Hiring social media managers hasn’t slowed in 2017.

In fact, a quick search on job search site Indeed pulled up 2,027 job postings for “social media manager” in NYC alone.

But finding a social media manager with hustle … that takes an eagle eye for both traits and skills that will help shine a spotlight on emerging leaders.

Since we’re in hiring mode in 2017, here’s a look at what we look for when hiring hustlers.


Social Media Managers: What To Look For

The best social media managers require certain skills or traits — also known as hard skills and soft skills.


While your company’s needs are likely different from mine, there are certain common thread skills and traits that any social media manager should have.

Hard Skills

  • Copywriting; excellent grammar and spelling
  • Effectively communicates in both verbal and written form
  • Deep understanding of marketing analytics
  • Developing and managing communities; customer service
  • Project management
  • Team management

Soft Skills (traits)

  • Flexible; their personality thrives in a fast-paced environment and culture
  • Strong team player
  • Demonstrates utmost respect and professionalism for team/clients
  • Proactive; anticipates client needs and acts on them before the client can ask
  • Problem-­solver and critical thinker
  • Patient; remains calm under pressure
  • Intellectually curious

Of course, there are a million and one traits and skills you can look for, but these are what I look for in particular.

These are some of the most important skills and traits a social media manager can have.Click To Tweet

What To Avoid

Our post on social media consultants will give you a good heads up on “newbies” in the social media space.


To summarize the post here’s what to look for when you want to avoid “average”

  • Talks about social media in subjective, descriptive terms
  • Ideas and concepts are usually “right brain” dominated
  • Knows how to gain attention online, but not necessarily with reaching goals or completing key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Doesn’t look past Fan & Follower counts for return on investment (ROI)
  • Little to no understanding of analytics and metrics
  • Usually unable to communicate “why” metrics succeed or fail

Just because someone is interested and passionate about social media doesn’t mean they will have hustle.

Hiring For Hustle

Social media managers are a clearinghouse of information.

They’re keeping several client projects in their head, tracking tasks and due dates, plus liaising with the client.

Your entire team should use them as a resource to check decisions against.

That’s why hiring the right social media manager will be critical to accomplishing your social media goals.

The best social media managers understand and live in hustle mode because

  • They easily manage several projects at a time
  • Coordinating teams comes naturally
  • They can spot gaps and move to quickly bridge them
  • Building relationships with clients, stakeholders and team members is a priority

The Secret Sauce

Here’s my biggest hiring secret when it comes to social media managers who have hustle: pattern and trend detection.

With social media, there are so many places where trends and patterns can be uncovered

  • On the networks themselves
  • Through social media content
  • By data mining

You can even use tools like Google Trends to see what’s ticking up.

My point is, if you find someone who is interested in uncovering these trends and patterns on their own, you’ve likely found someone who’s a digital unicorn.

This person probably already has critical traits and skills like attention to detail, organization, self-motivation, problem-solving skills, and so on.

This is your ace in the hole. This is your hire with hustle!

While there’s no surefire way to hire hustlers every single time, the tips outlined here should have you a good base to work from.

What are your best tips when it comes to hiring social media managers? Let us know in the comments section below!