The rise of social media in the past decade has necessitated the role of a social media manager in many businesses. In fact, social media managers are more important than ever, since they help companies to connect with their customers, improve brand awareness, and build a loyal base of customers.
Due to the wide range of tasks that social media managers perform, people who excel in the position must possess a range of skills and certain desirable traits. Here are the top 9 skills and qualities that are essential for success.
The Top 5 Skills Every Social Media Manager Needs
While social media managers need to be well-versed in a variety of different things, the following 5 skills represent the foundational basics.
1. A Mastery of the Written Word
A social media manager’s duties often include writing short Facebook posts, tweets, articles, and profile descriptions for a variety of social media networks. Since the primary goal is to capture attention and boost engagement, copywriting is an essential skill.
Knowledge of proven copywriting formulas can make the difference between bland, forgettable posts, and captivating, inspiring copy. Social media managers also need to know best copywriting practices for each social network, and be able to optimize content for each one.
Since social media managers usually have to convey information in as few words as possible, proper editing skills are a must-have. Tools like the Hemingway App and Grammarly are great for ensuring readability, precision, and proper grammar, and should be part of every social media manager’s toolkit.
2. A Dedication to Customer Service
With a sizeable chunk of customers preferring social media for customer support, a social media manager must be able to provide a good customer service experience. This often involves answering questions about products and services, and in some instances, even providing technical help.
Many customers who take to social media to find support expect quick, helpful responses. If they have a nice customer service experience, they’ll be a lot more likely to recommend the company’s services to others. Thus, social media managers need to be empathetic, proactive, and responsive. They should also possess good conversational skills and the ability to connect with consumers.
3. Community Management Expertise
Social media managers are often tasked with the responsibility of helping to build a community of active consumers on social media. This helps consumers connect with the company – and with each other. Research shows that high levels of customer engagement on social media communities can lead to an increase in revenue.
As such, a social media manager, therefore, must be a good facilitator and prompt healthy discussions about the company and its services.
4. A Keen Eye for Creativity in Designs
The ability to create visual content has become a vital skill for social media managers. Research indicates that posts with images have higher engagement levels than plain text updates, and quite frankly, many people simply enjoy seeing video content.
Social media managers need to have an eye for good design and must be able to create appealing images, videos, and infographics.
Fortunately, there are an endless number of tools available that make creating visual content quicker and easier than ever. Also, thanks to improvements in smartphone camera technology, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to capture great photos and videos.
5. Analytical Abilities
Social media managers must be able to make sense of analytics reports from a variety of different sources so that they can measure the performance in relation to goals, as well as determine what strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
Both business metrics (such as leads, traffic, and conversions) and social media metrics (like the number of shares, likes, and comments generated by posts) can give valuable insight into the effectiveness of a social media marketing strategy.
The ability to identify what posts and channels brought in the most leads and conversions can help to optimize campaigns quicker, which in turn, improves ROI.
4 Desirable Qualities that Top Social Media Managers Possess
Besides mastering the aforementioned skills, great social media managers must also possess certain attributes that are critical in navigating through the complicated and ever-changing landscape.
The social media landscape is constantly changing, so social media managers must be able to adapt to new trends quickly if the work they do is to stay relevant. This means being able – and willing – to learn new skills.
For example, the shift in mainstream content from text to images means that social media managers now need to be great graphic designers. And with video content becoming increasingly more popular, skills like video editing and filmmaking are becoming more in-demand.
Great social media managers constantly tinker and experiment with new strategies, obsessively stay up-to-date with new technologies, and are fascinated by all the changes that take place in the industry as a whole.
They also geek out over new reports containing valuable data about digital marketing.
In other words, top social media managers not only enjoy doing what they do, but they also love learning about what they do.
3. Efficient and Organized
Top social media managers are goal-oriented and time efficient. They carefully schedule all the activities they have to juggle, including social media posts. They also regularly plan to ensure the alignment of their social media goals with business goals.
Social media managers must also be good project managers since they often times must organize and coordinate social media campaigns and growth initiatives from different individuals within the company. They must be able to balance the requests of others with their own ideas and strategies.
4. Business Savvy
Top social media managers not only know how to manage social media accounts, but they also understand how social media fits into the company’s overall business strategy. They know exactly how social media can help generate more revenue for the company, and they make the right tactical decisions to help achieve these overarching goals.
The ideal social media manager is business minded and constantly focuses on taking the company’s business to the next level. Such a manager understands how the entire marketing funnel works, and knows which leads to nurture, as well as how to nurture them.
Good Social Media Managers Are Constantly Evolving
Great social media managers don’t become that way overnight.
They spend countless hours learning the landscape, testing and tweaking strategies, and analyzing the numbers. They are constantly coming up with new and creative ideas to test out: some of which are surprisingly successful, and others that they probably wish had never seen the light of day.
They are versatile, adaptable and quick on their feet, as well as creative, quirky and driven.