Want to Be a Successful Social Media Manager? You Need These 6 Skills

Lauren Durfy

Just a few short years ago there weren’t many business professionals with the title Social Media Manager, now it seems like they’re everywhere. In order to be successful, you need skills that will put your brand ahead online.

Today’s Social Media Manager needs a wide-ranging set of skills to stand out from the crowd. You basically need to be a one-person agency who knows about everything from copywriting and graphic design to customer service and analytics.

In this post, we’ll look at what every digitally savvy marketer who practices social media needs to know and ways to level up your creative marketing with 6 key skills.

1. Copywriting Skills

Copywriting is a different kind of writing than say report writing or even creative writing for a book or article. Skilled copywriters are problem solvers, they’re able to look at a unique situation and find the right style and message for their audience. In social media, there’s a wide range of different kinds of copywriting needed.

You’ll need to know how to write engaging posts, plus master short and sweet captions that keep your audiences entertained and wanting to spend more time with you. Oh, and your writing always has to be grammatically correct! It’s a tall order, so we often run our copy by the Hemingway Editor, just be to be sure.

2. Graphic Design Skills

Some statistics have shown that articles with images receive 94% more views than those without images. With ever-increasing workloads and the demand to always “be on”, people today are cognitively strained. When you’re tired, it’s often easier to process visual information. Even when we’re writing emails and texts, we’re more likely to add an emoji nowadays to show people what we’re trying to convey.

Graphics are hugely persuasive. Having an eye for visuals and the ability to draw people into a post is an important social media skill to master. The right visual could mean the difference between an extra boost of engagement for your content.

3. Research Skills

But how do you know what to write or design graphics about? You’re going to want to get to the heart of what your audience cares about to capture their interest. That means you’ll need top-notch research chops. Once you create your target personas, research them. Spend time where they hang out. Imagine a day in your target persona’s life to go deep into their world. It can be a real eye-opener.

Also be sure you’re taking advantage of all the tactics you can get your hands on. Newsjacking and trendjacking are essential for growing a follower base. If you’re not sure how to trendjack a topic, be sure you’re doing it in an authentic way. There have been cases of brands jumping on trends just to exploit them; you don’t want to create a PR nightmare for your brand.

Take Sears’ newsjacking of Hurricane Sandy, for example. They saw an opportunity to plug their inventory of generators while people were suffering. Urban Outfitters also jumped on Hurricane Sandy to plug free shipping.

It’s important to keep your audience in mind when newsjacking and trendjacking. Be thoughtful about what others may be going through, and be especially careful about serious news stories and disasters where people may have been hurt.

4. Customer Service Skills

Today, more than 34% of customers prefer to use social media as their customer service option. If one-third of your customers wanted something, you’d be ready to sit up and take notice, right?

To start making the most of social media as a customer service channel, it’s important to understand how to use it constructively. Learn to leverage social listening to engage with brand advocates. Know how to respond to negative customer complaints in an authentic and friendly manner.

People are on social media because they want to engage, be sure to start all interactions with warmth and friendliness. Social media isn’t the place to get confrontational. If not handled correctly a direct message can easily escalate to a public tweet.

5. Data Management Skills

The early days of social media were dominated by first-movers. You could basically just show up and grow your followers. Those days are over. Social media is no longer spray and pray, it is all about attribution tracking and ROI.

Learn how to add tracking from Google Analytics to your social media links. It’s essential that social media managers be able to understand and utilize results to make more data-driven choices about posts and campaigns.

6. Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy can help you achieve better ROI by creating far more reach and engagement than is possible through a branded channel. Imagine being able to tell a friend about something, and they tell everyone they know – including the ones on their social media networks. By telling one person, you can influence their 400 followers, for example. And those 400 followers can reach out to their 400 followers. The growth potential for messaging across social media networks is exponential.

Here’s how you can make employee advocacy work for you. Mobilize your employees by putting a system into place for sharing. When employees have clear guidelines and easy access to content libraries, they’re more likely to share on social media.

Looking to achieve more engagement on social posts and steal share of voice away from your competitors? Learn how employee advocacy helped propel a Global Consulting Firm’s social media marketing results.

We hope you’ve picked up valuable tips ways to sharpen your social media sharing skills. Now that you know the 6 key ways to become a more successful social media manager, get out there and start creating content!

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