social media

Should Your Startup Hire a Full-Time or Part-Time Social Media Employee?

Entrepreneurs are notorious for wearing many hats during the early days of their startup’s business. One of these hats often includes social media manager. Typical daily duties associated with maintaining a social media presence include content creation, content management (i.e. editorial calendars, scheduling tools, paid promotions), engagement strategies, and determining and measuring relevant KPIs.

Running a company’s social media presence, when done properly, is a time-consuming process. After some time, many entrepreneurs find it too difficult to keep up with, and begin prepping to hire a social media coordinator or assistant to take over the workload. How do you know if or when it’s time to hire a social media employee? And should they be hired on a full-time or part-time capacity?

Make the best decision for your startup by keeping the following factors in mind.

Where does your business need the most help?

Take a moment to draft a job description for this position. This will help your business better understand your social media needs. You may find it’s time to hire for a social media role if you aren’t able to cover the following categories:

  • It’s a struggle to create content that is engaging and interesting to your audience
  • It’s difficult for you to respond to messages or comments left on your pages in a timely manner
  • New platforms confuse you and keep your business from creating a presence on these sites
  • Determining ROI (and KPIs) is tough. You don’t know what you’re doing right (or wrong) and whether or not these efforts are driving traffic to your business
  • You genuinely don’t have the time to allocate to strategizing anything new or existing

Is it better to hire an employee or contractor?

You may consider two approaches when it comes to hiring social media help:

  • The worker may be part-time or full-time within your company. How does an employee differentiate from a contractor? According to the IRS, employees are classified as individuals that work for one employer. They receive benefits and legal protections accordingly. These workers are generally independent and may be considered to be self-employed.
  • A contractor, on the other hand, is hired on a per diem basis. They complete a specific job and are compensated for that job, but are not employees within the business. As such, they do not receive benefits, are responsible for their own expenses like taxes, and must provide their own tools for the task at hand.

Should you hire an employee or contract the role?

Go back to the aforementioned workload. This will determine whether you keep the role in-house or outsource the job. If there’s a specific campaign you want to launch, you may decide to hire a contractor just for the one project. This will allow you to complete the project while saving on labor expenses and reducing its overall liability.

However, if you know the workload is going to be intensive and are seeking a skilled worker that can complete it and find opportunities where your business can thrive within the social realm, hiring an in-house employee might be your best bet.

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Can your business sustain a long-term social media position?

If you hired a social media employee tomorrow, regardless of whether or not they’re part-time or full-time, would you have enough work for him or her for the next six months and beyond? New businesses in particular have to consider their own long-term futures, and it’s never wise to hire quickly only to watch as the business dissolves less than a year later.

Startups that decide to hire social media employees must consider two major factors:

  • The employee workload. How much work is there to do on a regular basis? As the business owner, can you handle doing any of those tasks on your own for a period of time?
  • The business itself. Is your company in a position to hire, or do you need to focus on increasing revenue and cash flow first?

If your business is struggling financially, it may be better to wait on hiring a social media professional. This decision will likely expand to other departments outside of marketing. Once revenue is on the up and up, you can start getting serious about hiring strategies. When you find you are in a financially secure place and able to ensure regular paychecks, a steady workload, and growth within the company, you may find it’s the right time to take on another employee.

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