Guest post by Eva Chan.
Social media managers create innovative, high-quality content to engage followers and grow their company’s social media presence. And while anyone can use social media to post an Instagram reel or write a short Facebook photo caption, you’ll need to consistently demonstrate a special set of abilities before you can call yourself a social media expert.
Whether you’re an aspiring social media manager looking to grow your skill set, or a marketing leader seeking an experienced professional for your team, below are seven essential skills for social media managers to contribute to your company’s success.
Be adaptable and open to change
Agility is a fundamental skill in social media marketing, essential for continuously adapting to the evolving digital landscape. For example, keeping your audience’s attention with short- and long-form video content has become a much larger priority in recent years.
Social media managers must also juggle multiple responsibilities. For instance, you might write copy for a LinkedIn article, delegate tasks to your team, film a TikTok, and edit video content for YouTube Shorts as part of your regular duties. Other examples of adaptability at work include:
- testing out new strategies on certain platforms;
- listening to your team’s suggestions for improvements;
- staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and news stories; and
- taking new courses and certifications for self-development.
TikTok was launched globally just five years ago, in the fall of 2017. It’s now predicted to have 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022. But users may figure out at any time that it’s Chinese spyware and drop it. Agility is vital.
Hone your ability to track and analyze metrics
A major component of a social media manager’s job is being attentive to numbers, tracking metrics like reach, engagement, click-through rates, and conversions.
Gaining a deeper understanding of analytics platforms (such as Google Analytics) and the metrics behind all your social media accounts enables to more accurately measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and retarget your focus on certain platforms.
Being data-driven also means finding specific patterns and meaning in your data so you can predict what the future holds for your business, build more robust campaigns, and budget accordingly.
Develop an eye for design
When working as a social media manager, keeping your audience engaged with fresh and interesting content is essential. And with that responsibility comes the ability to create high-quality blog posts, videos, images, and graphic assets that stand out in a crowded newsfeed.
Humans are visually oriented and gravitate toward eye-catching content, so refine your visual design skills and knowledge of software programs such as Canva, Figma, and Adobe Creative Suite.
Design skills are becoming increasingly valuable in social media management because captivating visuals encourage people to notice, click on, and share links. Additionally, knowing what types of designs are eye-catching can help you create branded images or logos that build awareness and represent your company in a memorable way.
Become a better writer
A social media manager must be able to write well. Copywriting is a critical marketing skill because it helps you:
- write effective ads;
- produce engaging posts for existing and new followers; and
- build a strong brand identity.
Work on developing your writing skills and avoiding common copywriting mistakes, or find yourself a social media manager who can produce concise and engaging copy (such as newsletters, PR releases, blog posts, video scripts, and captions) for multiple digital platforms.
By practicing your writing skills regularly and encouraging your team to do the same, you’ll be able to communicate your brand’s messaging effectively and motivate your audience to take purposeful action.
Focus on community engagement
An excellent social media manager understands the importance of being “social” in social media, so spend time cultivating positive relationships with your audience and taking a genuine interest in their feedback and engagement.
Being an effective community manager in the social media space means encouraging participation and promptly responding to your followers’ comments, direct messages, tweets, and other forms of feedback.
By encouraging enjoyable conversations, you can ensure your followers’ experience on your social media platforms is positive and plan out future strategies to expand your brand’s reach. And with this skill, you can help build a strong community of followers, customers, and brand advocates who feel heard, trust your brand, and look forward to the content you produce.
Create a team-centered environment
You’ll need to work well within a team to be a successful social media manager. You might lead a team of social media coordinators, so providing constructive feedback, capitalizing on each team member’s strengths, and encouraging a harmonious environment are all signs that you’re an effective leader.
There will also be many opportunities to collaborate on projects and build relationships with key stakeholders within your organization.
For example, you might work with the design team to create engaging graphics or with the SEO team to optimize your campaigns for search engines. Strong teamwork skills will increase your chances of successful campaigns and ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
Build upon your networking skills
Why not join forces in a competitive space filled with other thought leaders, brand ambassadors, and influencers? Networking is a must-have skill if you’re looking to benefit your business and learn from your collaborations.
For instance, reaching out to influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) is a great way to gain new customers and spread awareness for your brand.
Additionally, meeting other professionals in your industry through networking events, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms, and building strategic relationships with them can help you learn innovative techniques, find new leads, and get advice on improving your social media strategy.
Eva Chan is a Career Counselor and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) at Resume Genius, with a background in the education management industry. Eva graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English. She’s since coached several professionals with building their resumes and finding fulfilling work.