The 5 Most Important Skills of a Great Social Media Manager

by Julie Rutherford

When we hear “social media manager,” the first thing that comes to mind is a millennial who graduated with a communications major, did not know what to do with it, and now sits in an office chair and scrolls through Facebook for the majority of his or her day. Although the name of the position sounds quite simple, the job entails complex strategies and tactics that are crucial to an organization’s success. Social media managers contribute significantly to the public-facing image of many companies, as well as to customer relations, marketing, and many other aspects of the business.

Over the past decade, social media has become a key component of most organizations’ communication strategies. Your engagement with people online, as well as the content that you post, can largely impact the way customers perceive your company. With a few strokes of a keyboard, customers can now access thousands of reviews and ratings of your products and services in a matter of seconds. That being said, not just anyone can be a social media manager. Just because you use social media doesn’t necessarily qualify you for this type of position. You need skills in a number of key areas in order to succeed.

Here are five skills that you need in order to be a great social media manager:

Good copywriting 

Strong writing skills are crucial for getting clicks, which in turn increases your user engagement. Social media management involves a lot of original writing–it’s not just reposting other people’s posts and adding a short comment. The key is the ability to express your brand’s distinct voice and effectively engage your target audience via original posts. Social media managers have to get users to act, sometimes using only a few words like a short photo caption. You also need to know how to write effective longer-form blog posts about topics of interest to potential and current customers.

Proficiency in graphic design

Engaging content involves well-written posts as well as visual appeal. Visuals are great for accompanying written text, or as a stand-alone post. Nowadays, videos, gifs, infographics and many more kinds of media are being used to catch people’s attention. Working knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and video editing is a requirement for your professional social media toolkit.

Familiarity with SEO and content optimization 

Top-quality content production is crucial for this position, but what’s the point of writing an amazing 10/10 blog if it has 0 actual reads? In order for your blog to reach interested readers, you need to be able to research keywords, competitors, and effectively write using SEO best practices.

Understanding of analytics

Data on social media engagement isn’t of much use if you can’t analyze it properly. Social media metrics can give you tons of insightful information on your audience’s demographics, the impressions that your content is getting, the rate of people viewing your profile, and overall engagement. It’s very important for social media managers to be able to use a variety of analytics and data points to prove ROI. 

Customer service orientation

Social media platforms are the ideal space to start a conversation with your followers and customers. It gives you a chance to create a community where people with similar interests can come together and interact with each other and your brand. According to Ambassador, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Establishing a positive relationship and engaging with customers online is very important. If you don’t, you risk unhappy customers taking their complaints to Twitter and, unless you have someone to put the fire out fast, you might get into trouble. 

Great writing skills, knowledge of how to visually appeal to users, SEO background, an analytics focus, and customer service orientation are keys to success as a social media manager. Throw in some charisma, curiosity, and a can-do attitude and you’ll be unbeatable!

What top skills do you look for in a Social Media Manager?

Posted in Job Search Tips