As social media continues to grow and be a key point of communication for many brands, the role of Social Media Manager becomes ever more valuable.

You may be reading this article from a few different angles. You could be in HR, looking to hire a great new Social Media Manager, you could be at the start of your career, looking for a few tips, or you might already be a great Social Media Manager, just having a quick refresher.

Although not an exhaustive list, there are a few essential skills needed to become an excellent Social Media Manager that provide real business value.

1. Writing and Editing

We’ll start with the obvious. Each social platform has different length requirements and communication styles. For example, writing a post for LinkedIn is a different skill to writing a post for Instagram. Writing is one of the first touch points your customers and prospects will have with you, so what you put on that screen matters. Being able to convey your attention to detail and faultless grammar, in a suitably engaging writing style, is just another essential aspect of branding.

If you don’t believe you’re the best writer, technology can help. From a basic grammatical point of view, Grammarly is a good one to rely on. To gain a measure of your copy’s readability and to become more concise, check out Hemingway App.

2. Research and Strategy

Being a Social Media Manager entails being a part of a Marketing team (or being the Marketing Team in some cases). Marketing is built on the fundamentals of research and knowing your audience.

Social media is a strategised and planned part of the marketing mix. You can’t create targeted posts if you don’t know who you’re targeting. While trying to stay on the pulse of the latest happenings in your industry is a fast-paced activity, you also have a responsibility to vet the content you’re putting out there. Learning to become a detective and filtering out fake stories or unreliable sources is a vital skill to develop early on. Hootsuite has some handy tips on how to become an expert researcher.

Your social strategy must align with your business goals. Creating an overarching plan, and continuing to think ahead, can ensure a stable level of consistent brand-focused content for your followers. Don’t forget, your plan should be fluid and adaptive and the research gathered applied in future.

3. Photography and Design

It’s all about the science. “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.” Brain Rules

Brands have to stand out from the crowd when it comes to imagery. Although you’re not expected to be able to pass as a graphic designer, you should have a good eye for creating striking visual content.

Canva is a hugely helpful tool for making social media graphics. The app provides the correct sizes for each platform, helps with free stock photography and there’s no Photoshop involved.

4. Analytics and Reporting

Part of the job of a Social Media Manager is to create results and deliver a return on investment. There are multiple tools out there, at varying prices, to connect your social channels to your online analytics, your paid media and your website leads/conversions.

Finding one to suit your business will enable you to produce executive reports and deliver well-researched recommendations for your social media strategy.

Social Media Manager analysing and reporting

5. Customer Service

Social media provides a direct, public facing interaction with your customer. It is only natural that customer service be a significant part of the job.

In our busy lives, we often turn to a social channel to ask a question or raise an issue. Social Media Today found “nearly 70% of consumers have said that they have used social media for issues to do with customer service on at least one occasion”.

One of the key factors is to be responsive. Social media is instant, it’s not expected to have to wait for a response. Also, never forget how quickly tiny incidents can spiral on the Internet. Proactively engage with comments, and continually monitor conversations related to your business. Brandwatch have a recent article on the Top 15 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools.

A positive customer service experience is a brand-building exercise – you’re reinforcing your values directly to the customer.

6. Video Creation

Video on the internet is growing exponentially. Wordstream published an article on 37 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics for 2018 and some of the stats are just that, staggering. One of the snippets states that “87% of online marketers use video content.” Are you one of the 87%, or one of the 13%?

With these figures, you’re being left behind if you’re not creating video content. You could be using Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories or broadcasting live on Facebook.

Don’t forget, a high proportion of your viewers are likely to watch without sound, so bear this in mind when optimising for different channels.

If you’re no expert in video production, there are resources out there that can help. Animoto can bring that professional flair, whereas Animaker can help you along the animated route.

7. Paid Media

Unless you’re part of a large team, or have budget for an agency, you’re likely to get your hands dirty on the paid social side of things.

Knowing how paid campaigns work and can add to your organic activity is invaluable, but don’t forget you can use your existing audience as a focus group to determine which posts, or types of posts, are best received and create the most conversions. These can be your starting point for how to best allocate your advertising budget.

As well as the tools built into the platforms, there are external ones to help you along this avenue too. If you produce a lot of Facebook or Instagram ads, AdEspresso is an excellent ad manager to aid with optimisation.

How did you do? Would you consider yourself an expert Social Media Manager? We hope you picked up a few helpful tips, or found some new resources to call upon.