Being a social media manager sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? You basically just scroll through Facebook all day, craft memorable tweets and try to grow your follower count. WRONG. There’s actually a lot more to it than that. In fact, I think you’d be surprised at what it takes to be a good social media manager.
If you’re about to take on your first job in social or are considering a change of career, then you’ll find this blog pretty helpful as it pulls together the top skills needed for nailing that social media manager role!
So, what qualities do you need?
You're a 'big picture' kind of person
Social media management isn't just about filling people's timelines with mindless content day-in, day-out. You need to be the kind of person who enjoys setting a social media strategy and defining a purpose. When you start in this new role, ask yourself: why is your company doing social media? What does success look like? How will you measure success?
You're relatable and personable
The clue’s in the title people, after all, it is called SOCIAL media. Many businesses out there will want their social media presence to come across as friendly and approachable. If you’re a personable individual, it’s much more likely that your personality will filter through to the pages you’re running.
On a side note - if you’re a social media manager, you’ll more than likely have to work with a bigger team of people (graphic designer, content writer, customer service, and so on) so being delightful and personable is always a winner. Teamwork makes the dream work guys!
You take an active interest in industry news
Having your head in the industry is really important because the social media landscape is always changing. Don't be intimidated by this, you can easily stay in the loop by doing the following:
There will be many times when your carefully curated content calendar needs to be rejigged to make way for another priority. If there’s a last minute sale which needs to be promoted, you can guarantee you’ll have to do some last minute content creation and scheduling. If you're the type of person who doesn't deal well with a change of plans at the eleventh hour, you miiiiight want to reconsider your chosen career path.
You’re passionate about what you do
If you're doing social media for a day job, it goes without saying that you need to be passionate about it. Let me clarify: you could be managing the social media for your dream brand but if you don't actually like the tasks involved (scheduling posts, monitoring replies, reporting on engagement), you're not going to enjoy your job. Ever.
On a similar note, you also want to make sure that you like the company you're going to be managing the social media for. If you're spending 8 hours a day working on their social media presence, then you'd best be vaguely interested in the products they sell or the services they provide. Love home decor and design? Then go and find a job managing social for a big furniture brand. If you fully support the mission, vision and values of the company you work at then you’ll LOVE coming up with ideas for content and engaging with their customers online. This is just common sense!
You understand your audience
Creating engaging content for your followers on social media isn't as easy as it might sound. It fact, it can be quite hard if you don't understand your audience.
If you're going for an interview soon, you could really impress your new employer by checking out Noisy Little Monkey's free buyer persona guide below. It will help you figure out who your audience is, what platforms they hang out on, the kind of language you should use when talking to them online - you'll find it handy!
You're excellent in a crisis
Wherever you’re working, the odd crisis or two WILL happen and, unfortunately for social media managers, people love to air their dirty laundry online. As a result, you need to be quick to react and level-headed when these crises do happen. You’ll probably also need to liaise with a few different team members to make sure you're responding correctly, so having excellent communication skills is also a winner.
You're good at planning and managing your time
Quite frankly, this is a must for anyone in any job ever.
As social media manager, you’ll need to be splitting your time between: monitoring all the different social channels your brand is on, creating content to share online, scheduling that content online, reporting to your line manager about what’s worked and what hasn’t…the list goes on.
You love numbers!
Analytics skills play a crucial role in helping you take your social media marketing from pretty good to top-notch. There’s plenty of great tools out there such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics which will help you figure out what’s working and what’s not for your social media strategy.
At the end of the day, your boss is probably going to ask you to prove the ROI of everything you’ve been doing on social so it’s a good idea to make sure you have the numbers to back up what you’ve been working on.
Oh, and you’ll also need to be good at numbers if you’re doing any ads on social media. Working out the conversion rates of different ad sets requires quite the critical mind and good attention to detail.
Seriously, who said working in social media was easy?!