A social media manager wears many hats. One minute, they are strategizing on the best content for a brand, and the next, they are analyzing last week’s numbers, trying to figure out what stays and what goes.
They can move from writing copy to designing a logo down to solving a social media crisis in just one day. It takes a lot of work to step into these shoes and be successful at it.
So, if you are thinking about becoming a social media manager or hiring one, these are the skills you cannot afford to negotiate on.
Communication is important in just about any job. But in social media, it is non-negotiable. After all, social media is essentially about easing communication and making the world a global village.
It would not make much sense to step into such a realm, yet you do not intend to communicate. But what is communication? It’s the ability to receive and send messages that all parties easily understand. Rather than hearing what someone tells you to do, you listen to what they want.
For example, a brand may want to increase social media followers more than they want to drive their sales at the moment. As a social media manager, you need to listen to this and align your efforts with their goals. Without such cohesion, you would disappoint the brand and set them back on their quotas.
Please note that communication skills will also come in handy when:
- Interacting with followers on social media,
- Reinforcing the brand voice when creating posts, and
- Working with influencer managers and negotiating the terms of their contracts.
You will always be dealing with people, and you should find a way to do so without losing your cool.
What is the goal behind all the work you put into the brand’s social media? Say, for example, that a brand has approached you to reduce their response time from a day to 6 hours on social media messages.
How would you achieve this? All social media managers must be good at strategizing, essentially mapping how you will move from point A to B. So, how can you reduce the response time? You would need to weigh all the options, test some hypotheses, and choose the most viable one.
That’s not something that a brand will do for you. Instead, they will tell you the result they want and leave the rest up to you. If you cannot figure out a path to that goal, you will have many rough days. Luckily, many social media strategy tools can help you out.
Many people are good at coming up with grand plans and figuring out how they can actualize them. It is very easy for someone to state that they will grow their client’s following by 50% in 1 month.
They can even outline how they will do this – more posts, more engagement, working with influencers, etc. But when it comes down to it, the month goes by, and they have 12% to show for all their plans. Why does this happen? Following up on a strategy is the hardest part of managing a brand.
But if you do not do it, you will fall behind your schedule and underdeliver and thus disappoint your client. You must be willing to keep going even when things get hard. Sometimes, it helps to note why you are working so hard on a goal. Why does it matter to you and your client? That can be the inspiration behind keeping up with long days and late nights.
4. Public Relations Management
Suppose you put in a lot of work in crafting a content plan and start pushing out videos and images consistently. Then one day, a random social media user comments on one of the posts, bashing you for an unwarranted action. They go in on you, and soon enough, their comment starts attracting attention from other users.
How would you handle this? Part of being a good communicator means that you would take time to decide on the best course of action. That is where your public relations skills will come in handy. You will understand that negative feedback is always a possibility.
Moreover, you will be ready to deal with trolls. Rather than sink to their level and taint the brand’s image, you will work to find a suitable way to deal with the backlash. If you are yet to put yourself in such uncomfortable shoes, it might be time you consider this.
Think of some of the worst social media events in history and how brands conducted themselves. Would you have handled the situation similarly or chosen another route?
A brand’s voice is apparent in all the copy it writes. The voice should not change from one post to the other as this would confuse the audience about the actual brand personality. That’s why many social media managers also handle the copy of the social media pages.
They know how to write captions that grasp and hold people’s attention to the last full stop. They understand how to tug at people’s emotions even without emojis – and when they use emoticons and other visuals, they ensure that they convey the intended meaning.
Does that mean you must be a copywriting expert to become a social media manager? Not quite. You can still do a swell job even when you have limited experience. However, you should always work on bettering yourself. Polish your grammar, read more, glaze through other stories on social media, and slowly work your way to being a fantastic writer.
The good thing about social media posts is that they are quite short. So, you can convey a lot in just a few sentences. Make them count.
Most of your success will rely on how creative you are. Now might be the time to think of ways to step out of the box and let your individuality shine. That could be your way in – All the best!