As a business owner, it’s tempting to take on as many roles as possible. Why pay someone else to do a job you can do yourself, right? Most of this time, this works: provided you have the time and skill set to do so. However, if you don’t, you’ll find these tasks will be neglected or done poorly.

Social media has graduated from a ‘nice to have’ marketing tool into a must have in your marketing strategy. Growing more complex by the day, creating and curating great social media content has become a full time job – so maybe it’s time to outsource this task to someone who can do it better.

Hiring a contract or freelance social media manager doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. You will just need to know what you’re looking for. Read our top ten skills that you need to tick off when recruiting a social media manager.

1. Graphics production

Being able to quickly and easily create graphic design content for Facebook and Instagram will save you time and money. They don’t need to be Photoshop proficient, but at least able to create imagery, overlay logos, and pull together basic visuals for posters or promotions.

2. Strong writing skills

Creating social media content means being snappy with language – there is a limit to the amount of copy you want to include. Ask to see some of their previous work to see if their writing style will work for your brand.

3. A customer-service mindset

Your social media is going to be the brand’s ‘shopfront’ to the online world. The way you interact with customers online sets the precedent for your reputation offline. A social media manager needs to feel naturally compelled to help with online enquiries and settle any disruptions on your pages.

4. A solid understanding of SEO and content marketing

Your search ranking [SEO] is a crucial aspect of a successful marketing strategy. Your new manager therefore should have experience with SEO tools and have proven success at improving rankings.

5. Social advertising experience

Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is an exceptional opportunity to communicate with your customers directly via their social pages. Your new hire should have experience in creating and tracking successful online advertising campaigns across a range of platforms.

6. The ability to work alone or remotely

You should be looking for a self-motivated professional who has either worked remotely before, or is a freelancer who is used to managing external contracts via online communication. Knowing how to create or receive briefs without needing to be onsite is incredibly important – you don’t want to be babysitting them or constantly chasing up work.

7. A keen passion for industry trends

With the rules and regulations of social media content constantly evolving, you will need to hire someone who is constantly at the forefront of online developments. Ask them what kind of research they perform on a daily/weekly/monthly basis is a good place to start in gauging their interest.

8. Interviewing experience

Great social content can be collected from external sources, such as other publications or industry leaders such as chefs and sommeliers. Make sure your new hire has a confident approach to finding and interviewing potential contributors.

9. Independent data curation

One of the greatest contributions your social media manager will make is the presentation of useful data drawn from your social channels. Thanks to Facebook Insights and other back-end programs, you’ll be able to gain insight into your online audience – so ensure they are able to do this off their own accord on a weekly basis.

10. Online organisation

Working remotely requires high levels of communication and organisation. Ensure your new social media manager has some suggestions in place for how this could work: what programs do they prefer, and how often will you be running through projects?

Going into the interview process with a clear view of what you are looking for is going to save you time, and ensure you pick the right person. A social media manager will need to wear many hats, so make sure you’re ticking off everything above before moving ahead – at the very least!