Within the span of a decade, social media has overtaken others forms of advertising. For a brand to be noticed, it must have a social media presence. Cue the social media marketing manager. This individual brings the benefits of social media marketing to their brand or company. From LinkedIn to Twitter, from Facebook to Instagram, and every other social media platform; this unique individual creates a social media marketing strategy that drives customers to engage with and become loyal followers of their brand.
But how does a social media marketing manager deal with the entire gamut of operations to build their brands reach and expand their influence? Apart from the keen eye for design and flair for writing, what are the critical skills needed by a social media manager?
Here are 7 critical skills of the best social media managers:
1. Project Management
No, not the certification; but the ability to manage multiple audiences across multiple channels using multiple reporting tools without going non-compos mentis. This has the ability to drive anyone crazy. Call it what you may, project management, time management, strategy planning, calendar scheduling; the term doesn’t matter, the skill does. A good social media marketing manager takes the time to plan, to schedule, to engage with customers, to evaluate analytics, to assign or reduce resources, and where necessary revise unproductive strategies.
2. Being socially active
A social media manager may not be the face of a brand to the consumer, but they are the face of the brand to everyone they interact with, from other media managers to PR agencies. A media manager that isn’t themselves active on social media reads very poorly.
Would anyone trust someone with no Instagram or Twitter account to grow theirs?
An individual that is active on social media channels naturally has more clout. To be active means to be in touch and engaged. Being personally active on social media gains you the confidence of both your brand and your audience.
3. Reading between the Lines on Analytics to understand your audience
A social media manager doesn’t just take a brand to market. They know when to market and how to market. Social media managers analyze the effectiveness of the brand using Google Analytics, SemRush, Ahrefs, and other reporting tools, including platform-specific ones.
Take the simple example of analyzing your Twitter audience based on their interests and customizing future tweets to target them better. It’s not just numbers, the analysis is important. Read more about this here.
Clicks, impressions, likes, they all matter. But what matters more is how this information or data is interpreted and manipulated to produce better results.
4. Using multiple platforms and tools with a mixed approach
Social media managers cannot stick to a single platform for marketing anymore. Multi-facetious and multi-pronged strategies are key. Using different social media marketing tools and taking a mixed media approach to marketing is what ups the game.
Knowing how to effectively use tools such as Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Buffer, etc. for scheduling and drawing out data from platforms is important. Fine tuning and developing new strategies based on the extrapolated data is more valuable. Correctly understanding consumer demographics, locations, interests, and choices will help shape marketing decisions and target consumers that convert.
5. Staying updated with the latest trends
Social media marketing trends, tools, and technology change rapidly. What’s hot today is redundant tomorrow. Take the extreme example of Orkut. It lost out in competition to Facebook and MySpace and was dissolved in 2014.
Or for that matter television. It’s still used for advertising but does not have as much of a social impact as Facebook or YouTube.
Instagram’s doing better after starting Stories. Facebook videos are the in thing. Tweets now have 280 characters.
Of course, these are examples of platforms. But the same applies to brands.
6. ‘Getting’ the context: Understanding the context, the pop culture, the reference points relevant to your brand’s prospects and customers is crucial to being able to create posts that people want to read and share or engage with in any way. It’s equally important to understand the brand and industry in which your brand operates. This helps maintain a consistent tonality of the brand voice, while also being able to reference stuff that’s happening ‘out there’ that your audiences may care about.
7. Know the tool: to survive in the social media jungle, media managers must adopt social media marketing platforms as quickly as night is the day. Adapting to new trends and technologies is essential but knowing the ins and outs of the tools that are at hand your workplace to manage social media is critica. Learning new tools and platforms as soon as they are available and becoming early adopters of a technology ensures you Have the upper hand when you are looking to expand your professional horizons.
These are just a few of the skills that social media marketing managers need, but they are the critical ones. What other skill should I have added in here? Leave me a comment below and let me know.