If I told you today you only need 7 skills to be a successful social media manager, would that make you feel good?
Or… would you be surprised that it is only 7 skills you need, and not many more?
The truth is this.
You most likely will need many more social media management skills than the 7 I'll be touching on in this article.
I could probably make this a ‘Top 25 list' and not even come close to all the things social media managers need to know and implement to be successful.
For the sake of this article though, I am sticking with these 7 primary social media management skills needed for success.
These 7 skills, when combined, present a well-rounded skillset perfect for the new and seasoned social media manager.
Let's get started.
Here are the 7 skills you need to get started as a social media manager.
Before getting technical, before diving into tools or analytics, before even producing the first piece of content, a social media manager needs to understand the basics of marketing and understand the full capabilities and functionality of each platform s/he will be producing content for. A social media manager will also need to understand how social media marketing integrates with traditional marketing methods.
Whether you will be on a marketing team or flying solo, intimate knowledge of these 7 skills listed below will carry you through, day after day.
Yes, to be a successful social media manager, one needs excellent writing skills.
Remember your English Literature classes in high school and/or college and thinking what a waste of time that class was? Think again!
As social media manager, it will not only be expected you write social media posts and blog articles, you will also need to write an assortment of other pieces. This could include press releases, analytic reports, client email responses, email marketing campaigns, landing page content, eBooks, web content and about pages. Need I go on?
Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.
Make no mistake. It is essential you make no grammatical errors when writing and publishing online. It goes without saying that your spelling should be perfect. Nowadays, we all have access to spell check and free tools like Grammarly. (This writer can not say enough good things about the Grammarly Chrome extension)
Do you want to become a social media manager? Hone your writing (and your keyboarding) skills!
How does math get the second spot on this list of social media management skills?
“Show me the money!”
Any client and any boss as part of a marketing team will hold their social media team accountable for online advertising budgets. Often that financial accountability and responsibility falls to the social media manager. Advertising budgets can include Facebook ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, Google ads and some marketing collateral to accomplish your overall goals.
Social media managers will need to know math to read, interpret and explain ROI of their social and ad campaigns.
Remember those Geometry and Statistics classes? Graphs, charts, percentages. You will need to understand some of these basic concepts as a social media manager.
Next up is creativity. I am fully aware not everyone has a creative mind. However, in order to be a good social media manager one needs some creative ability. A social media manager needs to be able to come up with ideas for marketing campaigns, social media posts, blog articles, web content and more. Social media management will come easier if there is some additional talent for graphic design, photography, videography or creative writing.
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
Without creativity, you'll be forever the implementer, never the true creator or inspiration.
Did you know that many social media managers identify as introverts? Loads of articles have been written about this topic, and it seems rather obvious why introverts would choose a profession where they can ‘hide' behind a screen.
But hold your horses!
Remember, just because someone might identify as an introvert does not mean they don't need to know how to communicate.
Communication is key when working with clients and bosses.
This is especially true in this industry as social media managers are an online representative for the brand, the company, and their reputation is in the hands of the social media manager, more or less!
When working with multiple businesses as a freelance social media manager, or as an agency, it is imperative you set expectations as well as boundaries for your communication methods. Things can go sideways fast!
What is that expression again?
If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.
Fact is, social media managers wear many hats! Organizational skills are a must for anyone contemplating a career in social media management. The more clients and social media platforms managed, the better-organized one needs to be.
Social media managers use task management tools like Basecamp, Asana, Slack, Evernote and Google Docs. Without organization, tasks will eventually fall through the cracks and without preset and specific goals, one would never know when they've arrived at their destination, correct?
Anyone measuring social media efforts, efficiency and ROI needs to be organized in order show results.
“I despise sales”, says nearly every social media manager who ever lived.
Yet, in order to be an effective social media manager, this is a skill one needs to dive into just enough to be dangerous. If nothing else, as a freelancer, a social media manager sells their services to business owners, in essence, selling themselves! As a team member, one needs to be able to ‘sell' their unique ideas and creative campaigns outlines to other team members.
Learn the art of persuasion.
Always go for selling features and benefits, never sell the product or services.
Last but not least, strategic and analytical thinking need to be part of a social media management skills set.
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
In order to have success with social media marketing, one needs to make long-range plans! This requires strategic and analytical thinking. It is recommended each business create a written social media strategic plan with 3, 6 and 12-month goals written out. The social media manager should be involved in the creation of such a plan, along with the business owner, CEO or marketing department. Once goals are set, objectives and tactics need to be set to reach each goal. Detailed strategic moves, campaigns, and content calendars will need to be created to implement this plan.
You are going to need a ‘vision' to succeed in anything you do and that includes social media management.
Do you have all of these 7 skills but need help learning the ropes of social media management?
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.