5 Must-Have Skills of Every Social Media Manager

What sets a successfully managed social media channel apart from the competition? From page analytics and timing creative strategy to execution, there are several factors to consider.

If you’re looking to add social media manager to your list of credentials in the near future, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with certain areas of expertise. They’re all important, so no skimming or glossing over -- do a Google deep dive on each before updating your resume, writing your cover letter, and finally, applying for freelance gigs or full-time jobs.

Bonus tip: Reach out to industry leaders in order to network and learn more about the field. There’s nothing like gleaning from actual experience for refining a set of skills.

In the meantime, have fun researching the below six topics. You’re ALREADY on your way!

1. Community management and customer service

This informs everything. Managing the community itself establishes key influence over it. And by manage, we mean responding to comments, following users, DMing customers, and more in order to boost your public profile -- and aptitude for customer service. Because, really, that’s what it is … just in the social cyberspace.

2. Writing/editing

You should not only contribute to the discourse, but also add something of authentic VALUE to it. Consistent attention to detail, listening to your audience (i.e. talking to them, not at them), a strong call to action, and cultivating the brand’s unique voice = top-tier content. And who doesn’t want to read that?

3. Visuals: illustrations, design, motion graphics, and videos

Pair your fantastic copy with fantastic visuals. First, the surface level goods. Think in terms of eye candy: Employ homogenous thematic elements and publish interesting and beautiful photos. Next, dig a little deeper: Make sure your graphics are shareable and your videos impact the crowd you’re targeting. Send a powerful, visually-appealing message. Trust us. People will notice.

4. Analytics

Maximize/optimize/track performance, and replicate positive results using the analytics function of the application you’re using. For example, set your Instagram page to a business profile, and IG will provide you with stats about your audience, activity and engagement on your page, and then some. Each social media platform is different in how it delivers insights, and you’ll want to use what’s at your disposal. Pay attention to how your audience responds to your posts.

5. Strong strategy
All of the above should piece your big picture together. When it comes to strategizing, remember to never go in without preparing in advance, and distribute solid content on a regular schedule. You want to be a few steps in front of your competition, and you can’t do that by throwing things together at the last minute. Take your time (but not TOO much time -- social media is nothing if not fast-paced). The bottom line? Produce quality work. That’s what really makes the community tick.

Monica Hickey