Social media managers have a unique role in an industry that is ever-evolving as Americans continue to connect across multiple channels. Nearly 70% of adults are a part of Facebook, where they get the majority of their news, seek out employment, and learn about public issues like the presidential election. While many adults engage on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram, Facebook continues to be the most popular social media channel among users.
Social media managers must have certain qualities in order to reach the right audience, spur them to engage, and turn them into leads for a service or brand. Great content needs to be shared consistently and backed by a social media marketing strategy, which allows managers to build a solid foundation so everything doesn’t fall apart later.
What Every Social Media Manager Needs to Win at Social Media
Here are seven competencies every social media manager must have in order to see results, expand their reach, and win at social media.
1. Project Management
Part of managing social media channels includes defining a vision of how social connections will advance your purpose. A social media strategy, when well-defined, is critical to the success of a brand or service. An effective project manager understands the difference between an important task and an urgent task, and can use his or her resources efficiently to get the job done.
Project management in the area of social media includes so much more than simply scheduling posts; a typical day will involve:
- Reviewing content
- Scheduling future content
- Engaging with users
- Collecting and evaluating site analytics
“Taking a break two days a week from meetings and calls helped me manage my time and be more effective. This routine breaker allows me to concentrate on building strategy and execution. And use this time to do aligning with the team, brainstorming and project managing.”
So why not try taking a day break to focus on your project management and let us know how that works for you!
2. Social Skills
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s also one of the most important. Social media managers need to have strength in the area of connecting with both the audience and the influencers. It starts with being genuine and looking for ways you can add value to your audience.
No one wants to engage with a boring know-it-all who seems to only care about themselves. People want to know they’ve been heard, and then want to see action in response. If social skills are lacking, there won’t be an audience for long.
“This book provides tips on how to make lasting connections and network at different social events – a perfect read for every entrepreneur looking for help improving their networking skills!”
3. Analytical Competencies
Being able to evaluate where a social media strategy is, how to use it in conjunction with other tools, and provide the data to back up statistical claims are just a few marks of a successful manager. Other analytical competencies include gathering audience demographics and posting habits, as well as measuring engagement.
Beyond the follows and the “likes”, a social media manager needs to know how to use tools to track leads and revenue, which then allows for valuable insight into which type of content works and why.
One of Morgan Chaney’s, Head of Marketing at Blueboard, hardest challenges in marketing is attributions. She expressed this saying:
“Many people might come to read our blog but won’t immediately convert. They’ll probably interact with a few different parts of our content and then hopefully come back to the website. So you want to make sure you accurately capture that attribution path with tools like Google Analytics, etc. Right now my priority is to make sure that we’re understanding all the content touch points and how we can ultimately make a visitor a more qualified lead.”
High quality copywriting is another essential skill for an expert social media manager. This can show up in the form of:
- Writing a blog post
- Creating a catchy Tweet
- Drafting a headline
- Writing CTAs (calls to action)
Copywriting covers it all, and an effective social manager must possess the skills required to use the most appropriate engagement tactics combined with the most appealing copy.
According to a survey done by Fractl and BuzzStream with 900 social media users, 45% said they would unfollow a brand if they sensed too much self-promotion, while 34% would do the same if a brand used automated messaging. That’s where excellent copywriting – where readers are not ignored and automatic messages are not sent – plays a part in retaining an audience.
“By the end of the day, I do all of my scheduling and copywriting for the next day. I can’t do it more than a day ahead of time since you never know what’s going to happen (or what unusual holiday there is, such as Cheese Lovers Day). This way I can also see what copy has resonated well with our followers and tweak it based on that.”
Good design doesn’t just happen – it comes when you use the right tools and take the time to develop yourself as a creative thinker. Beyond posting a picture here and there, social media managers need to immerse themselves in designing for the audience, whether that means an Instagram photo with the best hashtags or a funny Tweet that is then retweeted multiple times over.
A good designer will know how to put the best message into 140 characters, create a graphic for a Facebook post, and repurpose this content in the right time and to the correct audience. These skills contribute to increased engagement; when HubSpot performed an A/B test, they found a 55% increase in leads when images were added to Tweets.
“Canva is awesome for creating images.”
“[I use] Canva on a daily basis as it is such a simple tool to create an effective piece of imagery.”
6. High Achiever / Doer
Sometimes, we talk about achieving lofty goals like it’s a bad thing, especially if we ourselves tend to do a little less and let others do a bit more. When it comes to managing social media channels, and especially across multiple sites, it is necessary to set goals, meet them, and move onto the next great tasks.
High achievers have no patience for the status quo, which makes them great candidates for managing a slew of social sites. And while competition may be misunderstood, someone who is a “doer” will be looking for the win, every time, which translates to followers and increased shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
When Morgan Chaney, Head of Marketing at Blueboard, was interviewed for our ‘How I Work’ blog series she shared that since the marketing department is a party of one right now, it’s fun for her because it allows her to be strategic, but also be a doer and see an immediate impact with her work.
7. Positive Thinker
Positive thinking can make all the difference as social media managers interact with readers, followers, and even the competition. SEMrush has some great tips for keeping a positive attitude in this industry, including:
- Accentuate the positive, but don’t ignore the negative.
- Relish in the creativity.
- Experiment in only positivity.
As valuable and convenient it is to connect through social channels, there are always going to be those who disagree (and let you know so) or are just negative in general. If social media managers aren’t careful, they can get carried away with all the bad and forget the good. Positive thinking can make a world of difference in these online interactions.
Social media manager at M2 Bespoke, Liz Quigley, shares her favorite advice she’s ever received on how to work more efficiently and to stay positive:
“I find that breaking my daily tasks up and tackling the least favorite job first, makes the rest of my day more positive. If there is something you are finding to be a challenge get it out of the way in the morning and then move onto things you find easier.”
“Always stay positive. That’s all.”
Choose the Right Expert for the Job
To summarize all these qualities, a social media manager must be an organized, focused, personable, competent, high-achieving, positive-thinking writer and designer.
In other words, choosing the right expert for the job means finding a highly qualified multi-tasker. If he or she is anything less, the social media manager role may not be the best fit.
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