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What Skills Do You Really Need to Be a Social Media Manager?

You open up Instagram before you go to bed. It’s been a long work week, you’re cozy in your pajamas and soft sheets and you just want to scroll a little bit. But something catches your eye and wakes you right back up.

It’s a post by one of your favorite retailers from just a couple of hours ago. And it’s glorious. The perfect mix of bright and muted colors (you don’t know why it’s the perfect mix, but you just know, okay?). A catchy caption at the bottom. And wait– a sale? For loyalty members only? You’re a loyal member. It’s almost like they’re speaking to you.

Well, in simple terms, they are. You just witnessed the magic of a social media manager in action.

But don’t get too ahead of yourself. You could be thinking: “You know what? It was a long work week. It’s always a long work week. I want to be a social media manager.”

There’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s creative work, but it’s also filled with technicalities, strategy and long periods of planning.

If that still sounds like something you’re into, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get into what they are, what they do all day and the skills they need to grow the companies they work for.

What is a Social Media ManagerWhat is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager is the great and powerful Oz behind the mysterious social media curtain. They’re in charge of their company’s social media presence. They monitor and execute that brand’s presence. They use those mysterious curtains to filter it, too.

A media manager can work for a product, brand or corporation. Individual people might even hire a freelance social media manager. They are the voice and seeing eyes of an organization.

It’s a relatively new role. The title closest to social media management today is a public relations representative.

Don’t make the mistake of calling them just an “Instagram manager,” either. They deal with content across all social media platforms. That could include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • And all of the other various platforms today

What Does a Social Media Manager Do All Day?

The first thing to note is that every company is different from the last. You’ll never find any two that are exactly alike. So their day-to-day work depends on who they work for and what they represent.

Keeping that in mind, let’s dive into some of their general responsibilities.

Management

Sometimes they manage a team. You’ll often find a social media assistant or social media expert (or two) under their wings. The manager themselves is responsible for the team’s success.

Promotional Campaigns

They’re the ones who create and keep up with ongoing brand promotions. Remember when you saw that limited-time sale on your Instagram feed that one evening? They run that promotion on any number of social media platforms. They also have to maintain company information. That way, anyone who clicks on their brand page has the most recent and updated information.

They also serve as a sort of social media marketer. They design and maintain company marketing campaigns on all relevant networks.

When they’re not actively pushing out new campaigns, they’re brainstorming to come up with new ideas for future ones.

And all of that is just part of the creative side.

Metrics and Data Analysis

Social media managers are analytic deep-divers. They have to master various free or paid-for analytics tools. Then, they monitor that data on all of their brand’s platforms.

After they have new ideas, a social media manager spends a lot of the day measuring them to analyze performance metrics. They can’t post something that won’t fare well with their company’s audience.

Customer Service Upkeep

Next, they work as a customer service expert throughout the day. Pretty much across the board, a social media manager keeps a close eye on post activity. They look for any questions or comments that one of their customers asks under their brand’s posts. They brush up on brand core values all the time, since they have to respond to those questions and comments in a voice that aligns with the company.

Daily CommunicationDaily Communication

Like most other jobs, they attend meetings and keep up with constant communication. Some media managers fall under a social media director, so they have to touch base with them to keep them in the loop.

They coordinate with other organizational departments, like marketing and sales. An effective social media manager communicates with the legal team, too. They have to be familiar with the principles of company policies and widespread legalities.

Continuous Education

Finally, they educate themselves constantly. Their higher-ups expect them to stay ahead of emerging trends and news throughout the marketplace.

We’ll get into even more of their daily tasks below.

Here are the 8 Skills You Need to Be a Rockstar Social Media Manager

It might not feel basic based on how much information that was. But now you know the basics of what a social media manager does all day.

However, there are also many skills you need to hone to shine in the business. On a very wide level, they need manager skills since that’s the essence of their job. But there’s much more than that.

Research Skills

If you think about it, social media is a new medium for businesses to employ for growth. But don’t be mistaken: It’s already crucial. As your industry grows, it grows too. So social media managers have to research to stay on top of their game.

They have to research their competitors and see what they do, how they do it well and where they fail. It gives them an idea of how to capitalize on their brand’s own strengths and improve their weaknesses on social media.

A media manager is also a social media strategist. The best way to strategize is to know how. So they set up news alerts to digest the trending topics. They troll Twitter for trends and relevant hashtags. They dive headfirst into the relevant news on Facebook. All of this research gives their brand a competitive edge and a leg-up with their online presence.

Copywriting Skills

Social media managers spend a huge portion of their days writing content for posts. Every company has different style-guide requirements for their content, and every social media platform needs a unique style, too.

They might do a few fun posts in the morning for Facebook or Twitter. Later that day, they may have to write serious, professional copy for LinkedIn. They have to get comfortable with all of the different needs of the various networks. Then, they can switch back and forth with ease.

We’re going to get into more specific SEO skill sets below, but SEO copywriting is a must.

A social media manager’s copy is creative. But it’s also easy for readers to digest. Since a company can’t go door to door to engage with their customers, the media manager does it with their words.

Social Media Platforms Skills

Social Media Platforms Skills

“You’re telling me a social media manager has to excel at social media? No way.” We know. It’s pretty clear-cut. But with all the other skills you have to develop in social media, it’s easier to forget this one than you might think.

You hone these skills for miscellaneous platforms over time and with trial and error. You can read all you want about them. But in the end, a large business wants someone who developed them with years of real-world experience.

Social media management demands that you know things like:

  • Where to post certain content
  • How to optimize the content for each network
  • Effective audience engagement

Basic SEO Skills

SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s key to success as a social media manager and for a business as a whole. Most organizations have an SEO team. But you still need it when you write content and work with social media.

Media managers optimize their reach with SEO tactics. These include promotion plans, website traffic strategy and SERP knowledge.

Customer Care Skills

In today’s world, a huge portion of consumers takes to social media to air their customer service concerns. A superstar social media manager meets them right at the source.

They address their concerns, answer their questions and are available to do so at pretty much all hours.

Visual Creativity

As you guessed, social media experts are creative whizzes. They get that a GIF or compelling image moves their audience to interact with a post.

They have an eye for what lands with their customer core and a proclivity toward graphic design. They even know how to pick the perfect video that was once just a needle in a haystack.

Adaptive to Change

As a rule, you should be adaptive to change in your personal life. Even more so in the realm of social media.

It’s a fast-paced environment. Social media managers have to experiment and get comfortable with new tools, trends and tactics. This type of workplace changes in the blink of an eye. If they’re not ready to change with it, it’ll leave them in the dust.

Viral Meme Skills

We all have a few memorable memes saved on our phones. Sometimes they make us laugh out loud, even when we’re in a quiet office space. To you, that’s embarrassing. To a top-notch social media manager, that’s a success.

It brings about more brand exposure and a positive brand image.

Is Being a Social Media Manager Hard?

Whether or not this job is hard is up to you and your skillset. But there’s no denying that it’s a delicate engine that needs a daily tune-up.

If you clicked on this as an individual who wants to start their social media manager career, check out more of our blog posts for other helpful advice.

If you came here as a business person, you have a lot on your plate. And if you’re new to the game, there’s much to consider. So if you want to give social media management a shot on your own for your business, by all means, you can try your hand. You’ll soon realize, though, that it’s not as easy as you once believed.

Sometimes it’s best to leave these things to the professionals. Here at OmniSocial Engine, that’s just what we are. We’re a team of experienced professionals who can shoot your business to the top. We know the ins and outs. So what’ll it be: blog posts or social media management? Contact us today to take your business to the next level.

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