20 Essential Skills and Qualities for Social Media Managers

Skilled social media manager working on laptop

Social media was once seen as a pastime, something you look at when you want a quick break from work or to occupy you on your commute. But for a number of lucky professionals, being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat is what their job is all about!

It’s increasing in popularity in a number of other marketing roles, too, and hiring managers want to see that you possess the right professional skills on your otherwise well-written CV. Which pleads the question: what exactly is it that you need to succeed in this role?

To find out what essential skills and qualities you need to progress in today’s digital landscape and become a social media manager, keep reading!

1. Creativity

To stand out from the crowd in a job market with stiff competition, you need to have the ability to create captivating and powerful marketing strategies for social media. In other words, you need to be a trendsetter that everyone wants to follow if you really want to bag yourself that dream job.

2. Strategic Planning

You need to have meticulous planning skills and be up-to-date on the industry know-hows. You’ll first need to know the best times to post – you wouldn’t want to release your new product when Super Bowl’s on, for example, as your product will most likely get lost in the sea of Super Bowl comments and tweets. You also need the right tools to automate your posts for your desired times.

3. Tactics and Execution

Social media managers need to know all the tactics to engage their readers and followers. Meaning, you need to have excellent attention to detail, as well as understand how to accurately execute marketing strategies and campaigns.

4. Community Management

Being able to control and manage an online community is vital when working with social media. You need to be able to create, observe and respond to conversations within your brand community. You also need to be able to manage negative feedback and deal with trolls.

5. Content Curation

You must be able to gather information from a number of resources and share interesting content you come across with your social channels to keep your audience engaged. This could be news articles, videos, infographics or even images.

6. Search Engine Optimisation

Being able to understand basic SEO processes is essential in order for your keywords and phrases to rank high on Google. You need to know how to convert this traffic into returning customers and increase your audience.

7. Writing

You need to have a way with words and should be able to write interesting and captivating material. You also need to know how to adjust your writing style according to your audience, which may differ from one platform to another.

8. Digital Marketing

With such high technological advancements, it’s evolving faster than we can even imagine. For this reason, you need to stay on top of all the latest digital marketing trends and be able to adapt and master them in a limited amount of time.

9. Analytical

When social media first came onto the scene, there were no tools to measure the results of marketing campaigns or to analyse readership and engagement. Now, however, analytical tools provide plenty of data to improve social media marketing efforts and make informed decisions instead of relying on assumptions.

10. Leadership

In order to be a great social media manager, it’s important to have great leadership skills. You need to keep your team motivated and your customers engaged. As a leader, you’ll need to be good at delegating and managing all the fine details involved in the online community.

11. Communication

This may seem like an obvious skill to possess, but in order to succeed in this role, you need to be a great communicator. You need to have the personality to find a link between your brand and your followers and think about your how can target your message on different platforms. Take Starbucks for example, who is savvy at sharing slightly different images to promote the same product on a number of outlets.

12. Organisation

We’ve all been there where you’ve found a hilarious video on Facebook, decided to share it with all your friends and then ended up spending 30 minutes browsing through other hilarious clips. As a social media manager, this is an example of what you should not be doing. Instead, you need to be organised and efficient to ensure you get all the tasks on your checklist ticked off with ample time to spare.

13. Willingness to Learn

Some workers, especially managers, get set in their ways and refuse to change their processes. In the ever-evolving world of social media, though, you need to have the willingness and initiative to continue learning new tricks of the trade and expanding your knowledge. If you don’t, you’ll soon become out of touch and will miss the ticket to your big break.

14. Relationship Building

Apart from connecting with their current audience, brands also need to develop vital relationships with celebrities and influencers. In order to do this, they need to use some old-school PR tricks and build authentic relationships without spamming consumers’ feeds with influential promotions.

15. Sales and Budgeting

You need to have the skills to sell online, which is actually harder than face-to-face or telephone sales. You also need to be good at budgeting and keep a tally of the expenditure that has gone into Facebook ads or celebrity gifting, for example.

16. Design and Graphics

We’re not saying you need to be a trained graphic designer but you should have a strong understanding of what it entails and have some basic Photoshop skills to edit images.

17. Public Speaking

With videos becoming the ‘it’ thing on social media, you need to good at public speaking. Live videos are one of the best ways to engage with your followers, so get practicing with your sales pitch. You need to come across as confident and well-presented if you’re going to be in the public eye.

18. Customer Service

In order to succeed online and have a good reputation, you need to possess excellent customer service skills. It’s not just about selling; it’s about listening to people’s problems and helping them solve them, too. It’s about engaging in conversation and being at the end of the platform in times of need. After all, many retail store consumers are turning to the companies’ Facebook and Twitter pages to complain about bad experiences and expect a response in less than four hours!

19. Business Savvy

A good social media manager is able to tie the company’s ethos into their online presence. They’re able to see the bigger picture and they understand its role in the company. They know how to develop and promote campaigns.

20. Adaptable

Look at Mark Zuckerburg, the king of social media: he has succeeded and grown to immense heights because he is adaptable. He notices a trend emerging and quickly adapts so he can stay ahead of the curve. This is evident with Instagram and Facebook updates, now offering live stories and video banners.

The role of a social media manager is a necessity for any business, no matter the size. By ensuring that you have these skills and qualities, you’ll be able to succeed in your job search and overall career development.

Do you work in social media? If so, are there any other skills you think are needed to succeed? Join in on the conversation below to let us know…