Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. Some businesses really have seemed to crack the code, whilst others seem like they may be falling behind. I’m sure that if you looked around, most people you see have a social media account of some sort – the number of those without is quite small in comparison to those that do. As the retail space becomes increasingly digitised, having a strong social media presence is crucial – I personally don’t think that in 2019, as a business, that you have a reason not to be on social media. More on that later. When it comes to running social media platforms for your business, maybe you don’t have the capacity to do it yourself – let’s admit it, running various social platforms each and every day can be exhausting and a lot to keep up with. However, when you’re looking for someone to run the social media for your business, it’s important that you make sure they have certain key traits that as a social media manager, they should have.
THEY ARE GOOD COMMUNICATORS
It wouldn’t do someone any good to be in the communications field and not be a good communicator. For a social media manager, this is even more crucial. Social media is about creating connections with your target audience, and without strong communication skills, creating that connection is near impossible. Whether the connection is formed through captivating captions, compelling videos, long-form blogs or even audio podcasts, being able to communicate a message is essential.
On the flipside, whilst also being good at conveying messages, they must also be good listeners with a customer-service focused mindset. Oftentimes, social media is a business’ main form of communication with its audience – and as the head of these platforms, your social media manager must be able to solve problems through effective communication and be able to let customers know that your business is hearing and implementing their feedback.
THEY ARE RESEARCH-READY
Social media is an incredibly fast-paced industry. With new trends, hashtags and apps popping up all the time, your social media manager must be able to have his/her finger on the pulse of these trends and be able to adapt them (if it is suitable) for your business to utilise in your content marketing strategy. Along with trends, new ways to measure social media success are also on the rise. It used to be all about the follower count – how many followers do they have, we have, does ‘x’ influencer have – and now it’s about the level of engagement you have from your following. Keeping an eye on these changes and knowing how to navigate them is crucial of a social media manager, especially when it comes to sizing up your competitors within your given niche market.
A good social media manager must also be able to research the tactics that best suit your target demographic online. This means they must be flexible and willing to try new strategies if a certain one does not perform as they originally thought it might. This includes SEO and other optimisation strategies – web copy, social media optimisation and content optimisation across all platforms.
THEY ARE APPROACHABLE
As someone who is one of the main contact points for your business, a good social media manager must be approachable. It’s no sense in hiring one that you or your customers cannot voice concerns to. Being friendly and approachable both online and in person only puts your best foot forward as a business – it allows for better connection with your target audience and will keep internal projects running smoothly as well.
THEY ARE TECH-SAVVY
As social media is a medium that is purely technology based, I think this requirement is somewhat implied. Whilst your social media manager should know their way around a computer, knowing their way around social platforms is an absolute must – and I don’t just mean how to use them. Knowing how to write for each platform and optimise each post for search engines is essential; it allows for more people to find you and for your social platforms to grow, which means more exposure and traction for your business.
Being mobile-friendly is another key skill that a social media manager should have in their repertoire. One of the down sides of this job is that problems can arise on social media round the clock – not just within set business hours. Being mobile-friendly means that your social media manager can solve problems for your business if they arise outside of business hours, and should be able to at least make a start at this solution from a mobile device. Whilst automated content managers are amazing – Hootsuite, I’m looking at you – being able to think quickly and strategically from multiple devices is an incredibly valuable skill.
Another aspect of being mobile-friendly is knowing how to optimise each platform for different types of mobile devices. With the ever-increasing amount of time that people are spending on mobile devices – laptops, tablets, mobile phones and the like – it’s a social media manager’s task to make sure that the content that they (or their team) is producing is suitable for viewing on every device.
Being a social media manager, it’s a large task – therefore the ability to remain organised at all times is essential to the role. There are many things to think about, such as managing current platforms and keeping a finger on the pulse of new ones being created, tracking analytics and content success and hand-tailoring a unique content strategy for each business they are working with. As this can be a lot to work with, especially for one person, the ability to work well under pressure and work with a cool head is an advantage to those in this position.
Whilst the ability to create the materials they are managing is an added bonus, I wouldn’t necessarily call it an essential quality of a social media manager. What I would deem essential? An eye for graphics, an aptitude for writing and a clear passion for what they do. This is all part of creating a brand that develops and evolves over time. It conveys itself in the content strategy that they create and how they manage content for your business on every platform. Your business’ platforms should have a clear voice that no one could mistake for any other business – it’s what sets you apart. An excellent social media manager will know how to define that voice for you, keep it consistent and keep it on brand.
Your social media manager should breathe life into your brand, and diligently protect and develop its identity in the online social space. If you have any inquiries about social media management, drop me a line and we can chat about your brand image in today’s social space.