Social media can be a great way to get your business or blog seen by a huge audience, but it can also take up a lot of time and doesn’t always lead to sales or work. If you find the time you spend on social media is taking over or that you aren’t getting the results you want then you should consider hiring a Social Media Manager. What is a Social Media Manager though and how can you ensure that they benefit your business? 

A social media manager can help your business or blog grow if you get the right one for you
The right Social Media Manager can hugely benefit your business

What Is A Social Media Manager?

While on the surface the job title suggests that it is someone (or an agency) who will manage your social media what they actually offers varies hugely from person to person. They will all have particular areas of specialism so think about what you want help with and how involved you want them to be.  

It might be that you are feeling a bit lost and you aren’t sure how to get your social media delivering the results that you want, in this case you should start with someone that can propose a strategy and improvements to your approach. You might then want to use them, someone else, or yourself to implement the strategy.

If you don’t have time to create the content then there are SMM’s who will do that for you. You might need to provide some photographs or raw video which they will edit and publish or they might be able to take images from your website.

Some SMM’s expect you to create the content and they will publish it. Most of them will use scheduling tools so they can batch schedule the posts making them go out at the best time for your audience.

Social Media Managers can also spend time engaging with your audience and potential followers. This can be time intensive, but it’s a great way to grow your following.

Some SMMs will have particular areas they specialise in eg Facebook Ads or Pinterest. Depending on what you need a specialist can be a great way to add to the knowledge and skills that you already have.

You can hire a freelance Social Media Manager or one from an agency to provide an agreed amount of content per month or if you are a larger business you might consider employing a SMM directly.

My Bad Experience Using A Social Media Manager

The first time I used a SMM I lasted less than a week before I ended our relationship. She had been recommended to me by a friend who was happy with her, but the approach didn’t work for me at all for a number of reasons:

My account was my baby. I have spent a lot of time building up my personal Instagram account and although I use it for work purposes, it contains lots of memories and I have many friendships developed through online conversations over the years. Having someone pretending to be me was difficult for me, especially as I soon realised their tone of voice was nothing like mine. It got to the point that every time I saw my account had posted something I dreaded to look.

Different strategies. I had an initial conversation with the SMM before agreeing to work together, but the strategy she took wasn’t what I expected. We had talked about what she would do, but she didn’t understand my approach to my account and the content she created was not inline with the direction I wanted to go.

I found it very hard to give up control. I am probably the worst sort of person to work for if you are a Social Media Manager because I wasn’t ready to hand over control of my account. She might have made it grow, but I wasn’t happy with the content she was posting. Some SMMs provide content for approval which would have worked much better for me.

Lessons Learned 

The experience taught me how important it is to make sure a SMM understands your business and your ethos and you are happy with their tone of voice. It’s not just about what they will do, but how.

I subsequently decided I wanted to be responsible for all content creation on that account, but I have used a Virtual Assistant to engage with people. I used someone whose accounts I had followed for some time and I knew that their language and life experience was similar to mine.

The Best Way To Get Started With A Social Media Manager

Decide What You Want and Make Sure They Are Aligned With You

If you want to review your approach to your social media then find someone who can talk through and agree strategy with you. You can then go on to implement the strategy with them, someone else or on your own. 

They should listen to you and ask you questions to find out what you want as well as auditing your existing account before giving strategy and plans. As a Business Analyst I am very wary of someone offering a one size fits all approach or suggesting strategy without understanding the customers needs first. If they are suggesting something you are unsure about it’s ok to ask why and what results they expect from it. It is also ok to say "no" or walk away if it doesn't feel like they are a good fit for you are your business.

Pay for What You Need

There is no upper limit to what you can pay for a good Social Media Manager, but there is also no limit to the positive impact they can have on your business. If you are asking for them to help you with a strategy and to create content (or guide you to create content yourself) then expect to pay well for that.

If you are asking someone to post content you create or to engage with others for you then you don’t need to be paying as much and you might find you can work with a VA and pay an hourly rate to meet your needs eg a couple of hours a week at £10 to £15 per hour might be enough for you. For faster growth you might want an hour a day, again it will depend on your requirements.

If you are paying £15 an hour you shouldn’t expect to get strategy advice or content created and anyone who offers that is either undercharging or not experienced enough to know better.

Have A Contract 

A Social Media Manager should have a contract and specify the roles and responsibilities of them and you in writing. This is to protect you both. You also need to agree: when issues should be escalated, the format and frequency of updates from them, review periods and payment terms.  

Things to Be Wary Of When Hiring A Social Media Manager

The Risk To Your Accounts

Most social media networks have in their T&Cs that you shouldn’t share your passwords or give other people access to your account. Instead for Instagram and Facebook a SMM can schedule posts and reply to comments via Facebook Business Manager which you can give them access to without risk. It doesn’t give them access to everything though, for instance you can’t post Reels via it currently so many people choose to give SMMs direct access to their Instagram accounts. This might be the best way to get results, but as it’s a breach of T&Cs be aware there is a risk.

Problematic Growth Techniques

No good SMM should use tactics like buying followers or engagement. I would also recommend against working with someone who uses the Follow/ unfollow approach. 

Key Performance Indicators

While you will want to have some sort of measures to indicate the success of working with them, be wary of KPIs that encourage dodgy growth tactics. Often if clients expect too fast a growth in followers for instance then it can encourage approaches that will grow the wrong kind of followers or impact future engagement. 


As a member of several Facebook groups for SMMs I am frequently surprised by some of the questions asked. The lack of knowledge and experience by some of the people selling their services is surprising. Having a successful Instagram account in a niche they are familiar with does not necessarily mean they know social media well enough to help others. Check out their accounts of course, but also have a conversation with them and ensure you feel confident that they know how to help you .

Considering hiring a Social Media Manager? What to think about first
Why not save this post on Pinterest for later