What does it take to get hired as a social media manager?

Perhaps you’re looking for a job in social (or perhaps you’re hiring for one). There are a ton of different factors that could go into a successful stint on ever-changing social media. Rather than get stuck, we’d love to help you move forward!

We had the privilege of speaking with HubSpot VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson about the specific attributes she looks for when hiring social media managers, as well as how a highly successful startup like HubSpot views social media marketing.

Thanks to Meghan, this podcast episode is chock full of solid, actionable advice for anyone looking to further their career in social media, to build their existing skills, and to challenge the way they view social media. We certainly felt inspired after the interview (and after listening to it again and again!). Click below to play the episode and view the detailed show notes.

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In this episode, here is what you’ll learn:

Meghan Keaney Anderson shares the secrets behind the HubSpot social media team and what it takes to be hired as a social media manager. Here are a handful of topics we covered that we think will make an impact for you in your marketing:

  • How a fast-growing startup like HubSpot views social media, its impact on marketing, and its influence on different channels (0:20)
  • How to hire a social media manager (and vice versa, how to get hired!) (6:10)
  • The background, skills, and outlook that many great social media managers have in common (8:38)
  • The goal-setting strategies of social media results (11:36)
  • How to get started on a new social media channel (17:38)
  • 3 tips for someone looking to grow their career in social media (23:25)

3 Tips for Getting Hired as a Social Media Manager

In Meghan’s words …

1. Get out there and start creating content.

That is going to be the source from which all of your growth comes, all of your knowledge of social networks comes. Do not hesitate to create.  We live in an age where anyone can go out and build an audience. If you don’t do that, you’ve lost your mind. If you don’t do that and you want to be in this space, it’s such a painfully missed opportunity.

I always tell people who are entry-level and are right out of school: make sure you are taking the opportunity to create. 

2. Understand the metrics of the content you’re creating and the social channels you’re learning. Learn them inside and out, know how to report against them, and learn how to push them further.

Don’t just rely on views or the basic sort of vanity metrics that you get from Facebook. Try to tie that back into your business and the grow that you achieved because of that.

Being able to communicate metrics in association with social and content creation is one of the most important and overlooked skills that candidates have.

3. Dive into new platforms as they emerge and dissect them.

Really understand what makes them different, what makes them work, what makes content do well on them. And that means you might get into some that are gonna flop. Have a bit of curiosity around the way that interactions online are changing, the way that content is changing.

Mentionable quotes and shareable snippets

Meghan Keaney Anderson quote - get hired on social media

“We really look for people who who have their finger on the pulse of how social is changing. It is one of the most rapidly changing industries right now, and I want someone who is paying attention to it, who is enthralled by it and fascinated by it. … Things shift so fast. If you think about the social media channels that were dominant two years ago and the social media channels that are dominant today, it’s just a totally different world.”

Trees, forest, universe — the 3 factors that make a great social media manager

Trees Forest Universe - social media hiring

  • Trees – “… in the weeds, handling individual community management, responses, engagement …”
  • Forest – “… tie that work into business metrics, generate leads from social, know how to connect those dots …”
  • Universe – “… fingers on the pulse of how social is changing.”

“Detail, strategy, and an eye toward the future is what we’re looking for.”

Show notes

Thanks a million for checking out this episode! Below are the people, companies, articles, and tools that were mentioned in the podcast. If you have any questions for us, feel free to drop us a line in the comments and we’ll respond right away!

People & companies we mentioned

Articles, links & ideas we discussed

How HubSpot measures social media success

“Social is a major driver of leads for us and a big brand differentiator.”
— Meghan Keaney Anderson

  • Leads that were sourced through social (via HubSpot tracking software)
  • Number of successful campaigns launched
  • Health of a given channel audience
  • Churn rates (unfollows)
  • Follower growth
  • General happiness of those followers: engagement metrics, qualitative feedback

How HubSpot kicks off a new social media experiment

“I can leverage this strategy to achieve x”

“I want to know that somebody knows how to set a goal, reach that goal, and report on it.”

I can leverage this strategy

How to say hello to Meghan (and us)

You can find Meghan on Twitter @meghkeaney. You can get to know her company, HubSpot, at HubSpot.com.

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving a rating on iTunes!

About the show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! 🍟

  • Thanks for this awesome article… social media manager selection is very tough job..

    • Thank you! Really glad you enjoyed this one. You’re right! Social media managers have tons to do. 🙂

  • It’s not simply as many people think. All complaint of rigorous tests, but how to entrust someone project on which it will work, if you don’t know if he/she is prepared for it.

    • Thanks so much for the comment! Indeed, the job is quite tough and requires a lot of trust. We tend to scale up the responsibilities as people get more comfortable in the role. Hopefully that helps with preparation and performance!

      • It requires a lot more knowledge than using social media, everyone know to use all social media, but not everyone can be social media specialist or manager.

        • jay

          Sorry for the late reply but to give some insight no social media manager is prepared for it… each company is going to be different in how they need to be engaged so part of being a successful social media manager like Meghan Keaney Anderson said is having someone who will also focus on:

          Forest – “… tie that work into business metrics, generate leads from social, know how to connect those dots …”
          Universe – “… fingers on the pulse of how social is changing.”
          A successful social media manager is going to be someone who can learn and then adapt to that change, not every campaign they push out will be successful and some will fail miserably but a good and great social media manager is going to use that to know what to do next.

          Ask potential social media managers questions like: What are some reasons campaigns fail, are you aware of any social media outlets that have just entered the business scene, do you want to know what we have been unsuccessful with in the past, and then gauge how focused they are on the future.

          • @disqus_E5EtttvzI8:disqus I’m totally sharing the opinion with you. Then you can just imagine how hard is to certify company that you are the one, that you can handle every client, that you are adaptable, and row of other things.

  • Worth reading this article. Will implement on my website http://hyderabadboss.com/

  • Love the title, “Content Crafter”…I’ve also heard “Channel Developer” ….In any case, it literally kills me when small business owners allow just anyone who knows how to “work Facebook” create + run their Social Media Strategy…it shows. While I get that the owners are super busy, having a hand in the process is essential. Buffer really makes life easier for many of us SBOs.

  • Social Media Manager. W-o-w! A really nice title to have but a tough one to achieve if you’re not determine to become one. A solid understanding of SEO and content marketing is a must have skills and a lot more skills to understand, improve and polish.

    • Monica Chortle

      Why do you need knowledge of SEO to become a social media manager? Search marketing and social media marketing are two different skills. Often in companies you have different people handling these jobs because the skillset required to excel in these jobs is not same.

  • Effective Social media management can give you various opportunities…

  • Veinticinco

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  • Veinticinco

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  • Shawn Wood

    You should make this post like into a definitive guide or something. I bet a lot of your new readers that come to this site would want to be able to find this post. It’s too good to keep secret!