With the growth of the social media ecosystem, companies have recognized the importance of building a powerful and sustainable brand on social media. Easier said than done. Social media is as much an art as it is a science, which leads many companies to hire roles such as a “social media manager” or “social media coordinator”: someone who knows the ins and outs and can organically scale accounts while creating high-quality content. But, many companies lack the knowledge of how to hire a social media manager who can take their social presence to the next level.
Enter Socionado, a matchmaking service for brands and top-tier and vetted social media managers. On a monthly contract basis, companies can easily hire freelance social media managers that fit their needs. With over 2000 “Socionados” (their epic name for their vetted social media managers) nationwide, Socionado has continued to scale to work with numerous companies and digital agencies, such as Hawke Media. I sat down with co-founders Kofi Frimpong and William Lee to learn more.
HHS: Tell me about how you developed the concept of Socionado.
WL: We previously used to run an influencer marketing agency working with a lot of major brands to amplify products with social media influencers. However, we started to realize that so many companies had issues consistently creating and managing content on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Influencer marketing is only a part of a company’s social media strategy. People don’t realize that it takes a real skill set to grow a following on social media and engage people who could be customers or fans. We wanted to create an efficient way to match talented social media specialists to companies both big and small that needed help.
HHS: So, say that I’m ready to hire my own social media manager through your site. How does Socionado work?
KF: Companies or individuals sign up to our platform and schedule a call with an account manager. Once they’ve been approved to be on our platform they are matched with candidates that fit exactly what they are looking for. They can view profiles, proposals and set up calls. If they like a Socionado that they match with they can agree on a monthly contract and start working with their matched Socionado on a monthly basis.
HHS: I love that it becomes highly personalized once they find their right fit! So for someone who isn’t totally familiar with the roles of social media managers, what type of work does a Socionado do?
KF: A lot! Socionados can work locally or remotely. In-person photography, videography, graphic design for social media platforms, strategy, influencer management, social media growth and community management. Socionados really become a part of your team to manage the day to day activities for a company’s brand on social.
HHS: That also seems like a win-win for the Socianado, too. What types of companies typically use your service?
WL: It really varies. We work with small & local businesses, early-stage startups, digital agencies looking to outsource social media management and more. We have e-commerce brands as customers. Dentists and plastic surgeons. Public speakers. Really anyone that recognizes the importance of having a voice on social media that wants to hire an affordable freelance social media manager to help convey the desired image.
HHS: So, what about for our social media manager hopefuls – what’s the application process to become a Socionado on your platform?
KF: We take our application process with Socionados very seriously. They have to fill out an intensive application first. If they pass that application then they are scheduled for a phone interview which also includes a mock initial call with a client. Our team also does reference checks and we prefer Socionados who are actively building their own personal brands as social media experts on various social media platforms.
HHS: Social media is such a diverse and ambiguous industry now, with so many different platforms and strategies… What’s the biggest misconception about being a social media manager?
WL: The biggest misconception for a company is that you can hire a college intern or millennial to manage social media for your brand and everything will be ok. If it was that easy to grow your social media presence and engagement then everyone would do that. It really takes someone with skill and talent to create engaging content to grow a brand on social media. You get what you pay for. A social media manager serves as the voice for your brand. Remember that next time you hire someone for the position.
HHS: That’s good to know! Definitely look for credibility. So, why would someone choose Socianado over typical freelance hiring sites, like Upwork?
KF: Customization and speed. When you post a job like “Social Media Manager” on Upwork you are going to receive over 100 applications. It’s pretty time-consuming to vet all those potential candidates who may or may not fit what you are looking for. With Socionado within 48 hours you will receive 3-5 social media managers that fit the credentials of what you are looking for. Need an LA-based social media manager that has a photography background? We’ll provide you with a few candidates that fit that bill with references.
We also vet potential customers before they come on our platform. This helps to ensure that our Socionados get great clients who understand their value and worth. All potential clients have to be prepared to spend a minimum of $1k/month.
HHS: Once again, I love that customization process. Now, I have to know… how did you come up with the name Socionado?
WL: We love hearing guesses from people about this one. Socionado is a play on the word “aficionado”. Someone knowledgeable and skilled in the social media space.
HHS: So cute! What are the demographics of your Socionados?
WL: We have over 2000 Socionados on our platform. Over 70% of our Socionados are women. We’re really proud to say we provide a lot of women with ample opportunities to make supplemental income. We focus on getting Socionados in large cities as well including Los Angeles, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. However, our Socionados are located all over the country. Over 30% of our Socionados are bilingual.
HHS: That’s amazing! And finally, what’s the end goal for Socionado?
KF: We want to be the first channel every business thinks of when building a social media presence. After developing a website, your social media channel is important to engage potential fans and customers. Your competitors are absolutely utilizing social media and if you aren’t you are going to fall behind in this day and age. We want to make it affordable and easy for companies to handle their social media.