A social media manager is a person who manages all of a brand’s social media channels. That means creating and curating content, writing posts, taking pictures, shooting video, responding to customers, monitoring conversations about the brand and its competitors and measuring success of all these efforts every day. It is a big job and is not a job for just anyone. Social media managers are the online voice of the brands they manage. Although there’s no one, right formula for what makes a successful social media manager, for those aspiring to become one, here are 10 tips on what it takes and how to effectively cultivate a brand’s online presence.
1) Strong communications skills, both written and verbal. A social media manager must work with the brand manager/account executive to understand the brands and the tone of voice that each brand should use in communications with consumers.
2) Active personal social media presences. A social media manager who doesn’t actually use the social channels that we are hiring them to manage isn’t really interested in social media. We want people that are passionate about these communication channels, and we want to see how they use them personally.
3) Curiosity. We want someone who is constantly exploring, learning and likes to figure things out. With the pace of change in social media today, and in all digital communications channels, a person in the social media manager role needs to have the personal drive to experiment with each new tool.
4) Common sense. Much of social media management has to do with using common sense in how you reply to customers, the words used in posts and the types of pictures that are posted. We look for someone that knows how to do a gut check before pressing the post button. Taking a good look at their personal social media profiles can give a quick impression of their ability to do this.
5) Diverse technical skills. Because content is king and diverse content gets better engagement, we are looking for people that are comfortable taking pictures, shooting video and writing — almost like a backpack journalist. If they don’t have these skills, we are willing to teach if they are willing to learn.
6) Passion. Effective social media managers are not only experts of the company or product they represent, but also are passionate about it. Envisioning the brand’s potential and future on social media is necessary for its growth and success.
7) Be engaging. Quality social media managers should be able to engage in conversation and communicate effectively. Learning to connect with others is key when engaging in dialogue with customers and online users. Understand customer perspectives and empathize with them.
8) Prioritize. Learning to prioritize platforms and how they are used is key. Focusing time and attention on your platforms with the largest audience and reach is essential. While working to grow your audience on other platforms is important, don’t waste time and content on a platform that’s not the right fit for your brand.
9) Listen. Listening to not only your brand’s community, but conversations taking place around your products and competitors. Stay in-the-know with social media trends and relevant topics centered around your industry. This is where some of your best inspiration resonates!
10) Remember your audience comes first. Keep in mind that without a community to manage, there’s no need for a social media manager. Let your audience tell you what they want, don’t force content upon them.
There is an art to social media management. And as the social spaces and digital world continue to grow and change, so will how you manage social media. Staying relevant and adaptable to changes is key in this industry — be ready for what’s happening now and next in social media and the industry you work in.