Considering a social media manager? Re-evaluating the one that you currently have? Just
randomly browsing my website?
Whatever your situation, I’m here to tell you that not just anyone can be a social media
manager and that despite the assumption that if teenagers use social media anyone can,
being a social media manager takes a very specific set of skills that require a specific
type of person.
Here are the top four qualities I think you should prioritize in a social media manager!
1. TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Alright, let’s start with the basics: you can’t have a social media manager who doesn’t
know how to effectively use the platform. It should go without saying, but let’s get into
Understanding and mastery of social media platforms
Social media isn’t just throwing images up on Twitter: there’s a fairly enormous depth of
knowledge required to understand and use these platforms.
In brief, a social media manger should be a master at:
- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+, and more
- Analytics and metrics from those sites
- Design software
- Scheduling programs like Buffer and Hootsuite
- Monitoring for brand mentions
- Competitor analysis
- Paid social campaigns
- Google and Bing Adwords
- WordPress and other blog hosting sites
The ability to extract metrics and interpret them
On top of that, your social media manager needs to be able to tell you how your
campaigns went and what they did for you.
Any social media professional worth their salt will be able to give you details of the
traffic, leads, conversion, CPM, and a huge host of other social media metrics floating
More than that, they need to be able to tell you what these raw numbers mean, not just
slap them in a spreadsheet and dump them in your lap. Numbers tell a story, and social
media metrics can tell you a lot about how your brand and your content are doing.
An understanding of emerging trends
To make it more complicated, social media analytics and platforms change constantly,
and the algorithms and best practices behind them are often intentionally shrouded in
mystery. Mastery and success at these platforms requires constant attention to changing
platforms, which in turn requires reading industry reports, white papers, and
2. ORGANIZATION SKILLS TO PLAN AHEAD AND BE CONSISTENT
Consistent and effective social media that generates ROI requires work. It just does
There’s a lot of moving elements involved in social media posting, so you need someone
with a cool head and an organized life to be able to keep everything running smoothly.
Effective scheduling for maximum results
No social media manager recommends “just posting whenever.”
If you want to turn your social media into a marketing tool, you have to post consistently
and schedule ahead of time to harness the power of brand recognition and keep your
content in front of potential customers.
Learning to use scheduling tools and capitalizing on the best times to post social media
content across different platforms isn’t something just anyone can do, and it takes a
person with an organized mind and the ability to sit down, focus on getting a task done,
and schedule posts well in advance to prevent any slip ups.
Coordinating posts across multiple platforms
On that note, social media managers also need to post the right content on the right
You may have a great post in mind, but that post needs a custom graphic in a different
size for each platform you want to post to, and the post should also go out at different
times of day and use different hashtags.
One piece of content often needs to be configured six different ways across platforms.
you have to be organized to be able to get that all done on a regular basis without mixing
Keeping a consistent brand voice
On top of all that, your brand’s voice needs to resonate as distinctly yours across all those
platforms while still fitting in with posting best practices. This shows up in the language
you write your copy in, the look and feel of the graphics, and sometimes even the content
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE
Social media managers work with social media, which inherently requires a competency
with and understanding of basic human psychology. As anyone who’s ever been on the
internet knows, that’s not just any person in the world.
Starting with the why
When you’re scrolling through your social feeds, you’d very rarely engage with content
just out of the blue. There’s a reason people engage with certain content over others, and
social media managers are attentive to details like that.
Having a depth of emotional awareness, a familiarity of social media posting behaviors,
and a good grasp on social media metrics can give social professionals a depth of
psychological insight into what works and what doesn’t
Drawing conclusions from other posts
Data and psychology go hand in hand, and your social media manager is your guide for
figuring it out for your specific audience and brand.
If one post performs another, social media managers can take that data, look at the
content, the copy, the graphic, and infer things about the data that tell the story.
Remember what I was saying earlier about data being narrative? This trait is why that’s
Additionally, emotional and psychological competence are very important for the
increasing role of customer service on social media.
If a customer tweets at you that they’re angry about your product, your social media
manager is the person who’s going to see that first. They need to be able to field that
criticism and resolve the issue in a public venue that has the power to sway other clients
and potential clients.
4. THE CREATIVITY TO ELEVATE THE ORDINARY TO THE EXTRAORDINARY
On top of the data, psychological background, and organizational skills, your social
media manager needs to have an innate creativity that delights and inspires your
Lots of people can write well, but writing for social media really is its own beast. If
you’ve got a background in writing investment reports, for example, you’re not
necessarily going to have the skills to condense a 2,000 word white paper into a 140 word
Tweet that gets engagement.
Copywriting is completely essential, because even though good design is also very
important, you can’t tell people what and why you’re selling without using the best
words. Fitting a captivating narrative into your social media presence lets you sell your
brand the way you want it to be understood, and it’ll make you look good while you’re
Adding in images
It’s no secret in the social media world that adding in a visual or graphic increases
engagement, so content you share needs an effective graphic that captures the attention
of consumers who are constantly saturated with images and messages.
How do you capture their attention and hold it without annoying them? Good design and
beautiful images are the key. Graphic design skills will give you the most polished and
professional result, so a social media manager with an eye for design is critical. They
don’t have to be geniuses, but they must be able to visually package what you’re sharing
or selling in an appealing way.
There’s my short summary of the top 4 strengths of a good social media manager, but
believe me when I say that it doesn’t even come close to covering all the aspects of this
job. Social media managers work hard in a highly technical field that requires a balance
of organization, creativity, and data, and we love it!
What did I miss? Leave me a comment, or get in touch if you’re interested in partnering