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. 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 specifics.
Understanding and Mastery of Social Media Platforms
Social media isn’t just throwing images up on Twitter: there’s a quite a bit of knowledge required to understand and use these platforms. In brief, a social media manager 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 analytics
- WordPress and other blog hosting sites
- Newsletter and sales funnels
… and more!
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 other metrics that will determine your return on investment.
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.
Personally, I love to use Cyfe.com for most of my client reporting.
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 require constant attention to changing trends, which in turn requires reading industry reports, studying white papers, and attending conferences.
2 // ORGANIZATION SKILLS TO PLAN AHEAD AND BE CONSISTENT
Consistent and effective social media that generates ROI requires work. It just does.Consistent and effective social media that generates ROI requires work. It just does.Click To Tweet
There are 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 channels.
You may have a great post in mind, but that post may also need a few tweaks depending on where you post it. It could require:
- custom graphics sized for each platform
- custom caption lengths
- hashtags specific to how that platform is used
One piece of content often needs to be configured multiple ways across platforms. You have to be organized to be able to get that all done on a regular basis without mixing everything up.
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 itself.
3 // PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE
Social media managers work with social media, which inherently requires a competency with an 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 so important!
Additionally, emotional and psychological competence is 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 followers.
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 doing it!
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 with me!
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.