5 Essential Social Media Marketing Skills

Driving successful social media communication is a complex task that requires both soft and hard competencies. One can gain some of them by attending social media marketing training courses, or, of course, through hands-on experience. But which of them matter the most? 

If you’re in the process of recruiting a new member of your Social Media Marketing team and you’re not sure which social media skills are the most important, this article will help you understand the essentials every successful social media manager needs on their resume. 

1. Creativity is key

The social media environment has gotten really crowded throughout the last decade. As a consequence, conducting successful marketing campaigns is a lot harder these days than it was a couple of years ago. This means that if you want to truly stand out from the competition, you need to come up with ideas fresh enough to engage your audience

The biggest social networks such as Facebook have recently made steps towards restraining business’ social media accounts’ organic reach as they decided to put more focus on ‘meaningful relations’ between friends instead of flooding users’ news feeds with branded content. Although it may have been the right move to make from a usability standpoint, it certainly made it much more difficult for social marketers to keep their business pages afloat. 

This proved to be the case particularly for smaller businesses that usually don’t have big budgets to spend on ads. The changes in the social media landscape lead us to the conclusion that a triumphant social media manager needs to have a flexible mind to come up with content ideas that will engage the audience in order to boost the company’s results

One of the best ways to engage your audience is to create incorporate user-generated content into your strategy and thus elevate the visibility of your social media posts. Be sure not to use the same trick too often though, as it may lose its effectiveness over time. But how can one possibly engage users consistently without using the same tricks too frequently? This question leads us to the second position of the community manager skills list.

user generated content
GoPro uses UGC very often on all their social media channels

2. Communication builds strong relations 

The amount of attention your business gets in social media is proportionate to how well your communication fits your target group’s needs. This is especially vital on Facebook and Twitter, where what you write is even more important and visible than on Instagram. Having an engaged audience requires building a dialog with people instead of making them listen to a brand’s monologue. It is always a good idea to check if your page’s wall isn’t overflowing with monotonous product posts. 

The way a business communicates in social media needs to go well with the way its customers communicate, so they can have meaningful interactions with one another. Fans want to feel important and listened to, so showing them that your brand cares for what they say is a crucial component to developing a strong relationship with them. This is why the ability to communicate well is such a valuable point on every community manager’s skills list.

A true social media pro should always be able to adjust their actions to the audience’s specifics. This means not only using the right language but also, what’s even more important, raising the right topics. Recipients always seek some space to discuss matters important to them. Being aware of it and communicating acordingly can bring much value to any business’s social media presence. A great way to achieve that is to observe the audience and search for real-time opportunities and insights to initiate discussions with them. 

Doing so can help you create a real bond between your brand and social media users and win their hearts for a long time. But how do you find out what the customers want your brand to talk about? Quick research is just not enough. Your social media manager needs to be well prepared and bring a lot of strategic thinking to the table to be able to run quality communication over extended periods of time. 

social media manager skills - communication
Burger King leveraged the popularity of Stranger Things show
to create a special offer for their fans

3. Strategic thinking

Even the most creative and communicative social media manager won’t be able to succeed blindfolded. Having a well-prepared marketing strategy is priceless when it comes to building a brand’s strong position in social media. Creating one isn’t an easy task, but it will surely pay off in the long run. 

Coming up with a good social media strategy may be challenging, but there are some basic steps a social manager can follow in order to design one properly. A strategy is not just a document – it should be all about recognizing repetitive processes that your business can benefit from. First, it is extremely important to identify the target group personas correctly. A marketer needs to become aware of their characteristics, problems, and needs before moving any further. Only then an effective communication plan can emerge. 

Social media management

Manage unlimited Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages in a single inbox. Track competitors and improve performance using simple dashboards.

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Gathering and processing knowledge about consumers will always help build a customer’s journey all the way from building brand awareness, through buying consideration and decision to developing loyalty. The ability to see the big picture is a must for every social media manager, but focusing too far ahead may sometimes turn out to be counterproductive, as no one is able to foresee all the upcoming obstacles, challenges, and opportunities. The one thing to remember here is to always plan before taking action. Try to take advantage of unexpected events, but never act without a plan. 

customer journey
The customer journey is a set of processes. Social media managers need to
communicate accordingly to the steps their customers are going through (source)

4. Using the right tools

The ability to use a variety of digital tools is another must-have in every digital marketing resume. This skill is especially important when it comes to creating visual content. Not every social media manager has to be a fully trained graphic designer, but it is important for them to be able to use simple yet effective tools to bring the content they produce to a whole new level. 

Driving everyday communication on an Instagram account is no rocket science if you know where to search for originality. Simple photos and videos are no longer enough to draw much attention every time you post, so getting some fresh additions to one’s social media skills arsenal is definitely worth it. Most users scroll through their Instagram feeds relatively fast, so it’s likely that they’ll likely miss your message if you simply add text to an image. 

There’s a variety of apps that can help you address this problem. For example, a great and relatively new tool for Instagram, Legend, is one of them. It lets you easily combine text and photos into animated attention grabbers. Another handy editing tool goes by the name Pixaloop and enables you to turn still photos into cinemagraphs with just a couple of swipes. The possibilities are endless, so the ability to utilize this kind of software is a vital element of every social manager’s set of skills. 

social media management tools
Pixaloop lets you turn any still image into a marvelous cinemagraph (source)

5. Analytical skills

Social media marketing is a very dynamic environment and it requires much effort to stay up to date with. In consequence, mastering all the skills mentioned above is inevitable for every social media specialist to succeed. Creative thinking, communication, strategic planning and having progressive tools at hand may not be enough if the performance is not measured and analyzed

Constant monitoring and analyzing social media marketing actions enables a marketer to extract essential information not only about how the audience reacts to published content, but can also bring in new valuable insights and help spot the weaknesses of their strategy. For instance, by investigating your audience, you can check if you are indeed reaching the target group that you wanted. And checking up on their activities could help you adjust the times to post and thus increase the probability that they see your content. 

Processing said information is the best way to keep developing better and better posts and advertising practices. A great social media manager should always be keeping a close eye on the performance of their creation, but also remember to be careful not to jump to conclusions too fast. 

Summing up, if you want to hire a well-qualified social media manager or become one yourself, it is crucial that you gain all the skills described in this article. Each one of them is equally important, but only mastering them all can pave the way to success in social media marketing. 

A true professional should: 

  • have an open mind and always be able to come up with fresh ideas,
  • be a great communicator,
  • know what it means to see the big picture and think strategically,
  • be able to match the right tools with the task lying before them,
  • and analyze the outcomes of their actions to improve their future results.

A well-trained community manager is someone every business should have on its team, so finding the best fit is worth your time. Knowing these essential skills every social media specialist needs, you’re all set up for success!