Skills for a top social media manager

What skills will help you create great social media channels for your business?

Ssocial media skillsocial media undoubtedly offers some invaluable opportunities for small businesses: but what skills do you need to do it well?
Large companies have dedicated teams of staff to look after their tweets and YouTube videos. Social Media Marketing is still a fairly new term and certainly the role of ‘Social Media Manager’ didn’t exist ten years ago. Facebook itself was still just somewhere for students to connect with each other online.

Here’s my list of skills for becoming more effective at social media:

Strategy planning

You need some skills in strategy to be able to understand the big picture. Do you know how social media works with other online aspects, such as search (eg Google) and providing content? You need to be able to define your goals and target audience and know which types of social media will help you reach these.

Community management

Social media is about being social, right? Your business has a brand and this brand is growing its own community. Social media means creating, observing and responding to conversations within this community. This involves monitoring tweets, responding to Facebook posts and engaging with your fans and also negative feedback. To do this you need some PR skills, as well as some common sense.

Creativity

If you’ve already got great creative skills, you’ll find it easier to provide creative content which engages and touches hearts not just minds. To stand out on social media you need to think about creative visual content and be prepared to experiment.

Writing skills

Social media is not just about being a great writer, you need to know how this works online and how to great compelling stuff which people want to read and want to share. Update your skills on how people read on a screen (they skim and scan) or search for ideas on creating good headlines and using exciting language.

Photography

In one sense this has become more accessible as people use cameras on phones. But do you know how to compose a good image, or how to light your subject better? Knowing how to edit photos is also crucial. By using simple software you can ensure your images are the right size for a tweet, or more likely to be shared on Facebook. You can also add text, or make composite images.

Stay top of the latest digital marketing trends

Digital marketing is still maturing and is continuing to evolve at a fast pace. You need to be able to keep up to date with the latest trends, such as the growing importance of mobile, or how Facebook is reducing organic reach. With social media it’s impossible to claim “Yep, learnt that so now I’m fine”: it’s an area where you’ll need to find some useful news sources and spot any new developments where you’ll need to tweak your approach.

Tactics and execution

Tactical execution is vital: this is the day to day activity where you need attention to detail, including creating posts which are spelt correctly and with links which work. If you choose to outsource this aspect, you at least need to understand who you need to hire to do this well: what kind of skills do you expect them to have?

Analytical skills

There are now lots of sources for data and lots of information you can gather about what works and what doesn’t. You can measure the effectiveness of your efforts in real time: you will know quickly which types of posts get people’s interest and you can then use this in future. People who are good at looking at stats and data are ahead of the game here and it can be argued that social media is becoming “more science than art”.

Are you a good social media manager?

What skills would you like to develop? Let me know and I’ll include this in one of my future blog topics.

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