Why hiring a social media manager isn’t always a good idea

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Literally hundreds of permanent makeup and scalp micropigmentation artists look for a social media manager, to help them manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

For transparency, here at Team Micro, we do not offer a social media management service. This article is for information purposes only.

Why would an artist consider hiring someone to manage their social media accounts?

There are many reasons that are often discussed. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Social media management takes up a lot of time, time that artists do not always have.
  • The artist may feel like they’re getting nowhere in terms of followers, engagement or bookings, and want some outside assistance.
  • The artist may not be social media savvy.
  • The artist may not want the drama that often comes with social media and would prefer to offload the responsibility to someone else.
  • The artist may be too slow to respond to messages, and is losing business as a result.

What services do social media managers provide?

This depends largely on the skillset of the person or agency you hire.

Some social media managers focus exclusively on posting organic content that they hope will create engagement on your accounts. Coming up with ideas on a daily basis can be hard, so it may help to have someone there who can bring their own ideas and experience to help this along. Generally, this person will also respond to comments and perhaps outreach with comments on posts made by other businesses to increase following and engagement.

Hand in hand with the above is the option to optimise your social media accounts with branded header images, better profile setup and so on

In some cases, the person you choose may go a step further and manage inbound messages, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, a handful of people may have expertise with paid ads, and can manage these for you.

What are the potential benefits?

Each social media channel (Facebook, Instagram etc) has their own algorithm that determines how readily your content is seen. One thing all channels have in common is they favor accounts that post regularly and receive good engagement on their content.

Posting good quality, useful content and interacting with other accounts on a regular basis improves engagement, meaning your content is likely to be seen by more people.

If your social media manager is also handling your incoming messages, prospective customers are likely to receive a faster response. This improves your conversion rate from inquiry to booking.

If they are also handling your paid ads, they could bring expertise that you don’t have in-house, and save you time in the process.

So why wouldn’t you want to hire someone?

In theory, the benefits are significant, and the allure of saving a ton of time is certainly very attractive. However, these arrangements rarely endure in the long term for a variety of reasons.

Low cost or good service – you can’t have both

One of the reasons why you may be looking to offload your social media responsibilities, is the amount of time it takes to manage your accounts properly.

Unfortunately, this task falls in a difficult place between being time consuming, and therefore expensive, and also being something that you can in theory do for yourself. Many artists do not appreciate the time it takes to manage social accounts well, and therefore do not see the value in the cost quoted to carry out the work.

A low cost service is likely to result in sporadic posting, predictable or less relevant content, or content that is used on multiple other accounts at the same time. You are unlikely to receive any kind of custom graphic design to support the work, and the manager is unlikely to provide much in the way of VIP service because of the price they are receiving for their work.

Furthermore, low priced services are highly unlikely to come from providers with specific industry knowledge. This will almost certainly affect the quality and relevance of content posted.

Providers who do offer a good social media management service, with specific industry knowledge, do not come cheap. Often their services are viewed as overpriced, perhaps because artists know how to do their work themselves, so do not value it as highly. Whilst the right provider may make a great partner, an appreciation is required from the artist of the time required to deliver a good service, respond to messages and manage ads effectively.

Often, a good relationship is formed but the service cancelled shortly after because the artist decides they would rather save the money and manage the tasks themselves after all.

It requires a lot of trust

For many PMU and SMP artists, Facebook and Instagram represent a substantial chunk of their incoming inquiries. Any disruption to this, even through small and non-repeated mistakes, can cause an artist to lose faith in their social media manager.

If you choose to hire someone, of course you need to choose carefully, but there also needs to be an understanding that a learning curve is inevitable, and it may take time for the person to adjust to your way of working.

Accountability and reporting

Progress on social media is difficult to quantify. Some metrics are easy to track, like:

  • Number of followers
  • Engagement metrics
  • Number of inbound messages

However, these metrics are also influenced by other factors, outside of the scope of a social media manager. It can be difficult to know what progress to attribute to them, and what to attribute to other activities.

Ultimately the metric that matters is the number of bookings you receive. Again, this is influenced by a number of factors and cannot always be attributed as easily as you might think, even with sophisticated tracking in place.

So, should you hire a social media manager?

The short answer is ‘yes’, but in my view the arrangement must meet certain criteria:

  • The manager should have a proven track record, with reviews or verifiable testimonials.
  • The agreement, including what is (and is not) included, and the fee schedule, should be clear to both parties.
  • Any key performance indicators to measure success should be realistic, and agreed in advance.
  • The artist needs to accept there will be a learning curve, mistakes will almost certainly be made, and to allow for that.
  • The manager should have specific industry experience.
  • The manager must take time to understand the artists business, and the style of marketing they want.
  • The artist must maintain ultimate control of their accounts at all times.
  • The artist should be prepared to pay a reasonable price for the time required, and the quality of service provided.

Whether or not to proceed is very much a personal matter. It’s a great idea for some, releasing much needed time and improving booking numbers, but care must be taken to ensure the agreement satisfies the needs of the business.