Digital marketing today has come a long way, and almost every business needs to have a presence online to widen its reach and enhance its visibility. While some brands would prefer to handle this on their own, it’s very common for companies to hire a professional to manage their profiles on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter strategically to achieve long-term goals. In this article, we have covered the role of a Social Media Manager in a brand’s success as well as collated a list of the 10 most essential skills a Social Media Manager must possess. Let’s dive in first to understand why having a Social Media expert on board is paramount for a company.
Social Media Manager: The Digital Voice of Your Brand
Maybe a decade or two ago, you wouldn’t have thought that a role like this would be a popular career choice for many. After all, who would pay to post some random content on these platforms, which we mainly consider to be for the sole purpose of entertainment? But today, much to our surprise, it is one of the most sought-after, promising and rewarding professions that pays you a handsome remuneration depending upon your level of expertise and experience. You would find more than 4000 job opportunities on LinkedIn alone! This speaks about how imperative it is to have an in-house expert or a team to handle your social media accounts effectively.
With the tremendous growth of social media over the past decade, it is not wrong to say that your Social Media Manager is the ‘digital voice of your brand, company or organisation’. Thus, its role includes the following:
- Representing your business online by interacting with your clients through comments and messages and handling their queries, if any;
- Posting engaging content consistently with great visual aesthetics that not only catches the attention of your current and potential clients but also entertains and educates them;
- Staying updated with the latest trends and keeping track of any algorithm changes as the social media landscape is very dynamic;
- Increasing your social media engagement in terms of likes, comments, and number of followers/ subscribers;
- Marketing your brand digitally, enhancing sales, handling PR and customer service – all in one!
10 Important Skills a Social Media Manager Must Have
Now that we have stipulated the role, let us understand the skillset required in a Social Media Manager.
1. Relevant knowledge and experience
While some may disagree that social media managers must possess any formal qualification or knowledge, it is strongly advised that they undergo professional training and possess relevant experience in this field. Of course, you don’t want to risk your global reputation by hiring a freshman who posts regularly and has plenty of followers. It is essential to understand that managing a business page differs from managing a personal one. Moreover, only a trained professional can truly understand the fundamentals of digital marketing, its metrics, Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing (SEO&M), user nurturing, web analytics and more. Only when they are a master in their field can they help you to accelerate your brand’s growth. Besides, having industry-related experience is a bonus.
2. Strong communication skills
The most apparent yet highly-coveted skill, communication, is the key to success, be it practically or digitally. The fact that through social media, you communicate with the world outside itself explains the dire need to convey your ideas effectively. Thus, it is a pre-requisite for a Social Media Manager to communicate and get along well with the audience, give words (and wings!) to your ideas/ campaigns and build a strong presence online. Besides, the Manager must be competent in internal communication as well.
3. Eye for visual aesthetics
There was a time when posting something online only meant putting everything into words and text. However, your posts must be visually appealing nowadays, which can be done through eye-catching images and videos. So, a Social Media Manager must have an eye for striking visuals to enhance the overall brand image.
4. Knack for writing
Today, visuals and graphics are considered superior to the written word. However, the core of communication is still ‘writing’. You cannot neglect the fact that to ace up your marketing game, the person handling your social media accounts should also be exceptionally good at copywriting. Your Manager should be able to come up with captivating captions, catchy tweets and magnificent headings to grab the users’ attention and encourage more clicks!
5. Creative thinking
Would you personally follow any page on Instagram or Facebook if all you get from them is monotonous and repetitive content? No, right? The same applies to your business. You won’t get new engagement if your content is not original, out-of-the-box and engaging. You might even start losing your existing followers due to the same. Thus, hiring someone creative enough to do this for you only makes sense. They must be able to come up with novel ideas and unique campaigns to keep their audience hooked. A Social Media Manager must also be a great storyteller and use humour as a tool, as this will ensure that your audience thoroughly enjoys your content and even looks forward to it.
As they say, change is the only constant thing today. And technology and social media are ever-changing. Every day, a social media manager must be well-versed in new trends, updates and algorithms. They must possess the ability to adapt themselves to this dynamic landscape to help the business grow. Being flexible, agile and adaptive is, thus, another essential skill you must look for in a Social Media Expert.
7. Strategic Management
Having a solid digital marketing strategy and its effective implementation plays a vital role in making your brand stand out from the crowd. This strategy must be:
- Target the right audience
- Optimise content for SEO
- Increase your social media engagement
- Establish brand recognition
- Nurture your engaged audience
- Generate new leads
- Expand your overall reach
- Promises higher ROI on shared content
8. Analytical skills
Assessing your social media performance and constantly monitoring it is also equally important. Knowing if your campaign /ad/ initiative is working will help eliminate the redundant ones and focus on the ones your audience approves. For instance, glancing at insights on Instagram will give you an overview of the number of accounts reached and engaged through shared content like posts, stories, reels and videos. A great Social Media Manager, therefore, understands social media and business metrics well and can analyse how your account is performing in line with your business goals.
9. Ability to handle pressure and criticism
The job of a Social Media Manager is a challenging one. From regularly checking social media accounts and replying to customers’ queries to creating fresh content every day, sometimes even multiple times a day, a Manager has to work tirelessly for hours at a stretch and post content consistently. Besides, a Manager often has to deal with unhappy customers, criticising comments and unexpected circumstances. Thus, he or she must be competent enough to work effectively even under stressful conditions.
‘Skills are cheap; Passion is priceless.’
Skills can be acquired over some time, but passion comes from within. A person who is genuinely passionate about Social Media Management can work wonders for your business compared to someone who is just doing it as a part of his job profile. A passionate person is self-driven, self-motivated, and works with utmost sincerity and zeal. It goes without saying that such a person would be an asset to your organisation.
With social media features and algorithms evolving every other day, having a professional to tackle digital marketing, manage PR, track progress and come up with social strategies has become a requirement today. They offer significant long-term benefits like promoting the brand, boosting sales, connecting with the audience and whatnot. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that your Social Media Manager possesses all or most of the aforementioned qualities, as your decision would hugely impact your brand.
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