Each week, I see LinkedIn job ads for social media managers. Duties include a working knowledge of social media, content writing, SEO, Google analytics, design, videography, advertising, and TikTok influencers … and … Hold it right there. That’s not a job for one person. That’s several jobs for a social media team!

To grow your company, whether a start-up agency or a successful digital marketing firm, you need to have several members for your social media team.

If your brand is established or has a large cash injection, it’s possible to hire for multiple roles at once. But if you’re starting from zero, you need to be much more strategic in regard to the people you onboard.

A quick, mass hiring without thought for the team, structure, skills, and overall input is a recipe for disaster. So, let’s run through how to build a social media team from zero.

1. Evaluate Your Need for a Social Media Team 

I’ve seen so many brands rush into building their social media teams without evaluating their current position. That means where you are right now, not where you want to be in a year. This usually ends in all the candidates being dismissed or sitting around wondering what to do. Both are horrible outcomes.

So, before you go on a hiring spree, ask yourself these questions at the very start.

Is your company ready for a social media team?

Is your company ready to hire a social media team? Do you have your company setup completed and business licenses approved? And are you ready with the rest of your marketing?

If you haven’t built your website or written any text for it, you are not ready for a social media team.

If you begin posting on social media before you complete your website, you will need a set of landing pages to drive traffic and inquiries to. It isn’t ideal.

Have you got an office or remote resources in place?

Most startups know whether they will be running their business operations from an office, remotely or hybrid. Whatever you decide, you need to be sure that you have the resources in place.

If it’s an office setting then it’s PCs, laptops, a server, and a meeting room. If it’s remote, it might be laptops, headsets, Zoom conferencing software, social media management software, and remote working apps like Slack or Basecamp.

Have you purchased the tools you need to get the job done?

Social media tools incorporate hardware and software. The hardware will be laptops, photography equipment, and a good smartphone. (Don’t expect social media managers to use their own phones.) Software will include social media management tools, video editing software, GIF or image design software, and Adobe Photoshop.

Can you afford to hire?

A key question but it’s scary how many companies hire and then realize they can’t afford to. If you’re on a tight startup budget, it’s fine to acknowledge that and hire for key roles. Your first hires can either be pivotal social media roles or grow to be senior and manage team members.

According to Payscale data from August 2022, the average salary for social media managers is $53,060.

social media team pay for social media manager

Their salary is often dependent on experience, education level, and employer. It will also vary based on location with large cities like London or New York providing higher salaries.

Social media team tip: If you’re unable to pay the going rate for a full-time social media manager, you could consider hiring for four days a week or part time. That way you get a great person without compromising on the salary they deserve.

highest paying social media team jobs

Which social media channels will you be on?

You need to think about this before you hire because it impacts your team. If you’re selling e-commerce on Instagram and TikTok then your requirements will be a social media manager and a designer.

If, however, you want to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, Quora, and YouTube you need at least one social media manager, a community manager, a videographer and a graphic designer.

Know your social media channels and the amount of content you want to post before you hire. Where do you need to build a social media presence? What social platform works best to answer that question.

header image for conquer social media inbox

2. Know Your Social Media Goals

The right hires for your social media team will be able to feed into your overall company business goals with some relevant social media KPIs. But you still need to know what you want before you hire.

Here are some of the most popular social media KPIs and an indication of hires you need for your social media team to make them happen.

Social media engagement

You will need a social media manager and possibly a community manager, depending on the volume or channels and posts. A content writer is also a need, unless your social media manager is competent at writing great captions.

Customer service

If you’re looking to provide support for your customers on your social media channels you may need a social media manager and a community manager. One will be for proactive posts, and the other will respond to enquiries and complaints.

Many big brands separate their social media channels this way. Check out ASOS which separates its main account from its support account.

social media team channels

The huge clothing retailer employs multiple social media managers to manage its other feeds. And that’s just for Twitter!

different channels for roles in social media team

And then there’s Ryanair, whose snarky and hilarious proactive account is separate from the more serious @askryanair account handling customer queries and complaints.

rynair example

social mea team has different channels


  • Brand awareness. You will need at least one content writer and one social media manager for your social media channels and content creation. You will also be considering external PR, influencer marketing, and someone to manage advertising.
  • Traffic. If your main focus is getting web traffic then you need a social media manager, a content writer, an SEO specialist, and possibly someone to manage Google AdWords for you.
  • Lead generation. You will probably be looking at paid ads to increase your revenue. Your social media manager is not necessarily someone who can manage social media ads. You will need an advertising specialist as well.

3. Decide on your core social media team roles

Before I start with this section, let’s make it clear that no job role in this section is more important than another. These can all be integral cogs in your social media team. But their significance and necessity will depend on your company or social media agency, resources and the KPIs we discussed above.

Structure your social media marketing team

How big are you wanting to get? It’s a common misconception that every company wants to scale to dizzy heights with large teams, city offices, and huge corporate parties. Some businesses are boutique and don’t need to grow to be huge.

An example of this might be a cake maker like my talented UK friend who owns The Cake Temple, a bespoke cake making company. Making stunning cakes to order by herself, the owner doesn’t plan to grow into an international cake factory with a social media team. She simply got great at posting to Facebook and Instagram and generating orders from the delicious photos she posts.

small social media team

Is everyone reporting to you? If you’re looking to scale and grow your social media team, you need to consider the reporting hierarchy. Will you be putting a manager in place below you? If so, how will you interact with them to check the progress of your social media team? What authority will you give them for performance reviews, pay rises, and disciplinary procedures?

Do you expect job roles to overlap or duties to be shared? In large companies, marketing teams can be vast. I often see mass confusion over duties, reporting, and strategy. All that can lead to missed posts, duplicate work, and branding or tone of voice errors.

On the other hand, if you’re a start-up you should be looking for hires with a well-rounded skill set. For example, a new social media manager who knows how to use Agorapulse, Canva, and WordPress is an advantage. That person can also assist with uploading blog posts or creating social media images if you need them to.

You should document your expectations of each role and your team structure before you start.

Now let’s dig into some of the first hires you will make for your social media team. The key phrase here is scalable. Can each hire learn new skills? Do they want to grow with your company? And ultimately, are you building your future team?

Social media manager

The social media manager needs to come first if you are building a social media team or a social media marketing agency. If you’re just starting out building your social media team, you should look for a good all-rounder. Though probably not a specialist in paid ads or analytics, this person will understand how to strategize and manage the main networks. The social media manager will create your plan and see it through.

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • They are already running social media brand channels, either as a hobby, for charity, or for their own company. I like to see working examples before I hire, especially from someone with enthusiasm for what they do.
  • They have taken the time to review your brand and current channels, and are ready to input ideas when hired.
  • They are eager to learn and expand their social media knowledge. In turn, you should be ready to invest in your new hire, with training courses and pay scale increases.

Social media team tip: When hiring for a social media manager, set a practical test. You can do this by creating a dummy Twitter and Facebook account and setting the individual a few tasks or challenges. (The reason I do this is that everyone claims to be a social media expert. Most aren’t.)

Interview Questions for a Social Media Manager

Content writer

Content is the core of your brand. Its marketing efforts so never underestimate the importance of content writers in your organization.

In a large company, content writers will create web content, blog posts, press releases, video scripts, and campaign text. It’s standard to have several writers and a content manager in a large organization.

If you’re building a social media team, think about the tasks you would need from your content writer. Also, think about how this person will work with the social media manager. Is one more senior than the other?

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • Your content writer knows how to write social media captions. Small but mighty, the caption is often overlooked. But it can work wonders for your social content.
  • Your content writer enjoys writing promotional content that works well with social media. That might be content for Reels, TikToks, landing pages, and text for ads. With so many content writing genres out there, it’s important to find the right person. A great technical whitepaper writer isn’t necessarily a great social media writer.
  • Your content writer can show you their work via a blog, news column, or active social media channels. This will give you a feel for their writing capabilities, grammar, spelling, and their ability and creativity when creating content.

According to Payscale, the average content writer salary is $50,249 per year. This is for a writer and not a content manager.

average content writer salary

A content manager will have a lot more experience and responsibilities. Their salary in a city like New York is $96,000.

content manager salary

Social media tip: Set a short and relevant writing test for your candidates. This might include writing a caption for different social media channels.

How to Write for Social Media: A Checklist

Community Manager

Community managers deserve all the best donuts! These heroes are responsible for monitoring, listening, and engaging with your social media communities across the different channels. They answer questions, have chats, respond to complaints, and act as ambassadors to your brand.

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • Previous proven experience in a customer service role is a win. This person will be friendly, calm, and committed to customer service. They will also want to communicate well within your team feeding back concerns, comments, and suggestions.
  • A good understanding of the social media landscape in addition to popular forums like Reddit, Quora and Medium. They will need to represent your brand there by interacting with other users, commenting and asking questions.
  • Good spelling and grammar. They don’t need to be a content writer, but they will be representing your brand online, so the basics need to be there.

A community manager makes around $66,000 per year according to Glassdoor.

community manager salary for social media team

Social media analyst

A social media analyst or social data analyst probably won’t be your first hire. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need them. A social media analyst crunches your data and turns it into actionables for the higher-ups.

For example, what was the ROI of your latest campaign on Instagram? Your LTV? Your CPC? Who were your main respondents and does this align with your target audience and KPIs? Your social media analyst can make helpful recommendations to the team and create meaningful social media reports you can show to shareholders, clients, or management.

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • A head for numbers is obviously needed. This is not a creative role, it’s an analytical one. So, the questions you should be asking will relate to the way they can interpret data. Previous experience in an analytics or account role will be helpful.
  • A strong knowledge of social media metrics is key. Your new hire will understand the buzzwords and how they relate to posts, videos and reporting metrics.
  • An individual who is comfortable presenting reports and numbers to senior management. It’s rare for content writers and social media managers to be asked to present data. But the social media analyst or ads manager might be.
  • Knowledge of some or even all of these social media analytics tools will be a win.

The average social media analyst salary in the United States earns between $61,247 and $83,511.

Graphic designer

The long-suffering designer on the social media team deserves our admiration. They are often overused by the entire company and will end up designing web banners, landing pages, brochures, social media images, email headers and everything in between. Then they are asked for videos, too!

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • The designer for your social media team should be familiar with designing for social media. Rules on how to present text, the sizing and design of lettering, social media image sizes and formats, and best practices.
  • Look for core design skills like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Photoshop. Don’t discount tools like Canva or Powtoon either. They can be used at a professional level to create superb social media graphics and videos.
  • A calm person who can work under pressure is a must. The demands placed upon designers in a social media team come thick and fast. I also like a hire who can push back and prioritize their workflow.
  • Special love for designers who can also provide videos for Reels, YouTube Shorts, or TikTok videos. Sometimes, the social media manager can create these with a good phone, but if design is involved, probably not.

Social media team tip: Ask to see previous social media designs. While the designer may have been following a company brief, you will get a feel for their design skills. As with all hires, the level of experience and skill set will play into the salary. $52,796 is a standard salary for a graphic designer.

social media team graphic designer

Ads specialist

Just as the social media analyst and social media manager are usually not the same people, the organic and the paid people are often not the same.

Your paid social media specialist will take responsibility for your ads budget, ads, paid social media campaigns, and possibly other paid platforms like Adwords or native advertising platforms like Outbrain or Taboola.

Here are some star qualities to watch out for:

  • This role is focused on getting the best bang for your advertising buck. So, this hire will work closely with the social media manager and content writer to tweak the content, so it performs well. Good communication skills and the ability to slot into a team are key here.
  • This hire will be excited by running A/B tests, trailing new software, and experimenting with new techniques. They will also be very familiar with the advertising platforms on all the main social media platforms.
  • Proven examples of successful ads and well-presented reports would impress me here. Someone who can logically explain the correlation between the ad, the data and the next actions is a keeper.

The average salary for a social media specialist is $47,142 according to Payscale. However, that salary can go up significantly based on the size of the company and the advertising spend and responsibilities involved.

Related read: How Much Does a Social Media Manager Make?

What About Social Media Tools?

There’s no point having a great team if you don’t give them great social media tools to work with. That would be like hiring a top footballer then refusing to give them the right footware or a ball!

Earlier, we discussed analyzing your budget before you start. Your budget also needs to include the social media tools your team will need. Remember that scaleable word we talked about?

Look for tools that are licensed per user and that can grow or shrink as your team changes. The most important tool for a social media team is a social media management tool.


At Contentworks, we use Agorapulse to manage all our client social media accounts. With Agorapulse, we can schedule content, view our calendar, manage replies, assign them to other team members, and pull off great-looking reports. Plus, everything is in the same place. (Check out my full agency review.)

Here are some of the benefits for your social media team:

  • No logging in and out of different networks, lost passwords, and multiple tabs open on your laptop.
  • Your team can work in the office or remotely with Agorapulse. There are no requirements to be on the same server or sitting together.
  • If a team member is off sick or on vacation, you can step in and oversee the channels. You can plug your social media manager, social media analyst, and your community manager into Agorapulse where they can utilize the inbuilt tools to do their jobs, view reports, and work together.
  • Agorapulse is so many tools rolled into one. That saves you budget in the long term. It also integrates with other tools like Canva making things much easier for your social media team.
  • Agorapulse is scalable. You don’t need to pay until you’re ready to access all the great features and scale up to the next level, added team members or want more great features? Scale up and grab them!

Get a 30-day free trial and check it out for yourself. You can also check out our article on the best free social media tools to get your social media team primed and ready to go!

Wrapping Up

Social media networks are added every year. Some take off and become mainstream. Others remain on the weary radars of overstretched social media managers. The latest include BeReal, Triller, Valence, Elpha, Peanut, and, oh goodness, the Metaverse to name a few! Additionally, brands are now looking to reach more regions and languages than ever. That means not only regional social media networks like China’s Baidu and QQ, but also localized content, imagery, and community management. All that means more hires, more resources, and more social media tools are needed to succeed.

Building your social media team starts with strategy, KPIs and understanding the meaning and value of each role before you hire.

How to Build Your Social Media Dream Team (Guide + Tips)