lady-on-a-laptop-in-a-coffee-shop-street

7 Questions You Must Ask to Hire the Perfect Social Media Consultant

Learn how to hire the ideal social media consultant for your business + skills they need + Q's you should ask them + social media consulting vs management.

DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE
Table of contents:

It used to be possible for a brand to gain a social media following just by posting consistently and spending a few bucks to boost their content.

But that's no longer the case today. With social media platforms becoming ever more saturated by brands trying to sell their products and services, it's never been more difficult for a business to stand out from the crowd.

Studies show that social media management is set to become a $41.6 billion industry by 2026. This growth has been driven by increased competition for user attention, requiring businesses to invest in sophisticated strategies to gain market share.

You can have fantastic content and a cohesive brand identity, but this makes no difference if your intended audience never actually comes across your feed.

This is where contracting an experienced social media consultant can make all the difference to brand awareness and engagement online.

In this article, we're going to dive into the world of social media consulting and how you can find the right social media consultant for your business needs.

What is a social media consultant?

A social media consultant is a type of digital marketing professional who specializes in planning and advising businesses on social marketing and strategy.

Rather than focusing on just one area, such as content planning or social media analytics, social media consulting is concerned with mapping out a brand's overall approach to social and how it overlaps with other strategies such as content marketing and sales.

[Add Banner Here]

Regardless of whether a business is new to social or has an established presence already, the role of social media consultants is to build a roadmap for how brands can achieve better success on social media platforms. This could mean more conversions, a higher engagement rate, or value-added partnerships with other brands.

What does a social media consultant do?

Social media consultants advise brands on a variety of social media practices. The goal of these practices is to improve a business's online presence and assist them in connecting with prospective customers via consistent messaging and relevant content.

While social media consultants have their own niches and areas of interest, they are usually experienced in a wide range of different social strategies. Here are the main ones.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the umbrella term for the use of a brand's social channels to market and draw attention to their products and services.

Thanks to the detailed demographic targeting on social media platforms, it's never been easier for businesses to direct their digital marketing efforts to their target audience.

There are five core pillars to social media marketing.

Social strategy

A comprehensive social media strategy involves setting social media marketing goals, selecting customer personas, choosing social media platforms, and choosing the content marketing mix.

Planning and Publishing

This includes everything in the social media content creation process including planning, writing the copy, designing the social media post, and scheduling it. A social media consultant should have extensive hands-on experience creating the winning social media posts for your niche.

mayple-social-media-post

Social listening and Engagement

Social listening is where you track conversations and mentions of your product or brand on social media. Brands then need to engage in these conversations, answer customer questions, respond to negative reviews or concerns. It's also vital for brands to engage with their social media community by liking and commenting on their followers' posts.

social-media-listening-example
Source: StatusBrew

Analytics and Reporting

Data analytics involves measuring how well content is performing via social media audits. You can track the traffic trends on a tool like Google Analytics and view the social media metrics via a social media tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools help you view all the data in one place.

buffer-analytics-report
Source: Buffer

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospective customers who are interested in the products or services you offer. These potential customers are classified as 'leads'.

Lead generation is the first step towards acquiring more customers for your business, making it an essential part of growing your brand and increasing conversion rates. Think of it in terms of Hubspot’s flywheel model.

Source: Hubspot

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to amplify lead generation. For example, if your business is running a webinar, posting a link or a paid ad on your social media profiles is a key way to increase signups.

Easier said than done. Generating leads from social media is an art and if you feel like you're stuck with monetizing your social media channels then a social media consultant could be really helpful in this area. They could do a full social media audit and come up with creative content strategies to boost your lead generation.

Content creation

Content is the backbone of any social media presence. Without relevant and interesting content to post to your social networks, it's impossible to build a following and increase engagement with your brand.

A social media expert can help to showcase your business's offerings via compelling content such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and customer testimonials that form the basis of social media campaigns. They can also help to coordinate user-generated content campaigns, where brands can leverage reviews and testimonials to build consumer trust.

mayple-linkedin-post
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a specific niche within social media marketing that focuses on building relationships with individuals who have significant followings on social platforms.

Influencer content takes the form of product endorsements, reviews, and giveaways that are aimed at increasing brand awareness among specific audiences who may be interested in your product.

In the world of social media marketing consulting, influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular services. In 2022, influencer marketing is projected to expand to a $15 billion industry, thanks to the growing popularity of short video formats on TikTok and Instagram.

How-effective-is-influencer-marketing
Source: MediaKix

Social media advertising

We all know that organic reach on social media platforms is not what it once was. Back in 2012, business pages on Facebook were reaching around 16% of their followers. By 2014, this had dropped to 6.5%. Today, organic reach is hovering at around just 2%, thanks to ongoing algorithm changes.

facebook-organic-reach-declining
Source: Medium

In short, most social media platforms have transitioned into a 'pay to play' model where paid advertising has become essential to reach those followers.

Social media advertising comes in several forms, from 'boosting' organic content to native advertising and banner ads. The biggest advantage of paid social is that brands can target specific audiences, but the cost quickly adds up.

This is why it's a good idea for brands to seek out social media specialists who can assist them in developing an appropriate targeting strategy for their target audience.

Brands need a skilled digital marketing consultant with proven experience running and monitoring campaigns in their specific niche. Ads setup and optimization varies quite a bit from platform to platform so they really need to be an expert in that specific channel.

How do you hire the perfect social media marketer?

Here's a step-by-step process of how to hire the perfect social media consultant for your business.

Set your goals for the position

Before you do anything else, you need to decide what you want to achieve by hiring a social media marketer. Otherwise, it's impossible to know whether you're hiring the right person for the job. No social media marketing role is exactly the same.

This means that your business needs to define what success will look like in the position, such as:

  • X number of new followers per week
  • Achieving X% engagement rate across platforms
  • Gain X amount of referral traffic to your website per month

Decide on a full-time, part-time, or freelance-basis

While it's tempting for a business owner to recruit for a full-time social media marketer or consultant job, it's important to assess what your needs are. Going from having no social media expertise in-house to supporting an entire role requires a big shift in priorities. You need to be sure that your business is in a position to support bringing someone on board.

If your main objective is shifting social media admin away from other members of your marketing team, it's worth considering whether you can hire someone on a part-time or contract basis.

Outsourcing to a social media management company is the most hands-off option. But if your priority is to focus on time-intensive tasks like social media strategy, be aware that this is more difficult to outsource than content creation or Facebook advertising due to the large amount of coordination required with your digital marketing team.

Define which skills are a priority for the role

Although 'social media marketing' has become a catch-all term, no two social media strategies are alike. One brand might want to focus on paid advertising. Others may prefer to use social to amplify their organic content efforts, such as blogs, online courses, or white papers.

This is why no job description should be copied and pasted from another source. What works for one business won't necessarily work for you.

Also, it's important to recognize that social media skills aren't the only ones that matter. Key competencies such as content writing, critical thinking, and project management are all essential in a good social media marketer and shouldn't be overlooked.

Post your job ad on appropriate platforms

Now that you've settled on what you're looking for in your hire, it's time to post your job ad. To get as many applications as possible, you should post your ad across multiple platforms. It's a good idea to select both industry-specific and general jobseeking platforms, such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • Upwork
  • Mayple 😉

[Add Banner Here]

Top tip: Never overlook the value of social networking. It's always a good idea to ask around your professional networks to see if anyone knows of experienced social media marketers that are looking for work. Personal recommendations are always valuable!

How much does it cost to hire a social media marketer?

The cost of hiring a social media marketer will vary, depending on their level of experience and whether you are hiring someone on a freelance or a full-time basis.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a social media consultant is $72,553. This is higher in more expensive cities such as Los Angeles, where the average salary is $78,704.

social-media-consultant-salary
Source: GlassDoor

To hire a social media manager on a freelance basis, you're looking at somewhere between $50 and $200 per hour. Hiring freelancers can work out as more expensive in the long run, so you need to assess which option is going to maximize the value for your business.

In sum, hiring someone to cover your social media marketing doesn't come cheap. In addition to salary, you also need to factor in the associated costs of having a social media specialist in-house. This includes IT, office furniture, and any additional tools and subscriptions that may be required, such as scheduling tools.

Social media consulting vs. management: which service do you need?

Social media consulting and social media management are two terms that are used interchangeably. But businesses need to be aware that while there are overlaps, they don't represent the same set of services.

As we stated at the beginning of this article, a social media marketing consultant is responsible for providing expert advice and driving the overall direction of a brand's social media strategy. While they do identify where social media optimization is needed and suggest how this should be executed, consultants aren't responsible for implementing the strategy.

This is where social media management comes into play.

Funny enough, according to Google Trends, interest for social media managers has steadily risen over the last five years while interest for social media consultants has remained stagnant. More companies are hiring freelancers or consultants that not only create the strategy but also implement it.

social-media-manager-vs-consultant

A social media manager is in charge of coordinating a brand's social media accounts. This includes content creation, planning/scheduling social campaigns, analytics, ad management, and anything else that relates to their social media presence.

Social media managers and social media consultants will typically work together closely, with the manager going on to execute the strategy created by the consultant.

In short, businesses shouldn't consider a social media consultancy unless they have a marketing team or person in-house who has the bandwidth to implement their recommendations.

If you aren't able to manage this internally, it's more appropriate to look at outsourcing to a marketing agency or a consultant that offers both consulting and social media management.

7 questions you must ask when hiring a social media consultant

Here are the most important questions you should ask your candidates.

Which social media networks are you most experienced with?

Most social media consultants have professional experience with the main social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). But if your business wants to focus on growing your presence on just one or two specific channels, it's important to look for a consultant who specializes in these. For example, if Instagram is your brand's most important channel, it's a good idea to look for an Instagram consultant.

choose-right-social-media-platform-for-your-business
Source: Credo

On the flip side, brands who aren't sure which social platforms will appeal to their client base should definitely hire a consultant who has a breadth of experience in different formats. Today, a large part of a platform's appeal is generational: Gen Z favors short video formats such as TikTok, while Facebook and Linkedin are the domain of older consumers.

Decide on the platforms you want to use and this will help you to narrow down which consultant is the best fit for your business.

Do you have experience growing brands in my industry/niche?

Every niche is different so it's important for a brand to partner with a social media consultant that has a proven track record in that niche. You don't want to come away with recommendations that have a one-size-fits-all flavor.

Your consultant needs to have extensive knowledge of your particular industry/niche and be able to truly understand the needs and pain points of your potential clients. They should know which types of content and campaigns work and have proven experience growing a social media page of a related brand.

mayple-case-study-alistair-fraiser

Also, a social media consultant who is well-connected within your industry is much better placed to make recommendations about your influencer marketing strategy, or what topics you should be targeting in your blog content to take attention away from competitors.

Do you have any experience with running Facebook or Instagram ads?

As we mentioned above, paid ads are no longer an optional investment for brands that are serious about growing their presence on a social media platform, they're absolutely required.

Even if you aren't planning to invest big money into advertising at the beginning, it's still important to hire a social media marketer who is familiar with audience targeting and managing ad spend effectively for the types of campaigns that you want to run in the future.

facebook-ad-example

One way of testing their knowledge is to give candidates a competency task of having $500 to spend on a hypothetical ad campaign. Have them outline a campaign idea and how they would allocate the budget to give you a better idea of their thought process and how they approach ad management.

Which tools do you use to measure the ROI of your campaigns?

Asking what a candidate's favorite social media marketing tools are and why will give you a lot of insight into their level of experience and whether they're able to take charge of your social media marketing.

Plus, this allows your business to weed out people who may have misrepresented their level of experience on their resumes.

It may be that your business already has a preferred social media tool, but it shouldn't be a dealbreaker if a promising candidate doesn't have experience with it. It's easy enough for an experienced practitioner to get up to speed on a different platform since they have similar functionality.

Plus, they might have suggestions for other tools that better suit your needs.

hootsuite-report-analytics
Source: Hootsuite

Do you have any references?

Always ask for references.

As a business, it's important to verify any information that a candidate gives you during the application and interview process, such as details of their previous position, certain skill sets, or projects they worked on during their time at another company.

mayple-trustpilot-reviews-score
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Speaking with references helps you to build a more well-rounded understanding of a candidate. A reference can give you details of how that individual approaches tasks, how well they work with others, and most importantly if there are any 'red flags' you should be aware of!

What social media strategies would you use for my business?

If a candidate has gotten to the interview stage, it's fair to expect that they have done some research on your brand and your current social media presence. Asking them to explain what steps they would take if they were given the job is a great way to assess their experience - as well as their enthusiasm for the role.

Some questions you could consider asking are:

  • What platforms do you think are most suitable for my brand?
  • What content pillars should form the basis of our social media strategy?
  • How would you recommend ensuring consistency with our posting?
  • Who are three influencers that our brand should consider partnering with?

How often do you report the results?

Whether you've opted for social media consulting services or an in-house hire, having a solid reporting system in place is important. Good communication and accountability are the keys to a smooth onboarding process and a successful relationship.

If you're partnering with a social media agency it's likely they already have a reporting process in place for social media optimization, such as weekly or monthly progress reports. If you're hiring a social media specialist directly, you want to make sure that the person is open to having regular meetings and setting clear KPIs that are assessed on a regular basis.

How would you handle a social media crisis?

Your Facebook ad account gets frozen. A disgruntled customer leaves a negative review. An influencer doesn't post about your products as promised.

social media doesn't always go according to plan. Social media is constantly throwing curveballs, and you need to be certain that your social media manager is capable of handling them. Running them through potential scenarios like those above will give you a sense of whether they're up to handling difficult situations.

Recap

Social media is a constantly shifting landscape that never stays still for long. Even if your business is up to date on the latest trends and strategies, it only takes one algorithm change or the launch of a new platform before you're suddenly struggling to keep up.

Businesses of all sizes should hire a social media consultant to get a better handle on new features, optimize their digital marketing strategy, and improve their execution.

Need help finding the perfect candidate? We can help. Get started today.

Author

Share this article:
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinCopy URL

FAQs

No items found.

7 Questions You Must Ask to Hire the Perfect Social Media Consultant

Learn how to hire the ideal social media consultant for your business + skills they need + Q's you should ask them + social media consulting vs management.

No items found.

It used to be possible for a brand to gain a social media following just by posting consistently and spending a few bucks to boost their content.

But that's no longer the case today. With social media platforms becoming ever more saturated by brands trying to sell their products and services, it's never been more difficult for a business to stand out from the crowd.

Studies show that social media management is set to become a $41.6 billion industry by 2026. This growth has been driven by increased competition for user attention, requiring businesses to invest in sophisticated strategies to gain market share.

You can have fantastic content and a cohesive brand identity, but this makes no difference if your intended audience never actually comes across your feed.

This is where contracting an experienced social media consultant can make all the difference to brand awareness and engagement online.

In this article, we're going to dive into the world of social media consulting and how you can find the right social media consultant for your business needs.

What is a social media consultant?

A social media consultant is a type of digital marketing professional who specializes in planning and advising businesses on social marketing and strategy.

Rather than focusing on just one area, such as content planning or social media analytics, social media consulting is concerned with mapping out a brand's overall approach to social and how it overlaps with other strategies such as content marketing and sales.

[Add Banner Here]

Regardless of whether a business is new to social or has an established presence already, the role of social media consultants is to build a roadmap for how brands can achieve better success on social media platforms. This could mean more conversions, a higher engagement rate, or value-added partnerships with other brands.

What does a social media consultant do?

Social media consultants advise brands on a variety of social media practices. The goal of these practices is to improve a business's online presence and assist them in connecting with prospective customers via consistent messaging and relevant content.

While social media consultants have their own niches and areas of interest, they are usually experienced in a wide range of different social strategies. Here are the main ones.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the umbrella term for the use of a brand's social channels to market and draw attention to their products and services.

Thanks to the detailed demographic targeting on social media platforms, it's never been easier for businesses to direct their digital marketing efforts to their target audience.

There are five core pillars to social media marketing.

Social strategy

A comprehensive social media strategy involves setting social media marketing goals, selecting customer personas, choosing social media platforms, and choosing the content marketing mix.

Planning and Publishing

This includes everything in the social media content creation process including planning, writing the copy, designing the social media post, and scheduling it. A social media consultant should have extensive hands-on experience creating the winning social media posts for your niche.

mayple-social-media-post

Social listening and Engagement

Social listening is where you track conversations and mentions of your product or brand on social media. Brands then need to engage in these conversations, answer customer questions, respond to negative reviews or concerns. It's also vital for brands to engage with their social media community by liking and commenting on their followers' posts.

social-media-listening-example
Source: StatusBrew

Analytics and Reporting

Data analytics involves measuring how well content is performing via social media audits. You can track the traffic trends on a tool like Google Analytics and view the social media metrics via a social media tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools help you view all the data in one place.

buffer-analytics-report
Source: Buffer

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospective customers who are interested in the products or services you offer. These potential customers are classified as 'leads'.

Lead generation is the first step towards acquiring more customers for your business, making it an essential part of growing your brand and increasing conversion rates. Think of it in terms of Hubspot’s flywheel model.

Source: Hubspot

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to amplify lead generation. For example, if your business is running a webinar, posting a link or a paid ad on your social media profiles is a key way to increase signups.

Easier said than done. Generating leads from social media is an art and if you feel like you're stuck with monetizing your social media channels then a social media consultant could be really helpful in this area. They could do a full social media audit and come up with creative content strategies to boost your lead generation.

Content creation

Content is the backbone of any social media presence. Without relevant and interesting content to post to your social networks, it's impossible to build a following and increase engagement with your brand.

A social media expert can help to showcase your business's offerings via compelling content such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and customer testimonials that form the basis of social media campaigns. They can also help to coordinate user-generated content campaigns, where brands can leverage reviews and testimonials to build consumer trust.

mayple-linkedin-post
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a specific niche within social media marketing that focuses on building relationships with individuals who have significant followings on social platforms.

Influencer content takes the form of product endorsements, reviews, and giveaways that are aimed at increasing brand awareness among specific audiences who may be interested in your product.

In the world of social media marketing consulting, influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular services. In 2022, influencer marketing is projected to expand to a $15 billion industry, thanks to the growing popularity of short video formats on TikTok and Instagram.

How-effective-is-influencer-marketing
Source: MediaKix

Social media advertising

We all know that organic reach on social media platforms is not what it once was. Back in 2012, business pages on Facebook were reaching around 16% of their followers. By 2014, this had dropped to 6.5%. Today, organic reach is hovering at around just 2%, thanks to ongoing algorithm changes.

facebook-organic-reach-declining
Source: Medium

In short, most social media platforms have transitioned into a 'pay to play' model where paid advertising has become essential to reach those followers.

Social media advertising comes in several forms, from 'boosting' organic content to native advertising and banner ads. The biggest advantage of paid social is that brands can target specific audiences, but the cost quickly adds up.

This is why it's a good idea for brands to seek out social media specialists who can assist them in developing an appropriate targeting strategy for their target audience.

Brands need a skilled digital marketing consultant with proven experience running and monitoring campaigns in their specific niche. Ads setup and optimization varies quite a bit from platform to platform so they really need to be an expert in that specific channel.

How do you hire the perfect social media marketer?

Here's a step-by-step process of how to hire the perfect social media consultant for your business.

Set your goals for the position

Before you do anything else, you need to decide what you want to achieve by hiring a social media marketer. Otherwise, it's impossible to know whether you're hiring the right person for the job. No social media marketing role is exactly the same.

This means that your business needs to define what success will look like in the position, such as:

  • X number of new followers per week
  • Achieving X% engagement rate across platforms
  • Gain X amount of referral traffic to your website per month

Decide on a full-time, part-time, or freelance-basis

While it's tempting for a business owner to recruit for a full-time social media marketer or consultant job, it's important to assess what your needs are. Going from having no social media expertise in-house to supporting an entire role requires a big shift in priorities. You need to be sure that your business is in a position to support bringing someone on board.

If your main objective is shifting social media admin away from other members of your marketing team, it's worth considering whether you can hire someone on a part-time or contract basis.

Outsourcing to a social media management company is the most hands-off option. But if your priority is to focus on time-intensive tasks like social media strategy, be aware that this is more difficult to outsource than content creation or Facebook advertising due to the large amount of coordination required with your digital marketing team.

Define which skills are a priority for the role

Although 'social media marketing' has become a catch-all term, no two social media strategies are alike. One brand might want to focus on paid advertising. Others may prefer to use social to amplify their organic content efforts, such as blogs, online courses, or white papers.

This is why no job description should be copied and pasted from another source. What works for one business won't necessarily work for you.

Also, it's important to recognize that social media skills aren't the only ones that matter. Key competencies such as content writing, critical thinking, and project management are all essential in a good social media marketer and shouldn't be overlooked.

Post your job ad on appropriate platforms

Now that you've settled on what you're looking for in your hire, it's time to post your job ad. To get as many applications as possible, you should post your ad across multiple platforms. It's a good idea to select both industry-specific and general jobseeking platforms, such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • Upwork
  • Mayple 😉

[Add Banner Here]

Top tip: Never overlook the value of social networking. It's always a good idea to ask around your professional networks to see if anyone knows of experienced social media marketers that are looking for work. Personal recommendations are always valuable!

How much does it cost to hire a social media marketer?

The cost of hiring a social media marketer will vary, depending on their level of experience and whether you are hiring someone on a freelance or a full-time basis.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a social media consultant is $72,553. This is higher in more expensive cities such as Los Angeles, where the average salary is $78,704.

social-media-consultant-salary
Source: GlassDoor

To hire a social media manager on a freelance basis, you're looking at somewhere between $50 and $200 per hour. Hiring freelancers can work out as more expensive in the long run, so you need to assess which option is going to maximize the value for your business.

In sum, hiring someone to cover your social media marketing doesn't come cheap. In addition to salary, you also need to factor in the associated costs of having a social media specialist in-house. This includes IT, office furniture, and any additional tools and subscriptions that may be required, such as scheduling tools.

Social media consulting vs. management: which service do you need?

Social media consulting and social media management are two terms that are used interchangeably. But businesses need to be aware that while there are overlaps, they don't represent the same set of services.

As we stated at the beginning of this article, a social media marketing consultant is responsible for providing expert advice and driving the overall direction of a brand's social media strategy. While they do identify where social media optimization is needed and suggest how this should be executed, consultants aren't responsible for implementing the strategy.

This is where social media management comes into play.

Funny enough, according to Google Trends, interest for social media managers has steadily risen over the last five years while interest for social media consultants has remained stagnant. More companies are hiring freelancers or consultants that not only create the strategy but also implement it.

social-media-manager-vs-consultant

A social media manager is in charge of coordinating a brand's social media accounts. This includes content creation, planning/scheduling social campaigns, analytics, ad management, and anything else that relates to their social media presence.

Social media managers and social media consultants will typically work together closely, with the manager going on to execute the strategy created by the consultant.

In short, businesses shouldn't consider a social media consultancy unless they have a marketing team or person in-house who has the bandwidth to implement their recommendations.

If you aren't able to manage this internally, it's more appropriate to look at outsourcing to a marketing agency or a consultant that offers both consulting and social media management.

7 questions you must ask when hiring a social media consultant

Here are the most important questions you should ask your candidates.

Which social media networks are you most experienced with?

Most social media consultants have professional experience with the main social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). But if your business wants to focus on growing your presence on just one or two specific channels, it's important to look for a consultant who specializes in these. For example, if Instagram is your brand's most important channel, it's a good idea to look for an Instagram consultant.

choose-right-social-media-platform-for-your-business
Source: Credo

On the flip side, brands who aren't sure which social platforms will appeal to their client base should definitely hire a consultant who has a breadth of experience in different formats. Today, a large part of a platform's appeal is generational: Gen Z favors short video formats such as TikTok, while Facebook and Linkedin are the domain of older consumers.

Decide on the platforms you want to use and this will help you to narrow down which consultant is the best fit for your business.

Do you have experience growing brands in my industry/niche?

Every niche is different so it's important for a brand to partner with a social media consultant that has a proven track record in that niche. You don't want to come away with recommendations that have a one-size-fits-all flavor.

Your consultant needs to have extensive knowledge of your particular industry/niche and be able to truly understand the needs and pain points of your potential clients. They should know which types of content and campaigns work and have proven experience growing a social media page of a related brand.

mayple-case-study-alistair-fraiser

Also, a social media consultant who is well-connected within your industry is much better placed to make recommendations about your influencer marketing strategy, or what topics you should be targeting in your blog content to take attention away from competitors.

Do you have any experience with running Facebook or Instagram ads?

As we mentioned above, paid ads are no longer an optional investment for brands that are serious about growing their presence on a social media platform, they're absolutely required.

Even if you aren't planning to invest big money into advertising at the beginning, it's still important to hire a social media marketer who is familiar with audience targeting and managing ad spend effectively for the types of campaigns that you want to run in the future.

facebook-ad-example

One way of testing their knowledge is to give candidates a competency task of having $500 to spend on a hypothetical ad campaign. Have them outline a campaign idea and how they would allocate the budget to give you a better idea of their thought process and how they approach ad management.

Which tools do you use to measure the ROI of your campaigns?

Asking what a candidate's favorite social media marketing tools are and why will give you a lot of insight into their level of experience and whether they're able to take charge of your social media marketing.

Plus, this allows your business to weed out people who may have misrepresented their level of experience on their resumes.

It may be that your business already has a preferred social media tool, but it shouldn't be a dealbreaker if a promising candidate doesn't have experience with it. It's easy enough for an experienced practitioner to get up to speed on a different platform since they have similar functionality.

Plus, they might have suggestions for other tools that better suit your needs.

hootsuite-report-analytics
Source: Hootsuite

Do you have any references?

Always ask for references.

As a business, it's important to verify any information that a candidate gives you during the application and interview process, such as details of their previous position, certain skill sets, or projects they worked on during their time at another company.

mayple-trustpilot-reviews-score
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Speaking with references helps you to build a more well-rounded understanding of a candidate. A reference can give you details of how that individual approaches tasks, how well they work with others, and most importantly if there are any 'red flags' you should be aware of!

What social media strategies would you use for my business?

If a candidate has gotten to the interview stage, it's fair to expect that they have done some research on your brand and your current social media presence. Asking them to explain what steps they would take if they were given the job is a great way to assess their experience - as well as their enthusiasm for the role.

Some questions you could consider asking are:

  • What platforms do you think are most suitable for my brand?
  • What content pillars should form the basis of our social media strategy?
  • How would you recommend ensuring consistency with our posting?
  • Who are three influencers that our brand should consider partnering with?

How often do you report the results?

Whether you've opted for social media consulting services or an in-house hire, having a solid reporting system in place is important. Good communication and accountability are the keys to a smooth onboarding process and a successful relationship.

If you're partnering with a social media agency it's likely they already have a reporting process in place for social media optimization, such as weekly or monthly progress reports. If you're hiring a social media specialist directly, you want to make sure that the person is open to having regular meetings and setting clear KPIs that are assessed on a regular basis.

How would you handle a social media crisis?

Your Facebook ad account gets frozen. A disgruntled customer leaves a negative review. An influencer doesn't post about your products as promised.

social media doesn't always go according to plan. Social media is constantly throwing curveballs, and you need to be certain that your social media manager is capable of handling them. Running them through potential scenarios like those above will give you a sense of whether they're up to handling difficult situations.

Recap

Social media is a constantly shifting landscape that never stays still for long. Even if your business is up to date on the latest trends and strategies, it only takes one algorithm change or the launch of a new platform before you're suddenly struggling to keep up.

Businesses of all sizes should hire a social media consultant to get a better handle on new features, optimize their digital marketing strategy, and improve their execution.

Need help finding the perfect candidate? We can help. Get started today.

7 Questions You Must Ask to Hire the Perfect Social Media Consultant

Learn how to hire the ideal social media consultant for your business + skills they need + Q's you should ask them + social media consulting vs management.

It used to be possible for a brand to gain a social media following just by posting consistently and spending a few bucks to boost their content.

But that's no longer the case today. With social media platforms becoming ever more saturated by brands trying to sell their products and services, it's never been more difficult for a business to stand out from the crowd.

Studies show that social media management is set to become a $41.6 billion industry by 2026. This growth has been driven by increased competition for user attention, requiring businesses to invest in sophisticated strategies to gain market share.

You can have fantastic content and a cohesive brand identity, but this makes no difference if your intended audience never actually comes across your feed.

This is where contracting an experienced social media consultant can make all the difference to brand awareness and engagement online.

In this article, we're going to dive into the world of social media consulting and how you can find the right social media consultant for your business needs.

What is a social media consultant?

A social media consultant is a type of digital marketing professional who specializes in planning and advising businesses on social marketing and strategy.

Rather than focusing on just one area, such as content planning or social media analytics, social media consulting is concerned with mapping out a brand's overall approach to social and how it overlaps with other strategies such as content marketing and sales.

[Add Banner Here]

Regardless of whether a business is new to social or has an established presence already, the role of social media consultants is to build a roadmap for how brands can achieve better success on social media platforms. This could mean more conversions, a higher engagement rate, or value-added partnerships with other brands.

What does a social media consultant do?

Social media consultants advise brands on a variety of social media practices. The goal of these practices is to improve a business's online presence and assist them in connecting with prospective customers via consistent messaging and relevant content.

While social media consultants have their own niches and areas of interest, they are usually experienced in a wide range of different social strategies. Here are the main ones.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the umbrella term for the use of a brand's social channels to market and draw attention to their products and services.

Thanks to the detailed demographic targeting on social media platforms, it's never been easier for businesses to direct their digital marketing efforts to their target audience.

There are five core pillars to social media marketing.

Social strategy

A comprehensive social media strategy involves setting social media marketing goals, selecting customer personas, choosing social media platforms, and choosing the content marketing mix.

Planning and Publishing

This includes everything in the social media content creation process including planning, writing the copy, designing the social media post, and scheduling it. A social media consultant should have extensive hands-on experience creating the winning social media posts for your niche.

mayple-social-media-post

Social listening and Engagement

Social listening is where you track conversations and mentions of your product or brand on social media. Brands then need to engage in these conversations, answer customer questions, respond to negative reviews or concerns. It's also vital for brands to engage with their social media community by liking and commenting on their followers' posts.

social-media-listening-example
Source: StatusBrew

Analytics and Reporting

Data analytics involves measuring how well content is performing via social media audits. You can track the traffic trends on a tool like Google Analytics and view the social media metrics via a social media tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools help you view all the data in one place.

buffer-analytics-report
Source: Buffer

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospective customers who are interested in the products or services you offer. These potential customers are classified as 'leads'.

Lead generation is the first step towards acquiring more customers for your business, making it an essential part of growing your brand and increasing conversion rates. Think of it in terms of Hubspot’s flywheel model.

Source: Hubspot

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to amplify lead generation. For example, if your business is running a webinar, posting a link or a paid ad on your social media profiles is a key way to increase signups.

Easier said than done. Generating leads from social media is an art and if you feel like you're stuck with monetizing your social media channels then a social media consultant could be really helpful in this area. They could do a full social media audit and come up with creative content strategies to boost your lead generation.

Content creation

Content is the backbone of any social media presence. Without relevant and interesting content to post to your social networks, it's impossible to build a following and increase engagement with your brand.

A social media expert can help to showcase your business's offerings via compelling content such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and customer testimonials that form the basis of social media campaigns. They can also help to coordinate user-generated content campaigns, where brands can leverage reviews and testimonials to build consumer trust.

mayple-linkedin-post
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a specific niche within social media marketing that focuses on building relationships with individuals who have significant followings on social platforms.

Influencer content takes the form of product endorsements, reviews, and giveaways that are aimed at increasing brand awareness among specific audiences who may be interested in your product.

In the world of social media marketing consulting, influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular services. In 2022, influencer marketing is projected to expand to a $15 billion industry, thanks to the growing popularity of short video formats on TikTok and Instagram.

How-effective-is-influencer-marketing
Source: MediaKix

Social media advertising

We all know that organic reach on social media platforms is not what it once was. Back in 2012, business pages on Facebook were reaching around 16% of their followers. By 2014, this had dropped to 6.5%. Today, organic reach is hovering at around just 2%, thanks to ongoing algorithm changes.

facebook-organic-reach-declining
Source: Medium

In short, most social media platforms have transitioned into a 'pay to play' model where paid advertising has become essential to reach those followers.

Social media advertising comes in several forms, from 'boosting' organic content to native advertising and banner ads. The biggest advantage of paid social is that brands can target specific audiences, but the cost quickly adds up.

This is why it's a good idea for brands to seek out social media specialists who can assist them in developing an appropriate targeting strategy for their target audience.

Brands need a skilled digital marketing consultant with proven experience running and monitoring campaigns in their specific niche. Ads setup and optimization varies quite a bit from platform to platform so they really need to be an expert in that specific channel.

How do you hire the perfect social media marketer?

Here's a step-by-step process of how to hire the perfect social media consultant for your business.

Set your goals for the position

Before you do anything else, you need to decide what you want to achieve by hiring a social media marketer. Otherwise, it's impossible to know whether you're hiring the right person for the job. No social media marketing role is exactly the same.

This means that your business needs to define what success will look like in the position, such as:

  • X number of new followers per week
  • Achieving X% engagement rate across platforms
  • Gain X amount of referral traffic to your website per month

Decide on a full-time, part-time, or freelance-basis

While it's tempting for a business owner to recruit for a full-time social media marketer or consultant job, it's important to assess what your needs are. Going from having no social media expertise in-house to supporting an entire role requires a big shift in priorities. You need to be sure that your business is in a position to support bringing someone on board.

If your main objective is shifting social media admin away from other members of your marketing team, it's worth considering whether you can hire someone on a part-time or contract basis.

Outsourcing to a social media management company is the most hands-off option. But if your priority is to focus on time-intensive tasks like social media strategy, be aware that this is more difficult to outsource than content creation or Facebook advertising due to the large amount of coordination required with your digital marketing team.

Define which skills are a priority for the role

Although 'social media marketing' has become a catch-all term, no two social media strategies are alike. One brand might want to focus on paid advertising. Others may prefer to use social to amplify their organic content efforts, such as blogs, online courses, or white papers.

This is why no job description should be copied and pasted from another source. What works for one business won't necessarily work for you.

Also, it's important to recognize that social media skills aren't the only ones that matter. Key competencies such as content writing, critical thinking, and project management are all essential in a good social media marketer and shouldn't be overlooked.

Post your job ad on appropriate platforms

Now that you've settled on what you're looking for in your hire, it's time to post your job ad. To get as many applications as possible, you should post your ad across multiple platforms. It's a good idea to select both industry-specific and general jobseeking platforms, such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • Upwork
  • Mayple 😉

[Add Banner Here]

Top tip: Never overlook the value of social networking. It's always a good idea to ask around your professional networks to see if anyone knows of experienced social media marketers that are looking for work. Personal recommendations are always valuable!

How much does it cost to hire a social media marketer?

The cost of hiring a social media marketer will vary, depending on their level of experience and whether you are hiring someone on a freelance or a full-time basis.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a social media consultant is $72,553. This is higher in more expensive cities such as Los Angeles, where the average salary is $78,704.

social-media-consultant-salary
Source: GlassDoor

To hire a social media manager on a freelance basis, you're looking at somewhere between $50 and $200 per hour. Hiring freelancers can work out as more expensive in the long run, so you need to assess which option is going to maximize the value for your business.

In sum, hiring someone to cover your social media marketing doesn't come cheap. In addition to salary, you also need to factor in the associated costs of having a social media specialist in-house. This includes IT, office furniture, and any additional tools and subscriptions that may be required, such as scheduling tools.

Social media consulting vs. management: which service do you need?

Social media consulting and social media management are two terms that are used interchangeably. But businesses need to be aware that while there are overlaps, they don't represent the same set of services.

As we stated at the beginning of this article, a social media marketing consultant is responsible for providing expert advice and driving the overall direction of a brand's social media strategy. While they do identify where social media optimization is needed and suggest how this should be executed, consultants aren't responsible for implementing the strategy.

This is where social media management comes into play.

Funny enough, according to Google Trends, interest for social media managers has steadily risen over the last five years while interest for social media consultants has remained stagnant. More companies are hiring freelancers or consultants that not only create the strategy but also implement it.

social-media-manager-vs-consultant

A social media manager is in charge of coordinating a brand's social media accounts. This includes content creation, planning/scheduling social campaigns, analytics, ad management, and anything else that relates to their social media presence.

Social media managers and social media consultants will typically work together closely, with the manager going on to execute the strategy created by the consultant.

In short, businesses shouldn't consider a social media consultancy unless they have a marketing team or person in-house who has the bandwidth to implement their recommendations.

If you aren't able to manage this internally, it's more appropriate to look at outsourcing to a marketing agency or a consultant that offers both consulting and social media management.

7 questions you must ask when hiring a social media consultant

Here are the most important questions you should ask your candidates.

Which social media networks are you most experienced with?

Most social media consultants have professional experience with the main social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). But if your business wants to focus on growing your presence on just one or two specific channels, it's important to look for a consultant who specializes in these. For example, if Instagram is your brand's most important channel, it's a good idea to look for an Instagram consultant.

choose-right-social-media-platform-for-your-business
Source: Credo

On the flip side, brands who aren't sure which social platforms will appeal to their client base should definitely hire a consultant who has a breadth of experience in different formats. Today, a large part of a platform's appeal is generational: Gen Z favors short video formats such as TikTok, while Facebook and Linkedin are the domain of older consumers.

Decide on the platforms you want to use and this will help you to narrow down which consultant is the best fit for your business.

Do you have experience growing brands in my industry/niche?

Every niche is different so it's important for a brand to partner with a social media consultant that has a proven track record in that niche. You don't want to come away with recommendations that have a one-size-fits-all flavor.

Your consultant needs to have extensive knowledge of your particular industry/niche and be able to truly understand the needs and pain points of your potential clients. They should know which types of content and campaigns work and have proven experience growing a social media page of a related brand.

mayple-case-study-alistair-fraiser

Also, a social media consultant who is well-connected within your industry is much better placed to make recommendations about your influencer marketing strategy, or what topics you should be targeting in your blog content to take attention away from competitors.

Do you have any experience with running Facebook or Instagram ads?

As we mentioned above, paid ads are no longer an optional investment for brands that are serious about growing their presence on a social media platform, they're absolutely required.

Even if you aren't planning to invest big money into advertising at the beginning, it's still important to hire a social media marketer who is familiar with audience targeting and managing ad spend effectively for the types of campaigns that you want to run in the future.

facebook-ad-example

One way of testing their knowledge is to give candidates a competency task of having $500 to spend on a hypothetical ad campaign. Have them outline a campaign idea and how they would allocate the budget to give you a better idea of their thought process and how they approach ad management.

Which tools do you use to measure the ROI of your campaigns?

Asking what a candidate's favorite social media marketing tools are and why will give you a lot of insight into their level of experience and whether they're able to take charge of your social media marketing.

Plus, this allows your business to weed out people who may have misrepresented their level of experience on their resumes.

It may be that your business already has a preferred social media tool, but it shouldn't be a dealbreaker if a promising candidate doesn't have experience with it. It's easy enough for an experienced practitioner to get up to speed on a different platform since they have similar functionality.

Plus, they might have suggestions for other tools that better suit your needs.

hootsuite-report-analytics
Source: Hootsuite

Do you have any references?

Always ask for references.

As a business, it's important to verify any information that a candidate gives you during the application and interview process, such as details of their previous position, certain skill sets, or projects they worked on during their time at another company.

mayple-trustpilot-reviews-score
Photographer: Ben Kazinik

Speaking with references helps you to build a more well-rounded understanding of a candidate. A reference can give you details of how that individual approaches tasks, how well they work with others, and most importantly if there are any 'red flags' you should be aware of!

What social media strategies would you use for my business?

If a candidate has gotten to the interview stage, it's fair to expect that they have done some research on your brand and your current social media presence. Asking them to explain what steps they would take if they were given the job is a great way to assess their experience - as well as their enthusiasm for the role.

Some questions you could consider asking are:

  • What platforms do you think are most suitable for my brand?
  • What content pillars should form the basis of our social media strategy?
  • How would you recommend ensuring consistency with our posting?
  • Who are three influencers that our brand should consider partnering with?

How often do you report the results?

Whether you've opted for social media consulting services or an in-house hire, having a solid reporting system in place is important. Good communication and accountability are the keys to a smooth onboarding process and a successful relationship.

If you're partnering with a social media agency it's likely they already have a reporting process in place for social media optimization, such as weekly or monthly progress reports. If you're hiring a social media specialist directly, you want to make sure that the person is open to having regular meetings and setting clear KPIs that are assessed on a regular basis.

How would you handle a social media crisis?

Your Facebook ad account gets frozen. A disgruntled customer leaves a negative review. An influencer doesn't post about your products as promised.

social media doesn't always go according to plan. Social media is constantly throwing curveballs, and you need to be certain that your social media manager is capable of handling them. Running them through potential scenarios like those above will give you a sense of whether they're up to handling difficult situations.

Recap

Social media is a constantly shifting landscape that never stays still for long. Even if your business is up to date on the latest trends and strategies, it only takes one algorithm change or the launch of a new platform before you're suddenly struggling to keep up.

Businesses of all sizes should hire a social media consultant to get a better handle on new features, optimize their digital marketing strategy, and improve their execution.

Need help finding the perfect candidate? We can help. Get started today.

No items found.
No items found.


|

Welcome to Mayple, the NEW Way to Hire Expert Marketing Talent

Top brands trust our marketers

prev
next

Jay Neyer

Jay executed a comprehensive SEO strategy that increased organic traffic by 98%, increased top 10 keywords by 190% and total keywords by 262%.

Edwin Gan - CRO

Edwin helped CloudWaitress generate 2x conversions for 3+ consecutive months. They gained 10,000 new users and became one of Australia's fastest-growing startups with 700% growth.

Kelly Beaudin Strategy

Kelly created a partnership with BuzzFeed, launched a financial BootCamp for customers, and created viral content using influencers and UGC. The campaign resulted in a +6.5% lift in awareness and a +25% increase in customers' perception of the brand, helping to drive loyalty and sales.

Dhariana Lozano

Dhariana grew Remy's Instagram account to 10k+ followers, increased leads from social media (LinkedIn and Instagram) by 120% and increased organic views on Linkedin by 310%.

Kelly Benson - Marketing manager & Growth marketer

Kelly developed a 6-month marketing strategy that included paid ads, SMM, mobile marketing, and marketing automation, resulting in an increase in ROI by 1200% in just 6 months.

Katrina Julia

Katrina led an influencer marketing & PR campaign for this tourism brand that resulted in a funding round of $3M.

Ashna Rana CRO

Ashna was the lead CRO manager for PrettyLitter, a subscription product, where she optimized the marketing funnel and was able to increase the conversion rate 35% test after test. As a result, the company was able to expand to Pinterest Ads, Facebook ads, and affiliate marketing.

Limor Gurevich

Limor grew our email list by 200% and took our email program from $0 to $6k/month in just a few months using popups + email flows + email marketing automation.

Igor Zvagelsky

Igor promoted NY Fashion Week events using Google Ads, increasing the number of attendees at events and decreasing the cost per lead by 50%.

Marija Todorovic

Marija grew Brightech's Instagram page to over 30k followers and its cumulative online presence to 200k followers using secondary accounts in just 12 months.

Dorian Reeves SMM

Dorian grew Lenskart to over 10k followers and increased engagement by 50%.

Deepak Shukla

Deepak helped Rivalry to rank for 20k+ organic keywords in the US and over 70k+ keywords globally in under 12 months with an extensive on-page and off-page SEO strategy.

Angel Djambazov

Angel led influencer marketing campaigns for Keen and helped them grow to over 200k+ followers on Instagram and become one of the most loved apparel brand in the world.

Dan Ware

Dan created a strategic marketing plan for Mountain Dew and produced and executed 360 engagement platforms - Dare to Do, All Star Weekend, and others. These campaigns improved brand awareness, affinity and sentiment levels.

Jamie Simoni

Jamie helped build American Eagle Outfitter's online community to 15M+ followers and was integral in setting up the award winning Live Your Life influencer marketing campaign.

Pete Opakunle - PPC

Pete increased ROAS for Gillette by 4.2X, increased CTRs by 40%-60%, achieved the desired CPA within 2 weeks of the campaign launch using Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram ads.

Roman Hotsiak

Roman created seven email campaigns that led to this beauty brand's revenue to increase by 56% in just 6 months.

Gustavo Morais

Gustavo took Amaz, a Yerba Mate sparkling drink brand, from $0 to $50k sales per month in just a few months by designing and launching their eCommerce website and executive a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Brenna Kleiman

Brenna led advertising campaigns at Jessica Simpson where she increased ROAS by 250% using Google Ads, Facebook & Instagram ads, and Google Shopping.

Kelly Beaudin social media

Kelly grew Adobe's LinkedIn community by 97% and increased monthly engagement by more than 1,000% within one year. Adobe was recognized as one of the "Best LinkedIn Company Pages" for two years in a row. Kelly also grew Adobe Creative Cloud to 1M subscribers with a comprehensive social media strategy.

Jason Hui

Jason helped Vitamin Energy grow monthly email marketing revenue 6x in less than 6 months and increased attributed revenue from email to 40% of the total sales of the business.

Jack Nelson - CRO

Jack led the CRO strategy for BeatBread, launched various conversion optimization campaigns, implemented advanced tracking & analytics, and exceeded KPI target by 75%.

Hire 7 Questions You Must Ask to Hire the Perfect Social Media Consultant

Table of contents

Hiring with Mayple

Reliable

Vetted and backed by AI tracking

Scalable

Avg. Growth of 380% in 6 months

Flexible

Monthly subscription

Easy

3 min to marketing brief

Affordable

1/3rd of typical agency costs

FAQ

One easy-to-use platform that help online businesses and expert marketers to match up, collaborate, and grow their businesses together.

Explore Our Services

No items found.

How it works

One easy-to-use platform that help online businesses and expert marketers to match up, collaborate, and grow their businesses together.

Create your marketing brief.

Create brief

Create your marketing brief.

Find a match

Find a match

Meet your perfect marketing team.

Grow your business

Grow your business

Get ongoing monitoring and strategic advice.

Find the Perfect Marketer
Get started

Hire top vetted marketers

Talk to an expert