Social media is a thriving industry, with hundreds of new vacancies listed each month. So, if you have a highly-skilled social media team, it’s crucial to understand how you can keep them happy, fulfilled and willing to work for you for the long-term. In this blog, we look at five key ways to retain top social media talent and how to adopt them for your business.


According to McKinsey’s ‘War on Talent’ report, great leadership is the highest driver of employee happiness. A huge 89% of employees reported higher job satisfaction when management is “inspirational, supportive and empowering”. This can be achieved by:

  1. Being credible. Employees need to feel that managers and founders have the knowledge to make the right decisions. For social media, this doesn’t necessarily mean that seniors in the company need an in-depth understanding of channels and tactics. However, a lack of knowledge which leads to over-selling, asking for unachievable outcomes or just general ignorance won’t fly.
  2. Avoiding conservatism. Talented social media managers need the room and support to be ambitious and bold in their roles. A boss that stifles this risks their employees becoming disinterested. On the flipside, a boss that actively encourages it – and also embodies it – will inspire and retain talent.
  3. Backing them. To be able to produce excellent work, it’s likely that top talent will want to innovate. Empowering employees to explore new things, trusting their decisions and supporting them when selling into the rest of the business is crucial.

This Forbes article takes a deeper look at the impact leadership can have on employee retention.


A recent BUPA study found that 53% of people identified trust as the primary reason to stay with a company. More significantly, a quarter of employees have left a previous workplace because of a lack of trust.

When managing social media talent, you can demonstrate trust by:

  • Avoiding micro-management and enabling autonomy.
  • Allowing them to fail. Social media is ever-changing, so it’s crucial that employees are able to test and learn. If employees are scared of reporting the occasional sub-par result, they will avoid innovating.
  • Offering flexible working hours. Productivity levels differ from person-to-person, yet the standard 9-5 doesn’t reflect this. Allowing your employees to choose their own hours will enable them to produce work more efficiently, at a time that suits them.

At Avocado Social, we believe whole-heartedly in placing trust in our team. Remote-working and flexible hours is our norm, and it works incredibly well for us.


Talented staff must know that they will be able to grow and progress in their role. In an employee’s eyes, there’s nothing worse than feeling like their skills are going to waste in an unfulfilling job. While it’s unrealistic to promise regular promotions, setting challenging objectives, offering more responsibility and regularly reviewing progress will go a long way to meeting this need. To achieve this, it’s key to meet with your employees regularly. We recommend weekly check-ins, quarterly objective setting, and yearly reviews.


Similarly, it’s crucial that talented employees are given the chance to develop their skills. We love that social media agency Battenhall ringfences 20% of each employees’ time each month for learning and development. Staff can use this time to learn new languages, work on charity projects or develop their existing skills. The agency claims that this “fosters innovation, keeps us productive, and through our additional work, helps keep our clients happy too.

Of course, an 80/20-time split might be unachievable for many businesses, but there are lots of other things you can do. Offering employees the chance to go to industry events and workshops or setting aside a budget for relevant training courses can go a long way to fostering development. And of course, allowing enough time for them to catch up on the latest social media news is an (often overlooked) non-negotiable.


Lastly, and perhaps most obviously, talented staff need to be paid their worth. In an industry full of job opportunities, employees will start to look for higher-salaries if they feel undervalued. If you’re serious about having the best individuals on your team, you’ll need to have the budget to match. Ultimately, the investment will pay dividends in the work they produce.

The tips listed above will go a long way to helping you retain top talent within your business. If you’re looking to attract new talent, why not post your vacancy on the Avocado Social Jobs Board?

Images: Unsplash, @janlosert via @workhardanywhere, Unsplash, Unsplash