The Ultimate Guide to Working with a Social Media Manager for Business Growth

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Whether you’re considering hiring a social media manager or have already decided it’s time, understanding how this partnership works is key to maximising success. This guide will empower you with strategies for a smooth collaboration that drives business growth. We’ll cover what you need to understand before investing in a social media manager and reveal proven strategies for establishing an effective relationship once you’ve found the right partner.

Let’s start by breaking down the fundamentals of an effective social media manager relationship.

What a Social Media Manager DOES (And What They DON’T)

Too often, businesses assume hiring a social media manager means they can wash their hands of social media entirely. That’s a recipe for mismatched expectations and wasted potential. By understanding the manager’s core responsibilities, you’ll better align your strategies and resources for impactful results.

Here’s what you can generally expect a dedicated social media manager to handle:

  • Content Creation: This goes beyond random posts. A dedicated manager creates engaging content tailored to your ideal audience. Expect visuals (images, videos, infographics), well-crafted captions, researched hashtags, and an understanding of what sparks discussions on your chosen platforms.
  • Continuous Engagement: It’s called social for a reason. Responding to comments, participating in relevant industry conversations, and fostering a sense of community – these aren’t afterthoughts! Your manager acts as your brand’s online presence, building brand loyalty through consistent and thoughtful interaction.
  • Social Listening: While likes are nice, your social media manager can track audience sentiment, identify industry trends, and stay a step ahead of potential issues. Social listening involves monitoring mentions and keywords, and using that data to guide strategy and identify missed engagement opportunities.
  • Reporting & Insights – Actionable, Not Just Numbers: Reports aren’t just for showing activity. A strong social media manager can analyze your social media data and translate it into actionable strategies. Expect insights and recommendations on the performance of your posts, optimal timing, and audience growth patterns.

What They (Often) Don’t Do

Let’s be frank! To maximize collaboration with your manager, avoid expecting them to be:

  • Full-scale graphic designers: While visuals are part of their realm, dedicated creative assets still often require a specialist.
  • Web Developers: While overlap exists in relation to content, maintaining your site functionality often lies outside their responsibilities.
  • Customer Service Reps: Addressing serious issues might require escalation processes beyond your manager’s purview.

A clearly defined role empowers your manager to focus on where they add the most value and fosters realistic budget allocation if a need falls outside their core expertise (like an exceptionally design-heavy ad campaign.)

What to Discuss with Your Social Media Manager Before Hiring Them


“Get more followers!” may be a common desire by many business owners but it is vague and vague goals rarely produce stellar results. Before engaging a social media manager, take time to clearly define what success looks like for your business. When both sides align around clearly defined objectives, your campaigns will become impactful engines for business growth, not just random activity. This allows your manager to craft a tailored strategy for achieving concrete outcomes.

Here are key areas to explore before hiring a social media manager.

  • Target Audience: While knowing the basic demographics of your audience (like general age or location) is helpful, dig deeper! What pain points does your ideal customer have that your product/service solve? Knowing their online habits helps identify what platforms and messaging will be most effective.
  • Be specific with desired outcomes:

    • Increased Brand Awareness: More than just follower count, how will you measure this? Impressions, reach of campaigns, website traffic referral from social?
    • Lead Generation: Are you driving opt-ins for email lists, consultations, and e-commerce sales? Set targets with your manager – and be data-informed, not just hopeful.
    • Community Building: Is genuine engagement a priority? This will be measured by interaction metrics (comments, shares), not just a growing follower number.
  • SMART Goals: Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Instead of “Get more sales”, try “Increase sales directly attributed to social media campaigns by 15% over the next six months.”

Communication is Key: How to Best Collaborate

Open, consistent communication between you and your social media manager is the foundation upon which you’ll build success. Trends can emerge quickly, and by fostering proactive discussion, your brand can capitalise on opportunities and react effectively to potential challenges.

Establishing clear processes and expectations minimizes miscommunication and streamlines the workflow, keeping your social presence on track. In communicating with your social media manager, here’s what to prioritize;

  • Frequency and Method: Do you prefer weekly email check-ins for in-depth updates, plus a more responsive direct messaging tool (i.e., Slack) for daily questions? Establish the cadence and methods that suit your work style and urgency levels.
  • Feedback Structure: Setting clear deadlines for content review and outlining your approval process keeps things moving efficiently. Constructive feedback, not just “like it” or “change it,” helps your manager hone in on your brand voice quickly. Proactively let them know when a piece of content truly resonates!
  • Transparency & Accessibility: While reporting provides regular snapshots, your manager shouldn’t leave you in the dark if issues or opportunities arise. Proactive communication about unexpected drops in engagement or a well-timed campaign idea builds trust in their approach.
  • Ongoing Evolution: As your business and online goals evolve, be sure to revisit communication patterns with your manager. What worked initially might need adjustment as your social media presence and internal processes grow.

Pro-tip: Agree upon preferred contact hours and boundaries that respect both your time and your social media manager’s work-life balance. This proactive approach sets everyone up for long-term collaboration success.

Manager vs. In-House: When Each Model Makes Sense


Many businesses find outsourcing serves them well at certain stages, transitioning in-house eventually, or even partnering with an agency to complement their internal team’s efforts. The decision to outsource your social media management or hire internally isn’t one-size-fits-all. Factors like budget, business stage, and industry all play a role. Let’s examine those scenarios where each approach might be the right fit.

Situations Where Outsourcing Often Offers Advantage

  • Early-Stage Startups: For fledgling businesses, your marketing budget is precious. Outsourcing to a team of seasoned professionals lets you access strategic expertise, content creation, and analytics skills without committing to the cost of a full-time employee.
  • Agility & Experimentation: Social trends and platform updates demand continuous learning. Outsourced teams stay immersed, ensuring they are at the forefront of these updates. Your early brand voice may also evolve rapidly, and their varied past client experiences help navigate what will resonate best.
  • Specialized Roles: Does your business require deep niche knowledge, complex ad campaign management, or graphic design support? An agency team might already have specialists that would add an additional layer of hiring complexity if managed in-house.

When In-House Might Be Preferable

  • Ultra-High Frequency Needs: If posting multiple times daily or responding to immediate community needs are core, then having someone directly within your team offers advantages. (Example: News-driven industries where minute-by-minute presence is vital).
  • Complex Internal Integration: While a skilled external manager will strive to understand your business, industries with strict compliance rules or needing seamless coordination with multiple departments could benefit from an in-house hire.
  • Established Budget for a Social Team: When social media is so core to your business model that it justifies significant resources, in-house specialists provide granular management. (Example: Influencer-reliant brands where this isn’t an occasional task but a primary strategy).

The Outsourcing Advantage

When working with a reputable agency, you access not just an individual but a full team with complementary skills – copywriters, data analysts, perhaps even designers! This broadens your potential strategy without bloating full-time payroll. It also helps avoid situations where the sole expert leaving suddenly disrupts operations.


Whether you opt for a dedicated social media manager or choose an in-house path, a clear understanding of expectations, communication, and goal-setting will maximize your results. Social media should be a powerful growth engine for your business, not just another task on your list.

By following the strategies in this guide, you’re not just taking one step – you’re building a foundation for sustainable social media success. Are you ready to further transform your online presence by taking advantage of professional expertise? If so, don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our team. We’re ready to discuss your unique business needs and tailor a social media management solution that helps you reach your goals.

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