The Key Skills a Social Media Manager Needs for Success

The Key Skills a Social Media Manager Needs for SuccessWe all understand the value of both for our clients and for our own businesses, and how this area of needs specialist skills to get the most value out of it. Many agencies are finding that they do not have these skills within their marketing departments, or that the scope of their social media requirement is too large for a marketing assistant to manage alone. Here is where the steps into the brink!

If you are in this position, what specific skills should you be looking for in a candidate? Here I explore the essential skills every social media manager should have.

5 Social Media Manager ‘Must Haves’

1. Creativity

Social media managers need to be content creators. This encompasses a range of skills from copywriting and design, to even photography and videography. The social media manager may not have to actually take photos or create visuals (although often they do), but they do need to understand these creative disciplines so they can make good decisions about what content is shared.

Content needs to be adapted for each social media platform, whether it is the tone of voice used on LinkedIn compared with Facebook, or the visuals used on platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram. Therefore a broad range of creative skills to enable them to create effective targeted content is essential.

2. Trends Analyst

A good social media manager will have a huge desire and hunger for learning about trends and developments within their field. Social media trends are constantly changing; something which was trending yesterday, will not be today and it is vital for social media managers to understand and keep on top of this.

Social media managers should understand all social media platforms but also which are the most effective for the needs of the business. They should be aware of different strategies for targeting the audience and to get real results from this. Not only this, but the social media manager should know how to integrate blogs and forums into the business’ social media strategy, and be able to use these to maximise the success of the business.

It is not just about trends in social media; trends in your business sector are equally as important. So social media managers need to be constantly looking for new content and opportunities. From newsjacking, breaking news, to working in collaboration with your PR department, your social media manager should have a finger on the pulse of your industry.

3. Analytical Mindset

With social there is never a one size fits all and a strategy which worked last month, may not be having any impact today. There is no point in developing a strategy, spending hours on it each day, without it bringing any results. A good social media manager should be able to analyse data and use it to help make decisions.

Testing and analysing different tactics will help create a strong social media strategy, so social media managers must be prepared to experiment and look at different strategies – not just what has worked in the past or with a previous client.

Having identified clear objectives for your social media activity, the social media manager will need to measure the success of these activities and whether campaigns are having the impact desired. With this information they will be able to target social media campaigns in a much more effective way.

4. Great Communicator

Naturally social media managers must have great communication skills and be able to build rapport with the target audience. Communication is the key for social media, as you want targets to engage with your posts and take action; such as clicking on links, or commenting and sharing posts.

Social media managers are client facing, often the first port of call for a customer enquiry or even a complaint. Therefore, just like a customer service rep, they need to be able to deal with issues, problem solve and point people in the right direction, pitching their communications appropriately for each individual engagement.

The social media manager may also need to present data to your team or clients, perhaps to key stakeholders who are not so socially and digitally aware. Good communicators will able to demonstrate value and communicate clearly the objectives and the results of social media campaigns.


Good social media managers also join the dots. They connect customers to the right service, product or department; managing different exceptions and different demands from targets, prospects, and existing customers. They are also community managers, helping to join up groups of disconnected individuals who share a common interest. These communities need to be nurtured and encouraged to take actions that will ultimately impact positively on your business, for example by raising brand awareness and increasing your reach, or by pushing them through your marketing funnel to an end goal.

Social media platforms are not limited to just customers and clients, they are also an excellent place to promote your employer brand. Therefore social media managers also need to connect and attract prospective employees to your business, and grow this following too.

We are seeing more and more job opportunities for social media managers, and community managers. What do you think the key elements are for being successful in this job? Share your thoughts below, and if you are interested in job opportunities in this area of digital marketing, visit our .