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Six Must-Have Traits of a Social Media Manager

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The business is going well, and you're getting some traction on Facebook, but you're at the point of social media burnout. You've decided it's about time your business had a dedicated social media manager. Good move. Because it's a big job, even if you're using the best social media management tools.

But what skills, traits, and experience you should be looking for in the perfect social media manager?

1. Experience With Multiple Platforms

It may sound obvious, but a social media manager who has experience only with Twitter and Facebook isn't going to be the perfect candidate. What about blogs, forums, and newer platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest? Your social media manager needs to understand the major social platforms; at the very least, he must have the ability to learn the platforms quickly.

Part of understanding social is understanding the platforms and how they can be most effectively used to benefit your brand. As your social media strategy grows, you may well need to use more platforms, and you need your manager to be able to hit the ground running on those new platforms.


2. Great Writing Skills

To effectively communicate across social media platforms, your social media manager has to have an adaptable and engaging writing style. The way we communicate on Twitter can be very different from the way we do on Facebook: We all know that getting your point across in 140 characters can be tough! You manager needs to be able to write long-form text, too, particularly if you're using a blog as part of your strategy.

3. A Thick Skin

It's not always rosy in the social media garden; at times, your social media manager will have to deal with negative noise and comments around your brand. It can be tough to be the person on the end of all the flack; however, a great social media manager will be able to quickly decide how to deal with the negativity and remain calm and helpful at all times. This role is not for those who panic.

4. Top-Notch Project Management Skills

Social media is not a broadcasting tool; it's a way for brands to tap into people's natural socializing processes. Your social media manager must therefore understand your consumers' typical behavior patterns, including how they communicate with one another and interact with brands they support.

A busy social media strategy takes a lot of management. Your social media lead needs to be able to juggle different platforms, content bases, and even internal departments. A structured approach will ensure momentum and help to offer value to your audience.

5. An Analytical Brain That Understands the Big Picture

Social media changes every day. Your social media manager must stay up to date on all of the changes, and he must be willing (and able) to alter your social strategy accordingly. Making sudden changes to a plan is never easy, but in this industry it is essential.

It is important for your social media manager to be driven by the success of your brand, which often means re-evaluating tactics when new opportunities emerge. Understanding social media is great, but it means nothing if those efforts aren't providing any value to your business.

Your social strategy should tie into the brand's overarching business strategy. It is essential for your social media manager to understand your company's challenges and goals so that he can build your social strategy accordingly.

The person managing your social media presences will be the person who'll know the most about your communities and how they're responding to your work. With that in mind, he needs to be able to analyze the plethora of data that is available to him and make recommendations or decisions based upon it.

6. A Capacity and Eagerness to Learn

As I keep noting, social media is a constantly changing industry. Regardless of the amount of experience your social media manager has, the willingness to learn is one trait that cannot be overlooked.

This person must be willing to not only stay on top of changes on current social platforms but also keep up to date on emerging platforms that would be a good fit for your brand.

Your social media manager must also be able to determine whether your current social strategy is benefiting your business and identify challenges on a regular basis.

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So there you have it: a quick guide to some of the key skills your potential social media manager should possess.


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Yo Noguchi is a DIY marketing expert, guest blogger, and frequent contributor to a blog hosted by Benchmark Email marketing service.

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Comments

  • by Davina K. Brewer Wed Mar 12, 2014 via web

    The other must have and inherent in almost all of these Yo - good list BTW - good communications skills.

    Writing well is only part of being a good communicator. You have to listen, listen to what matters. You have the interpersonal skills to develop relationships with many different people; you'll have to be able to read between the lines. Like understanding different platforms, you have to understand that human dynamics will vary on each. Part of the think skin and not panicking, you'll have to be able to think on your feet, respond swiftly and professionally in complex situations. You have to be social, engaging, human - all the while effectively communicating the brand message. FWIW.

  • by Amanda Dodge Wed Mar 12, 2014 via web

    I agree with the analytical brain part. Remember a few months ago when everyone was saying that Facebook was going to be the new MySpace by 2016? That doesn't matter. The ability to adapt to changes and platforms will keep your social media manager on top of whatever network is trending at the time.

    Well, that and good writing skills.

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