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You Need These Roles on Your Social Media Team [Skills + Salaries]

Ready to build your dream social media team? These are the primary roles, responsibilities, and salary expectations you should keep in mind.

Chloe West October 23, 2023

There are endless benefits to using social media for business. But social success is a lot more complex than posting occasionally on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to reap the rewards that social media marketing can offer your business, you need an all-star social media team.

If you’re new to hiring social media managers, you may not know what to look for, who to hire, and how to onboard your team for success. But we can help!

In this article, we’ll cover the basic roles that every high-performing social media team needs, the average salaries for these roles, and go over a step-by-step guide for building your dream team.

Let’s get started.

Bonus: Our free social media manager career toolkit includes resume, cover letter, and portfolio templates, along with a complete guide to social media job descriptions and frequently asked interview questions. You got this!

What does a social media team do?

In the strictest sense, a social media team manages and maintains your brand’s presence on social media. But depending on your team’s size and your brand’s social media goals, this can mean many different things.

For example, if you run a small business or startup, you might hire a single social media manager to build brand awareness on a few platforms.

Or, if you’re maintaining the online presence for a retail company, you might have a larger social media team focusing more on social commerce to generate more sales.

This team could include a content creator filming aspirational lifestyle content, a paid ads specialist running campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, a community manager engaging with your audience, and a social media manager coordinating your overall social strategy.

What your specific social media team does can vary wildly. But at its core, they manage and maintain your brand’s social media presence.

Are you paid enough?

Download our Social Media Career Report for stats on social media manager salaries, benefits, job satisfaction, mental health, and more.

Get the report

The components of a high-performing social media team [roles and salaries]

To maximize the performance of your social media team, their output, and your brand’s overall chance at success, there are several major roles you’ll want to consider hiring for.

Social media manager

The social media manager is the core of your social media team. And if you can only hire a single team member, let it be this person.

A social media manager is the generalist position—they know the ins and outs of each social media platform, the types of content to create, how to build a strategy, how to create content, and other basic skills for running a brand’s social media.

Here’s a sample list of responsibilities from a job posting for a social media manager:

responsibilities listed on a sample social media manager job description include "Managing, developing, and executing social media content strategy, content development and calendar (daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly)"

If you’re building a larger social media team, the social media manager will be the person calling the shots. They’ll create the social strategy and work with the rest of the team to ensure it’s properly implemented.


  • Social media platforms
  • Strategy development
  • Strategy implementation
  • Content planning
  • Content creation
  • Copywriting/copyediting
  • Social monitoring
  • Social listening
  • Social media analytics
  • Social media reporting
  • Communication
  • Management

According to Hootsuite’s own Eileen Kwok, other must-have skills/characteristics include “curiosity, tenacity, and creativity.”

“Being a social media manager can be an overwhelming job,” she continues. “That’s why the ones that are naturally curious about all things social, have the desire to always learn and improve, and most importantly place creativity at the forefront of their values will succeed in the role.”

Tools needed:

  • Social media management tools (like *ahem* Hootsuite 😉 )
  • Project management tools (like Monday, Wrike, or Asana)
  • Collaboration tools (like Slack or Teams)
  • Brainstorming/whiteboarding tools (Miro, Lucidchart, and more)
  • Content creation tools (Canva, Adobe Creative Suite, Grammarly, and more)

Reports to: Marketing Director or CMO

Average salary: $70,287

Content creator

A content creator focuses solely on digital content creation for a brand’s social media platforms.

The content created can include quick graphics, captions, videos, skits, photos, and any other content your brand wants to publish on social media.

Here are a few of the responsibilities listed for a content creator role with a news organization:

This role is almost like a jack of all trades, depending on the types of content a company needs.

The content creator may focus specifically on photography or TikTok creation, for example, while other members of the social media team might be responsible for the overarching content strategy.


  • Trendspotting
  • Graphic design
  • Videography
  • Photography
  • Copywriting/editing
  • Communication

Tools needed:

  • Graphic design tools (like Canva, Adobe Creative Suite, and more)
  • Video editing tools (like iMovie, CapCut, or Final Cut Pro)
  • Photo editing tools (Snapseed, VSCO, Lightroom, and more)

Reports to: Social Media Manager

Average salary: $61,988

Community manager

A community manager is responsible for engaging and interacting with customers and followers directly on social media.

These duties can range from managing customer service on social media to building a separate community specifically for customers.

For example, some community managers help engage with Slack communities or Facebook Groups to build an engaged community of customers and followers.

Other community managers handle the brand’s social inbox, responsible for quick responses to all brand mentions and messages.

This job posting for a community manager role focuses on building relationships using social:


  • Social media platforms
  • Community platforms
  • Customer service
  • Community building
  • Public relations
  • Relationship building
  • Communication

Tools needed:

  • Social media management tools (like Hootsuite)
  • Social media monitoring tools (Hootsuite, Mentionlytics, and others)

Reports to: Social Media Manager

Average salary: $61,242

A paid social media specialist gets into the nitty-gritty with your brand’s social media ads. This person should know all (or most) social ads dashboards like the back of their hands. Their job includes ad strategy, targeting and creation, as well as reporting and analysis.

A paid social media specialist has a more analytical role and is much different from your standard social media manager or content creator.

The responsibilities for a paid social role differ accordingly:

If you can afford to hire two team members, consider hiring a social media manager to handle your organic social media and a paid social media specialist to manage your social media advertising.


  • Social media ads
  • Social media analytics
  • Budget management
  • Ad targeting
  • Media buying
  • Copywriting/copyediting
  • Creative strategy
  • Ad optimization

Tools needed:

  • Native ad management tools
  • Social media advertising tools (like Hootsuite)
  • Social ad analytics tools (native platform tools or all-in-one solutions like Hootsuite)

Reports to: Social Media Manager/Marketing Director/CMO

Average salary: $50,237

Social data analyst

A social data analyst analyzes performance and behavior across your brand’s social accounts and campaigns and translates their insights into meaningful business decisions.

An analyst is responsible for building reports and monitoring the overall numbers that reflect your brand’s social media performance. Data and spreadsheets are the bread and butter of this role.

While social media managers should also be able to understand and interpret basic social media analytics, a social data analyst can take this further, transforming raw data to explain why a shift has occurred or a trend should be pursued.

Job postings for analyst roles tend to focus much more on uncovering insights and reporting on data:

Hiring a social analyst to manage the data frees up your social media managers and content creators to focus on campaign ideation, audience engagement, customer care, and more.


  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Python
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Dashboard and report building
  • Communication

Tools needed:

  • Social media analytics tools (like native platform tools or Hootsuite)
  • Data visualization software (like Tableau, Looker Studio, or Google Charts)
  • Spreadsheet tools (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and more)

Reports to: Social Media Manager

Average salary: $57,352

Graphic designer

A graphic designer handles the more in-depth social media graphics. These can include campaign graphics, infographics, and email marketing visual assets.

This person focuses specifically on high-quality, professional graphics. While a content creator might use Canva or Visme, a skilled graphic designer likely favors tools like Adobe.

This role may seem like a luxury for a social media team, but it can be extremely important for visual businesses. Your graphic designer works alongside your content creator, paid ads specialist, and social media manager to ensure your brand’s style is cohesive across every touchpoint.

Many graphic designers don’t focus solely on social media. Instead, they can cover a wide range of design requests:


  • Design principles
  • Typography
  • Branding
  • UX and UI design
  • Creativity
  • Communication

Tools needed:

  • Professional design software (like Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, or After Effects)

Reports to: Social Media Manager/Paid Ads Specialist

Average salary: $49,746

Influencer marketer

An influencer marketer oversees your brand’s influencer partnerships and campaigns. This person manages everything from researching the right influencers and reaching out to creating and managing the campaign.

While a social media manager for a small team can also handle some influencer marketing partnerships, having a dedicated influencer manager role is important if your brand wants to capitalize on influencer relationships.

Influencer marketing requires a fairly diverse skillset, since you’re often in charge of all aspects of influencer campaigns. As this sample job description shows, collaboration is a high-priority skill for an influencer marketer:


  • Outreach
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Strategy building
  • Critical thinking
  • Relationship building
  • Campaign planning and performance tracking
  • Project management

Tools needed:

  • Influencer marketing platforms and outreach software (Upfluence, Mavrck, CreatorIQ, and more)
  • Social media analytics tools (like Hootsuite)

Reports to: Social Media Manager/Marketing Director/CMO

Average salary: $78,056

Are you paid enough?

Download our Social Media Career Report for stats on social media manager salaries, benefits, job satisfaction, mental health, and more.

Get the report

How to build your own social media team in 5 steps

Now that you know the main components of a stellar social media team, it’s time to start thinking about building the team of your company’s dreams. Follow these five steps to get started.

1. Review your current status

Before you make any big changes, look at your company’s current approach to social media.

Do you have anyone working on your social media accounts? Are they doing so in addition to their primary role, or is social media their main responsibility? Do you have accounts on the social platforms that make the most sense for your audience? Are there any networks you should pay more attention to or deprioritize in the future?

You also need to look at your budget. In a perfect world, every company would have one or more people in each of the roles we mentioned.

But that comes with a huge cost that not every business can pay. So what kind of budget do you have to hire? And how many roles are non-negotiable for your dream team?

Once you know where you’re starting from, you’ll have a better idea of the gaps you need to fill.

2. Decide on your social media goals

The next step is to decide your social media goals. Knowing your goals can help you determine which roles are a priority to fill.

For example, say you want to go viral on TikTok and gain a huge following. You might want to focus your hiring efforts on a content creator with short-form video experience.

If you want to improve your reach and sales, you might want to hire a paid ads specialist before anyone else.

“Set your expectations and get really clear on what you are looking for,” Kwok says.

“Social media managers are often asked to cover a wide variety of tasks, but you should avoid looking for a one-size-fits-all unicorn. Instead, get clear on the goals you want to achieve and work backwards.”

“Jot down your list of priorities and be mindful of what’s achievable from one person or a team.”

Some goals you might choose to focus on include:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Higher web traffic
  • Increased sales
  • Improved customer experience

Knowing your goals helps you determine which roles to add onto your social media team.

3. Decide how many team members you need

Say you currently have one social media manager but want to increase your investment in social and take your online presence to the next level. In that case, you might need to hire three more people: a content creator, community manager, and paid ads specialist.

On the other hand, you might have your basic roles covered, but you want to allow your team to specialize and hone their strengths in a particular area. If so, you probably want to hire more people for more specialized roles.

Whatever your situation, when deciding how many new team members you need to hire, keep your budget and goals top of mind.

If you want to improve your brand’s reputation and increase sales, those duties fall under two different roles (more on that below).

If you have $200,000 to spare in your marketing budget, you can hire for two (maybe even three) roles. Follow the next step to decide which roles to start hiring for.

4. Select the roles you need to fill

You’ve figured out your existing social media coverage, decided on a budget you’re comfortable with, pinpointed the goals you want your social media team to achieve, and figured out how many people you can afford to hire.

It’s time to align all those things with the skills and roles your team needs to take your brand to the next level on social media.

Let’s look at the list of goals we gave as an example in the last section. Now, let’s align those with the social media skills needed to achieve them:

Social goalsSkills required
Increased brand awarenessStrategy building and content creation
Improved brand reputationCustomer service and communication
Higher web trafficSocial media analytics and advertising
Increased salesStrategy building and social media advertising
Improved customer experienceCustomer service and communication

Now, let’s look at the roles that would match each of these skills:

Social goalsRoles required
Increased brand awarenessSocial Media Manager
Improved brand reputationCommunity Manager
Higher web trafficPaid Social Media Specialist
Increased salesSocial Media Manager/Paid Social Media Specialist
Improved customer experienceCommunity Manager

You can then prioritize the order you hire in or the roles you choose to fill based on the social media goals (and budget) you’ve already outlined.

5. Bring your new social media superstars on board

Ready to hire? Create your job ads, post them online, and wait for the applications to roll in. Once that happens, you can start vetting, interviewing, and hiring your brand-new social media team.

To make sure you’re bringing on the right people, pay attention to:

  • Skills mentioned in their resume
  • Platforms they have experience with
  • Industries they’ve worked in
  • Specific roles they’ve done before

Make sure these details support the goals you want to achieve. Then, reach out for an interview to get a better feel for the candidate.

At this stage, consider having each candidate do some sort of paid test, like creating a micro-strategy for your brand or creating some social media content. Work samples can help you gauge a candidate’s skills and determine whether they’re right for your company.

Hootsuite’s Trish Riswick has another way to gauge a candidate’s experience. She says, “When we’re hiring for a new role, the first thing I look at is past experience. If they’ve worked as a social media manager for another brand, it’s really good to see what they were doing at those companies.”

“Then,” she continues, “I’ll look at those company pages to see how this person influenced the company they were with. It’s a great opportunity to see their skills in action, acting as a portfolio of what they’re capable of and what they can bring to the table.”

Finally, it’s time to hire and onboard your new team. Be sure to create a brand guide for your existing social media guidelines—but if you’re still new, let the hire know there’s wiggle room for change. Introduce them to any existing team members and let them know what you want to accomplish.

You did it! Time to sit back, focus on running your business, and let your social media team work their magic.

Frequently asked questions about social media teams

What is a social media team?

A social media team is a group of employees that works on building and maintaining a brand’s social media presence. This team could consist of a single person or be a wide-ranging team with several social media managers, creators, and analysts.

How much does it cost to hire a social media team?

Costs for hiring a social media team vary based on your company’s needs. A full-scale team of 7+ members could end up with an annual overhead of nearly (or more than) $500,000. But you can always build a smaller team or even hire a freelance social media manager or agency for a lower cost depending on your budget and needs.

Should you hire a social media manager?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Running a business takes a lot of time and energy. Don’t try to do it all by managing your own social media profiles too. A skilled social media team can help your brand see success on social media.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. Publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage your audience, measure results, and more — all from one simple dashboard. Try it free today.

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By Chloe West

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not working, you'll find her playing card games or watering her plants.

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