More and more UK businesses are looking to hire a social media manager to handle their online community pages, a new survey has revealed.

The study carried out by EpiServer found that out of the British companies they polled, 73% already have, or plan to have within the next 12 months, online community pages such as a company Facebook page or Twitter account.

EpiServer’s survey also discovered that 69% of these companies plan to hire someone to oversee and manage their social media pages with the year, while 41% revealed plans to hire a social media manager within the next 12 months, whereas 28% of those companies polled said they already employed a person to manage their online community pages.

Although the figures initially makes for encouraging news given the short supply of vacancies in the UK’s jobs market, many of these companies admitted they have filled the position for a social media manager in-house as opposed to hiring someone from outside. Typically an employee already working with the company, usually in the marketing or PR department, is drafted in to oversee the running of the company’s social media pages.

The study also highlighted the most challenging areas of the role of social media manager, the first of which is attracting users and fans to the pages, followed by generating fresh and exciting content and dealing with abuse.