Traits & skills to look for in hiring a Social Media Manager | Viral In Nature Social Media Agency

Traits & skills to look for in hiring a Social Media Manager

Traits and skills of the ideal Social Media ManagerThere are many skills and traits to look for when hiring the perfect Social Media Manager. This can be a tall order trying to find someone like this because many of these skills require years of experience. Some of the skills listed below are a requirement to be an effective Social Media Manager, while other skills are highly beneficial. It's not easy to find that right person that has all these skills which is why it makes sense to consider hiring a Social Media Management Firm vs an Employee. However, Social Media Specialist and President of Viral In Nature, Shawn Alain, does have all these skills and traits.

Business Management or Marketing or Journalism Diploma

  • Social Media Management is a career, as such you’ll want someone who is serious about making this position into a career. If you require your Social Media Manager to be educated with some sort of degree or diploma then you should be able to weed out the serious candidates from the ones just like to use their social media for personal use. 
    Shawn graduated with a Business Management Diploma with honours in 1999.

Photographer and Videographer with their own equipment

  • Content is king and you'll need lots of it. On average, you'll need 1-5 updates per day every day on your social media. You need to hire someone with their own equipment. They don't need to be a professional photographer, but if they own their own equipment it at least shows that they have an interest in photography. 
    Shawn has several published photos he's taken and a full arsenal of equipment.

Public Relations Experience

  • Never before in history has a business representative been more in touch with the public as a Social Media Manager. Seriously! Just think, instead of sending out the odd press release, or occasional interview from a reporter, your Social Media Manager is speaking directly to your followers and customers every day...several times a day. 
    As a former newspaper Publisher and Past President of the Chamber of Commerce, Shawn Alain has an enormous amount of Public Relations experience.

Sales Experience

  • Some of the best sales people are the ones who sell to you without you knowing you're being sold to. They also know when and how to close the sale. For most businesses your social media goals and ROI involve sales so experience in sales is a must. 
    While Shawn worked as an Advertising Rep for the Maple Ridge Times, he was the recipient of a President's Club award as the top sales rep in the Van-Net Newspaper chain of over 100 sales reps.

Understanding of Social Analytics

  • The person managing your social media presences will be the person who’ll know the most about your communities and how they’re responding to your work. With that in mind, he or she needs to be able to analyze the plethora of data that is available to him and her and make recommendations or decisions based upon it. 
    Shawn has spent countless hours pouring over spreadsheets, graphs and charts in order to maximize growth and engagement.

Artistic & Creative

  • In addition to having an analytical brain, a good Social Media Manager must also be artistic and creative. You need a creative vision in seeing beautiful photos, video editing, contest ideas and more. 
    For Shawn, art and creativity is more than just a skill, it's a love. Shawn is a musician, photographer and graphic designer with a passion for all things beautiful.

Graphic Design Experience

  • Understanding layout and design is a valuable skill. Your Social Media Manager needs the vision to design and customize your social media channels on a regular basis to keep them fresh. They also need to design memes, ads and many more types of design to incorporate into your social media plan. 
    In Shawn’s marketing career he has designed well over 20,000 advertisements.

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Experience

  • Experience with Photoshop and Illustrator is a requirement. To showcase your businesses products or service, you’ll need some polished professional looking photos to post on your social media. 
    Shawn has been using Photoshop since the early 90’s when it was in its infancy and grown with it over the years. Shawn has thorough knowledge of Photoshop.

Adobe Premier Experience

  • This is for video editing. Learning video production is a skill that some devote their entire lives to so it’s understandable if your Social Media Manager is not a pro, but he should know the basics. Some business owners may insist on only having a professional video production company make their videos, but with Vine and Instagram now offering short videos, it creates a new type of video Director. A Social Media Manager should know the basic skills of Adobe Premier and video editing. 
    Shawn has shot and edited many videos.

Adobe Lightroom Experience

  • Creating a photo and video library is key, otherwise you’ll end up with a mess of photo and video assets not knowing who to credit, ability to search and even what is allowed to be used saving you from a lawsuit. Adobe Lightroom is an invaluable tool for tagging, naming and cataloguing your video assets. 
    Shawn has experience in organizing and cataloguing even the most disorganized of photo and video assets using Adobe Lightroom.

Adobe InDesign Experience

  • Well this isn’t a required skill but it certainly comes in handy when creating beautiful reports. 
    Shawn has an enormous amount of experience with InDesign first from creating newspaper layouts and weekly and monthly reports.

Editorial Experience

  • A good Social Media Manager will know how to sniff out a good story and write it. With a minimum of 1-5 posts a day, you’ll need lots of content.
    Shawn has several published stories during the ten plus years he spent in the newspaper industry. Shawn has also been exclusively managing social media since 2011 where he’s had to find daily content every day.

Grammar and Spelling

  • Yes you need to know proper grammar and spelling, but in addition to this you’ll also need to keep up with the l8est #Hashtags and slang. An innocent typo can sometimes unleash a fiery response from your followers.
    In the newspaper industry, Shawn had a trained I to spot errors because of proofing thousands of pages for spelling, grammar and errors.

Web Design Experience

  • If you’re serious about your social media then you won’t make the mistake of having a Web Designer/Social Media Manager because serious social media is a full time job. However, it is greatly beneficial if a Social Media Manager at least knows basic html as well as how to integrate API’s into your website.
    Shawn has designed several websites, including this one. He is comfortable with html, php, MySQL and CSS.

Microsoft Office Experience

  • If you’re going to have any job in business then this skill is a must, especially Excel and Word.
    Yes of course Shawn knows Microsoft Office.

Experience with multiple platforms for business

  • The main Social Media platforms that your business will probably use is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, InstaGram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Wordpress. There are also several tools used to manage these platforms such as Hootsuite, Sysomos and Buffer App. You’ll want someone who is comfortable with the majority of these.
    Shawn has used all these platforms extensively.

Friendly, Patient and Responsive

  • Managing Social Media can take an incredible amount of patience sometimes. When you’re passionate about what you do, it can be hard when you’ve got a hostile group who is intent on bashing your employer’s good name. A good Social Media Manager has a thick skin and knows how to handle Trolls, Misguided and unhappy customers.
    Shawn is one of the most experienced Social Media Specialists in Canada. Shawn uses a flow chart on how to respond to all types of comments and responses is a calm, cool and collective demeanor.

Is up to date on social media industry changes

  • Social Media changes at a feverish pace. Every day there are updates on platforms as well as articles, blogs and reports. You’ll want a Social Media Manager who stays up to date on all the industry news and changes.
    There isn’t a reputable social media eNewsletter, blog, Facebook or website that Shawn doesn’t subscribe to. Shawn spends a minimum an hour a day keeping up with industry changes.

Understand the importance of ROI and reaching your goals

  • A good Social Media Manager will stay focused on attaining your social media goals. Whether that goal is financial, PR, crisis communication or otherwise, you want someone who will stay focused on those business goals.
    There’s no who understands this more than Shawn who is also a business owner just like yourself.


  • You need someone who doesn't do 9-5 Mon-Fri because your social media doesn’t either. A good Social Media Manager who loves what they do will check it before bed and when they get up and every 15 minutes in between. 
    As a business owner yourself, you know that no one has more drive to make your business succeed than you. Shawn has two big passions; 1. Social Media and everything related to it. 2. Viral In Nature and making his business succeed.


To skip your hiring process and get an experienced and professional Social Media Manager today for less, contact us.}

Viral In Nature Inc. is an award winning Social Media Management and Crisis Communication firm located in Calgary, Alberta. We offer award winning social media management, consulting and training. We are also highly experienced in Crisis Communication.