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Blog How to Build the Perfect Social Media Team – from Roles to Goals & Tools

How to Build the Perfect Social Media Team – from Roles to Goals & Tools

There is no secret that social media is a team effort. The days of single social media publishers and copy-pasting other available content are long gone. It’s no longer a space to fill, it’s a place to grow from. And as we all know, it’s a place that requires a lot of time and energy. From a team. A usually big team. Even for a small business, you can always find somebody willing to help you with your social media strategy. For big businesses and enterprises, we’re already talking about a big social media team or even some smaller teams, each one dedicated to a certain function.

This guide will provide all the details you need to know when you decide to build your social media team. From your business’ needs to skills, roles, and workflow, we got you covered so you can start building the perfect team.


What Does a Social Media Team Do – First, Define Your Needs

There is no standard definition for a social media team as there is no standard format for what a social media team does. A broad definition would be that whether it is an agency or an internal team, the main role of a social media team is to grow the business by strategically creating content, ads, and engaging with the target audience on different social media platforms.

When you start creating your social media team, think about your needs & challenges first. You should map the role of your social media team first – look at the big picture and see where the social media team fits. And don’t overlook the social media services price your social media team will have because your budget depends on this. 

If you’re here, it already means you take creating a team into consideration, but before calling for new employees, you should consider two things:

  • Think about a social media strategy to start from; set some objectives (through social media I want to get more awareness, through social media I want to generate more leads etc.);
  • Set aside a budget for the team and for the team’s needs (salaries, workspace, technology, ads budget etc.).

Only after you are sure you have a clear reason, a strategy, and a budget you can consider a social media team. You may need to pitch your social media strategy to upper management so try to have a solid plan.

Main Social Media Marketing Team Roles and Responsibilities

There are a few important positions on a social media marketing team you should take into account when you start planning. Firstly, if you’re looking at the vertical and horizontal hierarchy – the biggest role is the one of the Social Media Manager, Social Media Team Leader, or Head of Social. But the team structure and the job descriptions should be set according to your business needs and not based on a standard template.

Here are the most important roles you may need for your new social media team:

1. Head of Social – The One that Holds the Team in Place


Head of Social Responsibilities & Skills

The Social Media Manager should be a devoted employee who knows the company and the brand very well. A manager’s responsibilities are both regarding the company’s brand & product, and the team itself.

The main responsibilities:

  • Traces the strategy, plan campaigns, set goals, and deadlines;
  • Brings brand & product awareness builds an online reputation;
  • Creates content or sends content brief to content creation team(when there is no social media content creator), promotes content and campaigns (when there is no social media advertiser);
  • Generates leads and conversions;
  • Makes sure the team functions properly;
  • Keeps in touch with the key stakeholders (the client – if you’re an agency, other Marketing departments, other departments in the company).

The main skills:

  • Soft skills: There is no secret that a Social Media Marketing Manager should bring a big impact on your marketing strategy and this is why you need to pay attention to their soft skills. Creativity, copywriting and a keen eye for design are the three most important soft skills to look after. Then you need to look for a team player with leadership skills, so you make sure your future social media team will be managed by leading in the right direction in line with your culture fit. And last but not least, you need somebody with great presentation and public speaking skills, as more often that person will represent your company in front of important stakeholders.
  • Hard skills: The Social Media Manager knows the industry very well, has a lot of connections and most importantly, masters a lot of hard skills. The most important aspects you should look after our digital expertise (staying up to date with the latest social media trends) with a pinch of social media management tools, SEO, and client service. Make sure the social media team leader you bring is willing to share the knowledge and has an appetite for teaching others.

Experience: 3-5 years

Salary in US: $44K$103K/year

See what companies grew their social media teams in 2020, against all odds.

2. Social Media Content Creator and Curator – The One that Has the Words


Social Media Content Creator and Curator Responsibilities & Skills

The content creator job is not enough anymore, because your audience will quickly feel fed up with all the bragging about your brand. People want to see who you are, what you believe and that you appreciate others, too. Don’t know if you noticed, but even in this guide, I am trying to talk less about us and more about you and others.

But back to this hybrid job. You’ll need a content creator because the content is the biggest asset you have for social media – it’s your fuel and it’s basically the value that you add to the environment. But you also need somebody to curate content and information. Industry news, influencers, books, everything that sparks your audience’s interest should be curated on your platforms. Even though here, at Planable, we are focused on creating content, we promote almost 60% third-party content on our social pages.

The main responsibilities:

  • Stay on top of industry news;
  • Create both micro and macro content;
  • Share and publish the content on all social media platforms;
  • Keep the social media content calendar up-to-date;
  • Collaborate with the designer;
  • Come out with new input.

The main skills:

  • Strong copywriting skills;
  • Knows how to manage the social media platforms and at least one content management system;
  • Aware of SEO basics;
  • Time management skills;
  • Research skills.

Experience: 1-3 years

Salary in US: $37K – $80K/year

3. Social Media Community Manager – The One that’s Always in for a Chat

social media community manager

Social Media Community Manager Responsibilities & Skills

The community manager is the one that interacts with the audience personally. That person is in charge of the engagement on your brand’s social media platforms, as well as outside your platforms. Basically, wherever your brand is mentioned, your community manager should be there to answer questions, thank customers, and so on.

Sometimes, the community manager can create a personal profile and interact with the audience on behalf of your brand. This decision is up to you and your brand’s profile.

The main responsibilities:

  • Engage in conversations wherever the brand is mentioned or where there is a comment on your brand’s pages;
  • Manage brand advocates and other brand lovers;
  • Try to build a relationship between the brand and the audience;
  • Additionally, if the community manager uses a personal profile, he or she should work on building the brand visibility where needed.

The main skills:

  • Strong copywriting skills;
  • Willingness to learn everything about the brand and key employees of the brand;
  • Ability to write engaging, funny content.

Experience: 1-3 years

Salary in US: $40K – $78K/year

4. Social Media Advertiser – The One that Knows What to Pay

social media advertiser

Social Media Advertiser Responsibilities & Skills

Whether you’re just starting a social media team now or you want to add a social media advertiser to your team, the responsibilities and skills remain the same. You’ll need somebody specialized in advertising strategy, with a strong sense for budgets and a strong understanding of every social media platform. An advertiser sets, monitors and adjusts ads so the business can get the most out of every campaign for the lowest price possible. And I’m sorry, but no, unless you’re a movie star or an entertainment page, organic isn’t enough anymore.

The main responsibilities:

  • Create ad content or work together with a content manager and a designer;
  • Set the target audience for every campaign;
  • Manage A/B testing with diverse components of the ads.

The main skills:

Experience: 1-3 years

Salary in US: $40K – $103K/year

5. Social Media Analyst – The One that Has the Answers

social media analyst

Social Media Analyst Responsibilities & Skills

Social Media Analysts are probably the ones that are more passionate about business than social media. Their main goal is to support the team with directions and insights. Therefore, you will need a person passionate about numbers and stats that also understands both business and social media.

The main responsibilities:

The main skills:

  • Strong analytical skills;
  • In-depth knowledge of social media platforms;
  • Social science knowledge;
  • Knowledge of social media management tools like Planable.

Experience: 1-3 years

Salary in US: $41K$77K/year

6. Social Media Graphic Designer/Video Editor

social media graphic designer

Social Media Graphic Designer Responsibilities & Skills

Content creators are not only copywriters, but they also produce visual content, too. But clumsy posts won’t take you anywhere. This is why you also need somebody with a keen eye for visual details and knowledge of at least one design tool.

Especially with the evolution of video content, a graphic designer is playing a big role in your social media team. But images, logos, and illustrations are also a big part of a graphic designer’s day-to-day job.

The main responsibilities:

The main skills:

  • Knowledge of design tools and software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc.);
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Attention to detail.

Experience: 1-3 years

Salary in the US: $34K$69K/year

7. Social Media Influencer Manager – The One that Loves People

social media influencer manager

Social Media Influencer Manager Responsibilities & Skills

Probably the last addition to most of the social media teams is the social media influencer manager role, as the trend of collaborating with industry influencers proved to be a fruitful one. The influencer manager is not really involved with the business’ social platforms. He or she is rather in charge of managing the relationship with influencers and making sure the content on the influencer’s pages respects the company’s values.

The main responsibilities:

  • Get involved in social media campaigns that contain influencer activities;
  • Maintain the relationship with influencers;
  • Create & monitor content for influencers;
  • Curate content for the company’s social media pages;
  • Research new influencers, competitors, audiences, and stay on top of the news, technologies.

The main skills:

  • Knowledge of the company’s industry;
  • Strong social media expertise;
  • Flawless communication skills;
  • Project management.

Experience: 1-2 years

The Extended Social Media Team

Your core team is mainly focused on your social media pages, but you have a great pool of stakeholders and you can use their expertise whenever you need it. Whenever there is a big campaign launch, a special event you want to cover, or simply need advice on the new ads, keep in mind your extended team is one click away.

Brand Manager – The One With The Vision

brand manager

Brand Manager Role Overview

For brand managers, the company is an open book. They know everything about the business, the product, the important people in your agency, and nothing happens without them knowing it is happening.

So the brand manager should be the social media team’s best ally for both big events and daily routines.  Both company’s profit and image are important for the manager. Whenever you feel the social media team is on cloud nine with an idea, you can double check it with the brand manager. Sometimes, they have a more down-to-earth approach.

Human Resources – The One With The People

human reosurces

Human Resources Role in Social Media

Your HR team is not there only to help you recruit the social media team. They can add great value to certain campaigns, and no employer branding campaign should happen without them.

Another scenario where you can collaborate with the HR team is when your audience asks HR/people-related questions. Nobody knows human behavior better than this team (OK, maybe the salespersons).

Legal Department – The One with the No-Go

legal department

Legal Department Role in Social Media

And talking about what your audience may ask you, there is an unpleasant moment that can occur when customers ask tricky questions or simply blames your brand for something.

The wisest way to calm the storm is to ask the legal department for advice on how to manage these delicate situations.

Sales Persons – The One that Brings the Money

sales reps

Sales Rep Role in Social Media

The sales department also plays a role in your social media scheme. One thing you can learn from them is how to never give up and insist until you succeed.

But a more actionable input you can take from them is the straightforwardness of your content and the efficiency of your calls to action.

PR – The One with the Good Story


PR Role in Social Media

Along with the brand manager, the PR team is also your friend for both advice and content ideas. Whenever there is an event coming up, a feature launch, or a press release, the PR team should work together with the social media team so this information appears on social media platforms also.

Besides all these important occasions, the PR team has a similar profile to the social media team. They should help each other whenever there is a chance.

Product Expert – The One With the Info

product owner

Product Expert Role in Social Media

The product owner is the expert of the business. Whenever you are out of features to promote or you are not sure what to say about the product, this should be your social team’s qualified person.

You can also check the social media plan with the product expert, just to make sure everything is right.

The social media team composition may vary from company to company, there are other roles you may need, so never settle for a standard setup.

Types of Social Media Teams – Agency, Client, Enterprise

There are many ways you can build your team, but the main two categories are the agency teams and the client teams. Usually, the agency teams are the same, while the client teams are structured based on the company’s size.

Let’s discuss each type and see where you are:

Agency Teams – Dedicated to One or More Clients

Social media agencies collaborate with other companies and provide social media services for them. Depending on the company’s size, the social media agency can dedicate one or more teams to a single client.

If the companies are not that big, one social media team can manage more than one account at once. There is also the other scenario where the company is so big that the agency provides more than one social media team for the account, or it creates a bigger team than usual.

Usually, an agency social media team involves all the roles mentioned above, most of the employees working for dedicated accounts. The exception is the social media manager, who works with more than one client.

Client Teams – or In-house Teams

The in-house social media teams can be categorized depending on their role in the company, the company’s structure, and the company’s size.

The Role in the Company – Management or Management & Execution Teams

There are two roles an in-house social media team can have. First, there are management teams that are largely involved in strategies and management, but they constantly collaborate with a social media agency. These teams usually give feedback and approve what the agency’s social media team produces.

On the other hand, there is a new trend to internalize most of the marketing teams, social media included. And this happens because companies are moving very fast and they need people that are always there for the brand. Also, a team that is working within the company learns the company better.

Start-up Teams – Everybody Does Everything

Start-up marketing people don’t do one thing only. This is why more often, you will find content creators that are also in charge of email marketing or writing blog posts.

When you start a business, there is usually one person that does everything, so forget about the roles from above. Your team will be few people that know a little bit from everything – basically, you need a social media manager who also executes.


Medium Company Teams – In-house Like an Agency

Usually, medium-sized companies choose to have an in-house team that is replicating a team from an agency.

That means you will have a team leader, at least one content creator, community manager, analyst, and so on. Do they still need social media agencies? Yes. For big campaigns, agencies remain a resourceful team. They are creative, have a lot of connections, and sometimes the right technology.

Enterprise Teams – Big, Bigger, Biggest

Enterprise teams usually have a huge marketing department, and a lot of their people are in charge of everything social. This is why enterprises have more than one team on board. While in social media agencies there are multiple teams and each one includes different roles, the enterprise social media teams tend to have specialized teams for each role.

This is why there is no intrigue if you are an enterprise and you form social media teams for support, strategy, or awareness and response. If your business is big, so should be your social media involvement.

Social Media Team Size

If you think you will find a magical number, I am sorry to disappoint you, but I have to agree with everybody else: there is no right number for a social media team. The average is 3 people, but you should guide based on what you need (don’t forget you start with a strategy) and what you offer (the budget you have).

Ideally, you should have specialized employees for every part of what social media involves, but there is nothing wrong if the content creator is also the community manager.

How to Set Team Goals – a Little Discipline Never Hurt Anybody

No matter how creative you want your team to be, there are some rules that will make everything easier. In the end, you need a social media team because you have a purpose.

  • Set purposes – for the business, for the team, for the campaign, and for tasks.
  • Plan – together with the team.
  • Set deadlines – in order to measure progress and to work at full capacity, set realistic deadlines for every task.
  • Track –  both the team and the projects.
  • Help – the team and let the team help you.

What Are the Best Social Media Team Skills

When talking about social media, any skill, passion, or hobby is welcome. You will never know when a book, an event, or a past experience can bring the big idea to the team. But with all that, there are certain skills any team should have so they can work together… as a team:

  • Teamwork – when you choose somebody for the job, don’t only think about their hard skills. It is also important for that person to know how to communicate with the rest of the team.
  • Time management – you need somebody that knows how to manage their time, how to set and respect deadlines.
  • Flexibility – social media means creativity and this translates into people that are willing to do everything they can to make ideas happen. Look for content creators that love writing but are not afraid to draw something on paper and community managers that are willing to help with the social media plan when their colleagues have a day off. Also, there are some typical mistakes you need to avoid.
  • Organizational skills – make sure your employees know how to plan and achieve their goals, and they also keep a clean space (at least in their folders).

Tips for You & Your Social Media Team

Now, that you know where you stand  – you know what roles you need to hire, what to look in these people and what kind of team you want – let’s see some guidelines for your team. Here are some ideas to get you started:

How to Manage the Team – Creatives Need Freedom

Even though you already have your procedures in place, chances are creatives will feel restrained. Just give them a chance even though they have a different schedule, dress differently or choose to have a colorful office. All these help them come with grand ideas.

Find a balance between business rules and what keeps the social media team going. On the other hand, make sure they respect deadlines and achieve goals just like everybody else.

Social Media Team Training

Even though you hire great professionals, they also need training from time to time. So don’t forget to send them to conferences, bring experts to share their knowledge and show that you care about them. This way you will keep them engaged and they will always give 100% for your business.

Social Media Team Workflow

And in order to keep everything in place, establish a workflow with your team. This way, they know what and how they have to do, but most importantly, they know how to communicate inside the team.

Social Media Team Apps & Tools

There is no social media team that doesn’t use apps and tools to communicate and get things done. More and more software is developed to help social media teams automatize their work and focus on more important tasks. Here are some apps and tools you can use for your social media team.

For Emailing – Gmail

Gmail has one of the friendliest interfaces, and its options are just enough for a social media person. Folders, labels, and categories will help your people stay on top of all information and communicate with everybody inside or outside your company.

For File Storage – Google Drive

Social media means a team, so Google Drive is the easiest way to create a collaborative environment for your team. Instead of saving files on computers, it is easier to store them somewhere where everybody has access anytime.

For Team Communication – Slack

Even though social media means a lot of chats, don’t just create a group chat on Facebook, because this way you will diminish your team’s productivity.

Use a dedicated tool like Slack, where you can find everybody in the company, create special channels for teams or projects and integrate it with other tools.

For Task Management – Flow

Social media teams love good design, so if you can provide beautiful tools, with a friendly interface, you got them hooked. One of the most intuitive task management platforms is Flow, a place where you can organize your projects and tasks just the way you like it.

For Content Collaboration – Planable

Content is the main activity for a social media team, and now you can forget about Spreadsheets and Powerpoints. With a content collaboration tool like Planable, you can easily create, approve, and schedule your social media content. No matter how your social media team works, you can reunite everybody in the same place.

For Automation – Automate.io

Social media marketing involves a lot of repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. Check out this list of integrations on Automate.io to find ways to automate your social media campaigns. For example, if you are running a Facebook campaign, you can make use of the Automate.io setup to automatically update a Google spreadsheet with all the captured leads from your Facebook Lead Ads campaign.

For internal communication – Nextiva

Nextiva’s Cloud PBX system is a private employee communication system that operates in the cloud. Run your company’s entire phone system on your existing internet connection. Manage your VoIP phone system without any of the hassles of an on-premises PBX system. A few of the benefits include cost savings (about 60%), vanity numbers for businesses, zero maintenance and secure private connection.

For Social Media Management – SocialPilot

SocialPilot lets you manage 8+ social media platforms from a single interface. This social media management tool helps you in curating, managing, sharing, and analyzing content with collaboration features. You can even create white-label reports to share analytics on your social media performance, run ad campaigns, use Social Inbox to connect with your followers, and more.

Hiring a Social Media Team

You know what type of team you need, how to manage it, what tools to use, but how do you hire the right people?

There is one big thing you should take into consideration when hiring: the job description. Don’t just use a stiff template, write your own job description that matches your company’s dynamics. 

If you’re interested in reading more, check out these awesome resources:

Luciana Nitu

Luciana Nitu

“Digital devotee & data junky. SEO is my religion and Social Media is my playground. Reciprocate is my favorite word for both its meaning and its sound.”

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