providing them with additional training if needed.

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10 Signs You Need a Social Media Manager

1. You’re Short on Time.

If you’re having difficulty finding the time to manage your social media accounts, then a social media manager can help. They will be able to take on the task of creating content and responding to customer queries to free up more of your valuable time. 

2. Your Business Doesn’t Post Consistently.

Posting regularly and consistently is essential for engaging with your target audience on social media. If you’re not able to post often enough, then a social media manager can take care of this for you.

3. You’re Not Sure How to Get Authentic Likes, Shares, Comments, and Followers.

Gaining likes, shares, comments, and followers is essential for increasing your reach on social media. A professional social media manager will have the experience to create content that resonates with users and strategies for growing an audience. 

4. You’re Not Sure the Best Channels or the Best Strategy to Be Successful.

Not sure which social media platforms to use or the best strategies for success? A social media manager will have a good understanding of what works on each channel and can advise you on the most effective approach.

5. You’ve Exhausted Your Own Creative Abilities and Resources.

Creating engaging content is key to success on social media. If you’re not the artistic or technologically savvy type, a social media manager can help you create interesting and relevant material for your accounts. They will also be able to create visuals that are more likely to capture users’ attention.

6. You Don’t Know How to Use Social Media Analytics to Track Success.

Analytics is a vital tool for tracking the success of your social media activity. A good social media manager uses these insights to understand how users engage with your content and will adjust their strategies accordingly.

But if you’re not sure how to do this yourself, you’ll not know how to grow your social media presence, attract new customers, etc.

7. You’re Growing Fast and Need to Delegate.

If your business is expanding quickly, you may need to delegate some of the work. A social media manager can help with this by managing your accounts so you can focus on other areas. 

8. You Can’t Keep Up with Social Media Inquiries.

Social media accounts are a great way to interact with and convert more customers. They’re also pivotal to keeping an active and happy customer base. If you’re finding it difficult to respond quickly to customer inquiries, then a social media manager can help by managing your accounts and responding promptly. 

9. Your Competitors Outshine You on Social Media.

If you’re finding that your competitors are outperforming you on social media, then a social media manager can help. They can identify what’s working well for competitors and use this information to create more effective campaigns for your business. 

@ty.kropp

Replying to @seant26 wraps are infinitely better than lettering. They're more expensive but you gotta spend money to make money #business

♬ original sound - TYLER KROPP

10. You Need Help Branding Your Business Online.

Branding is essential for creating a successful online presence and a social media manager can help you to create content that reflects the values of your business. They will also be able to provide advice on how best to communicate with customers and monitor customer sentiment to ensure your brand remains positive. 

Key Social Media Platforms for Local Businesses

When it comes to marketing your small business on social media, there are several key platforms that you should be focusing on. Here’s a list of the five most popular ones for local businesses:

  • Facebook: With over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook remains one of the top social media channels for reaching potential customers. Most users tend to be between 25 and 44 years old.
  • Twitter: Twitter is another fantastic platform for engaging with customers in real time and has over 330 million monthly active users worldwide. The majority of its user base is aged 18–29.
  • Instagram: Instagram is a wonderful platform for showcasing your products or services visually. It has over 1 billion monthly active users, most under 35.
  • YouTube: YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google and has over 2 billion active monthly users worldwide. The majority of its user base is between 18 and 49 years old.
  • TikTok: This popular video-sharing platform is now a great way to reach young audiences. It has over 500 million active users, most between 16 and 24 years old.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manager’s primary responsibilities are creating content and managing a company’s social media accounts. This includes designing, scheduling, posting, analyzing, and responding to comments on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. 

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Managers may also be responsible for developing strategies to increase followership or engagement with current followers. The post below is a perfect example of this.

 

Responsibilities of a Social Media Manager

The specific responsibilities of a social media manager vary depending on the company’s needs. However, some duties include:

  • Developing an overall strategy for engaging with customers and followers
  • Creating content that is interesting and relevant to the target audience
  • Scheduling posts in advance so they are released consistently throughout the day or week
  • Analyzing data from post performance to determine what types of content are resonating most with followers
  • Responding promptly to customer inquiries or complaints both on social media accounts as well as other web-based platforms such as Yelp or Google Reviews

Skills to Look for in a Social Media Manager

The most important skills that a social media manager should have are creativity and consistency. Creativity helps the manager make original content that will capture your audience’s attention. Consistency is necessary to ensure your content stays relevant and active across all platforms. While creativity is key, consistency is the most valuable skill overall.

Additionally, a social media manager should also:

  • Have a good understanding of the company’s brand and goals
  • Be able to write engaging copy for posts
  • Know different social media platforms and their features
  • Understand how to use analytics tools to measure engagement
  • Be familiar with trends in digital marketing 

Benefits of Social Media Management

Consistent and Quality Social Media Presence

Your social media manager will be responsible for creating content, managing interactions, engaging with customers, and promoting events or products, and will understand the ins and outs of each platform. This allows you to rest assured that your company’s online presence will remain professional in appearance as well as fully optimized to drive customer engagement.

Improved Customer Engagement and Brand Awareness

A professional social media manager will have the experience and knowledge to help you build relationships with your customers, increase brand recognition, and drive more traffic to your website. They can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior so that you can better understand how to reach out to them effectively in the future. 

Quality Leads from Social Media Activity

Having a social media manager means your company’s content will be more targeted and effective in generating leads. Your manager can create campaigns and content designed to draw in specific types of customers, allowing for better targeting of potential clients. 

Greater Opportunities for Partnership Opportunities

Social media isn’t just a hub for connecting with customers - it’s also a great place to interact with other small businesses and influencers who can help you to expand your reach and brand. By communicating with these people, you can help grow your follower base through collaborative events, sponsorships, etc.

The Costs of Hiring a Social Media Manager

Having a social media manager does cost money, but probably not as much as you’d expect for the quality and importance of their work. Here’s a quick look at the cost on average.

  5-10 hours/week 10-20 hours/week 20-30 hours/week 30-40 hours/week 40+ hours/week
*Avg monthly cost $300-1.5k $800-3k $2k-5k $3k-8k $5k-15k
Manager experience level Beginner/Intermediate Intermediate/Expert

Intermediate/Expert

Expert 1 or more Experts
Best for… Small business with small or no social media presence Small business with small social presence Small business with established but inconsistent social presence Small business with established social presence (up to 5k followers on 1 or more channels) Medium-sized business with established social presence (more than 5k active followers on 1 or more channels)

*Sources: Zippia, Expert Market, Sprout Social, Upwork

Is It a Good Idea to Hire Overseas Social Media Managers to Cut Costs?

There’s no denying that hiring social media managers or virtual assistants overseas will cost you far less than hiring a US-based employee or contractor. That said, it’s important to understand that there are risks associated with hiring people overseas. These include:

  • Language Barrier: Even English-speaking people from overseas may not be proficient enough in American English to understand your directions perfectly every time. More importantly, they may not always pick up on the nuances of American English from comments your audience makes on your posts. 
  • Cultural Barrier: Similarly, overseas managers and VAs don’t always know slang, taboos, and culturally relevant issues that you may want to refer to or stay away from in your social posts.
  • Platform Scrutiny: Some social platforms (like Facebook) are extra-sensitive to what could appear to be suspicious activity on your business profile. For example, if you claim to be a business based in Seattle, Washington, but you have someone logging in from India on a regular basis, the social platform could flag your account for security reasons.

Because of this, it’s always best to hire a social media manager who lives in the same region as your primary target audience. You might have to pay a little more, but the quality of your engagement and lead generation will be higher.

Alternatives to Hiring a Full-time Social Media Manager

Outsource Social Media Management (Contractor)

If you’re not ready to commit to a full-time social media manager, outsourcing your social media management is a great option. You can hire a contractor or freelancer specializing in digital marketing and managing social media accounts. 

Outsourcing will give you the flexibility of only paying for services when necessary, as opposed to hiring someone on salary with benefits and other associated costs.

Leverage Social Media Management Tools

Another alternative to hiring a full-time social media manager is leveraging existing social media management tools. These are software programs designed to help manage your accounts, schedule posts, and analyze content performance. 

Using these tools can be an effective way for businesses with limited resources or budgets to maintain a strong presence on various platforms without additional staff.

Alternatives to Hiring a Full-time Social Media Manager

Source: Capterra

For shopping and comparing social media software, we recommend checking out reviews and pricing from Capterra here:

Capterra’s picks for top social media marketing tools

How a Social Media Strategy Can Help Your Small Business Grow

For small businesses, having a solid social media strategy is essential for growth and success. A qualified social media manager can help create a plan that helps engage with customers on a deeper level while increasing brand awareness. 

Your social media manager will be able to develop creative content strategies that are tailored to your target audience and focus on the most critical metrics for your business. This could include increasing engagement, building an online community around your brand, or driving traffic to your website through increased visibility on various platforms. 

A skilled social media manager can also help you build relationships with influencers to reach even wider audiences. They can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in social media and make sure your accounts are optimized for success. 


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