5 Not So Obvious Skills A Social Media Manager Needs

We speak to people every day who are hoping to find work in social media and digital marketing. When looking for a social media job it is important to keep in mind the skills that are required for success, and honestly evaluate where you stack up in terms of your skills vs. the skills required for success.

While experience and passion for social media are a must, there are some other more surprising skills that can lead to success in social media marketing.  If you are looking for a job in social media, keep these skills in mind and consider opportunities to acquire training or education on the areas that you may be lacking.

1. Analytic Skills

Many social media marketers naturally have great people skills and a knack for creative writing.  The best social media marketers have an inherent understanding of what their customers are interested in.

But in order to be successful, it is extremely important to have strong analytic skills in addition to creative and social skills. Social media is relatively new, and it is extremely important to test and learn, and evaluate your social media marketing efforts.  To this end, being able to set up tests and find creative ways to measure the results is vital to the success of a social media marketer.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people claim to know SEO, but don’t really understand more than how to edit title tags.  Search engines will always be a big source of revenue driving traffic for any business, and understanding how they work and linking this to your social media is crucial.

Any solid social media strategy will include awareness of the impact on search engines.  Take some time to really understand how search engines work and how social media sites impact search engines.

3. Real Life People Skills

Social media is all online right? Why do you have to have real life people and networking skills?  The reality is that in most companies, social media relationships eventually translate in to a real life meeting.  For example, you manage social media for a company that is planning a big trade show.  You should be attending the trade show to interact with the thought leaders and bloggers that you connect with online.

Nothing replaces the depth of a real life connection.

Successful social media marketers have to be able to build connections in the real world as well as online for long-term success.

4. Internal Communication and Influence Abilities

One of the key roles of a social media manager is to understand the needs of the community (customers or potential future customers)  and to communicate these needs back into the company internally.  Some organizations have a specific job title for this.  The idea is that the social media manager should advocate for the community and communicate internally what they are hearing in the social media world.
This position requires strong communication skills, the ability to influence and the ability to be tactful in providing feedback.  A social media manager can quickly start to sound like a broken record who is on “the site” of the customer vs. the company.  The two should be the same, and a great community manager or social media manager will know how to get things done.

5. A Passion for Your Product and Mission

Some people will argue this one, but it is absolutely important for someone to have a passion for your product and the mission of your organization if they are going to represent you online.  It is tough for someone to talk to people about a product that they don’t use or care about.

I worked with a client in the pet care space, and one of the brand managers would occasionally connect with people online.  The problem was that he didn’t have a pet, and at a certain point in the relationship, they would ask him about his pet.  He immediately lost credibility with them – how could he be talking to them about pets and loving pets when he doesn’t have one?

The best community managers can really understand your audience and your product.


Do you know of any less obvious skills that are required for success as a social media manager?

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