[Drumup] 11 Critical Skills that Savvy Social Media Managers Have

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On this subject, here is an article about Social Media ManagersAbout a decade ago, the role of the social media manager didn’t exist. Marketing and sales executives were focused on traditional channels like TV, radio, print and door-to-door to achieve their goals and quotas. Facebook was just beginning to realize what they had created and how the world would never be the same again.

Note: This post was first published on September 27th, 2017 and has since been updated with additional information. 

Fast-forward ten years and “Social Media Manager” is one of the most coveted and sought-after titles in the job industry, even in the most conservative of industries like real estate.

Most companies realize the value of focused social media marketing, and dedicated strategy or not, they want to hire a social media manager.

An overwhelming number of small businesses that participated in this survey said that social media was the important channel in attracting new customers.

So what can a social media manager do to contribute to the growth of his/her company?

52% of the social media managers who participated in this study claimed that social media had a positive effect on sales and revenue.

Recommended reading: How Social Media Agencies Can Prove to Clients that Social Media Engagement Matters

This post lists the skills that savvy social media managers have that assist them in positively impacting their companies’ success and growth. Some skills listed on this post are hard kills or technical skills, while others are soft skills that are difficult to measure but substantially add to a brand’s social media presence.

Regardless of how you classify the skills, these 11 skills can be developed with time and effort, and with the support of a reliable social media management tool like DrumUp, you can use them to achieve the results that you desire.

1. Social media research (pre-marketing research) and competitive analysis skills

Without the right theme and tone, your social media marketing efforts will fall flat. To ascertain the right theme and tone to get through to target audiences, your social media managers need to be skilled at market research. Notably, many social media managers find social networks to be an important source of valuable marketing insights, insights that they use to plan brand placement, content and design, based on customer/user personas, behavior and the social media market.

72% of the social media managers who participated in this study and claimed to spend 11 hours a week on social media market research, experienced positive benefits by doing so.

What does social media research assist?

  • Brand analysis
  • Campaign tracking
  • Influencer outreach
  • Customer care
  • Competitive analysis
  • Product launch

This and other applications of social media research together can help social media managers create an effective social media marketing strategy that covers all bases.

2. Organization and time management skills

Everyone gets caught up in the relentless social media cycle. Social media managers are expected to wear multiple hats, juggling various tasks on a daily basis. Everything from market research, as discussed to content development, analytics and customer engagement fall under a social media manager’s responsibilities. To manage those tasks efficiently, social media managers need organization and time management skills.

What efficient social media managers practice to optimize output

  • Being goal-oriented and task-focused so they can prioritize tasks that will move the needle and accomplish those tasks.
  • Planning content ahead and monitoring progress on social media content calendars.
  • Optimizing the efficiency of content development and promotion by making the most out of content created and maximizing traffic and engagement on every post.

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You could use DrumUp’s team management features, content libraries and queue calendar tostreamline your social media marketing, save time and maximize content efficiency.

3. Social media monitoring and adaptability skills

Social media monitoring is a capability that is highly sought-after by companies both in the social media managers they work with and the social media management tools that they use. The better a marketer is at listening, the more impactful will be his/her work. For instance, look at what Oreo did at the SuperBowl. It had people talking for weeks after the event, earning the company millions of impressions.

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How smart social media managers use their social media monitoring skills

  • They listen not only to manage brand perception, but also to understand their audience. For instance, a good social media manager has an alert for “brand name” on monitoring tools, but a great social media manager has alerts set up to find important conversations related to the niche, prospect customers and PR opportunities.
  • Good social media managers are aware of the evolving social media landscape, changing content and engagement trends and new features to take advantage of.

According to this study, 34% customers now find newsjacking annoying and a whooping 71% of them don’t like it when brands talk about politics.

You could use DrumUp’s content curation app to stay updated on the latest news, trends and top content created in your niche by setting up keyword streams and RSS feeds (of top news blogs).

4. Community management and customer engagement skills

“Social” is the meat of social media marketing. Without conversations and one-on-one interactions, your social media marketing efforts will appear superficial and solely automated. Clearly, community management and customer engagement skills are critical parts of a social media manager’s job.

While social media has become customers’ top go-channel for customer support, only 21% of companies are actively providing customer care on the channel. This leaves a lot of room for your brand to make an impact simply by providing excellent customer care. Zappos Founder and CEO Tony Hsieh has said that he runs a customer care company that happens to be selling footwear. Unsurprisingly, Zappos is widely known for the quality of its customer care.

How successful social media managers manage communities and engage with customers

  • They listen intently and acknowledge all answers. Some of them use humor or general niceties to break the ice with customers and prospects.

When using humor it’s important to stay true to your brand’s identity. Digital Marketing Strategist Kim Huynh who jokingly calls social media managers “the people with the Twitter password” says, “They must know your business (and your brand values and unique proposition) inside and out,” because that is at the heart of every strategy they create and execute.

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5. Creativity – copywriting and design skills

Content development is a critical part of social media marketing. A social media manager’s creativity and efficiency in creating content will directly shape his/her brand’s impact and consistency on social media. As social media marketing expert Pamela Moffet Ferris says, it’s all about “targeting the right people with the right message”, and social media engagement acts as feedback. If you are doing it well, you will have engagement on the content you are posting.

Social media content can largely be broken down into two areas – textual/conceptual content and design. While social media managers generally work with content writers and graphic designers to get this work done, it’s necessary for them to have an eye for both.

How successful social media managers create effective content

  • They take market insights into consideration and know when to post what, where and how often.
  • They know how to read metrics and gather actionable insights which can better their content strategy over time.

You could use DrumUp’s in-app social media analytics to track the success of your content and use those insights to consistently better your posts.

6. Analytical and SEO driven skills

Some social media managers believe in “winging it” with social media content, without having any real insight into how their posts are performing on social platforms. Tracking Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) may consume your time on a daily basis, but it allows you to figure out what’s working and not, which will ultimately save you time in the long run.

How smart social media managers use analytical and SEO skills for social media marketing

  • If the content you share on social media resonates with your target audience, it should reflect on your website. Social media posts should drive increased referrals and possibly conversions on your website, provided the content you share is conversion-oriented. Tools like Google Analytics can give you insight into referrals, page visits and conversions.

Curated posts are an excellent substitute for original content on social media because they can be useful and relevant to your audience. By @mentioning the author you also stand a chance to build important relationships in the industry.

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DrumUp’s content suggestions come with @mention and hashtag recommendations to amplify your social media posts.

  • SEO is the reason how the tortoise beats the rabbit in the long game. With consistent efforts on every blog and social media post, you can create a source for a consistent stream of traffic over time.

7. Oratory or public speaking skills

With the advent of apps like Facebook Live, Instagram and Periscope and video becoming an important part of social media marketing, oratory and public speaking have become important skills that social media managers should possess. Shortly after Facebook rolled out its Live broadcasting feature, the company altered its news feed algorithm to make Live Videos appear higher in news feeds than other types of posts.

Along with added reach, Live videos also fetch more engagement for brands that use them for AMAs (Ask Me Anythings), expert interviews, product lauches and more.

How savvy social media managers use oratory or public speaking skills to connect with their target audience

  • They cover offline events (product launches, conferences and workshops) on Facebook Live and Periscope for expanded visibility and create exclusive online events to engage their social media audience.
  • Savvy social media managers use live streaming to hold QnAs, launch contests and campaigns, conduct interviews, share tutorials and more.
  • Live video can also be used to share behind-the-scene happenings and introduce the world to the people behind a brand.

8. Networking or interpersonal skills

The age of in-person networking has long ended, making way for online or social media networking. In place of the one physical meeting with a contact, you could establish and reach hundreds or thousands of contacts via social networking. Regardless, the skills that are involved in connecting with people and making an impression on them remain relevant to date. Social media managers who possess such skills are in-demand and can accelerate results for brands who wish to build an influential network in this age.
Social media managers who network with the right people on social media can not only enable better content reach and distribution, but more effective website traffic generation and conversions via co-marketing, guest blogging and influencer marketing.
How savvy social media managers network on social media platforms

  • They join the right groups and discussions and make an impression.
  • They reach out to partners, influencers, fans and prospect customers and introduce them to the brand’s community.
  • They create opportunities to collaborate and expand the visibility of their brand.

9. Psychology based knowledge and skills

With knowledge of behavioral psychology and how to use tools that track customer behavior on web pages, social media managers can make sound decisions on the types of content to use for social media marketing. Knowing the types of posts people like and share can help in creating repetitive success, while knowing why people share only certain types of posts can help in creating posts that can potentially trend.
Additionally, the knowledge of behavioral psychology can also help social media managers create content for a wide range of specific applications such as changing customer perception or boosting sales for a particular product.
How social media managers use the knowledge of behavioral psychology to drive business goals

  • Savvy social media managers create buyer personas or target audience personas and consider their characteristics when designing communication for all purposes.
  • They use behavioral insights gained from tracking customers to engage them on social media and persuade or influence them to follow a brand and eventually, purchase from them.
  • They understand basic psychological principles like the ones that include reciprocity, scarcity and urgency to create more effective social media communication.


10. Logical and decision-making skills

Since social media managers speak directly to customers, it’s important for them to be able to make smart decisions without higher-up intervention. Most customers who communicate with brands via social media expect a response within an hour, leaving little room for an approval cycle to successfully run it course. The quicker and smarter your social media manager is, the better results you can expect with your social media marketing.

What social media managers can use logical and decision-making skills to accomplish

    • You don’t want customers who complain on social media to wait for a long time in anger while you try to get a hold of your supervisor for approval. Social media managers who command wit, language and customer sensibility can really contribute in building a brand’s image on social media.
    • Social media managers who are responsible for advertisement are also better off making decisions by themselves, especially with campaigns that have to be monitored on a daily basis. Social media operates at a quick pace and often responds with unpredictable outcomes, even to well-planned campaigns.

Sometimes, a well-planned campaign may suffer a typo during final execution. Take for instance, the W.E.B. Du Bois campaign by the US Department of Education where the activist’s name was misspelt as W.E.B. DeBois.


11. Business sense and budget management skills

While being able to generate social media engagement is a useful skill, understanding how social media fits into the big picture goes a long way in social media marketing. Ultimately, every company’s focus is to create business impact using social media as a channel. Social media managers who understand website traffic, leads and sales are invaluable to companies.

Social media managers who work for large corporations on clients (as part of agencies) need to have budget management skills. By learning which platforms to prioritize and how to cut operational costs to save money, social media managers can optimize the ROI of their marketing efforts.

How social media managers can apply their business sense and budget management skills

  • By measuring website traffic, leads and conversions generated via social media, social media managers can report the impact of their efforts on business goals.
  • By managing allocated budgets better, social media managers can exceed company requirements.

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