In 2023 alone, the number of vacancies for SMM specialists has grown by 63%. Companies are looking for experienced social media specialists with a full range of skills related to this activity and are ready to pay a lot for the services of such professionals.
Everything is clear with experience, but what skills does a professional SMM manager need? In this article you will learn 10 social media manager skills that every SMM manager needs and we will tell you how to get these skills.
Before talking about skills, it’s worth telling you who SMM managers are. An SMM manager is a specialist who promotes companies, brands and media personalities on social media.
Smm managers increase a client’s audience reach, improve audience perception of the client, and engage with subscribers.
Social media managers actively develop and maintain companies’ presence in the information space. They work daily to create new content, introduce new ideas and formats. They also monitor analytics and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns to determine which content gets more response and which social networks are more effective for promotion.
More often than not, social media specialist accounts on these social media platforms:
Strategic thinking with a creative approach
A professional social media specialist begins by researching a brand’s history, goals, and audience. This information is used to create a thoughtful and detailed content plan.
Some SMM managers hold video meetings with clients to discuss key points to emphasize. The specialist then creates a plan for filling social media with content that should be in line with the brand’s goals. An SMM manager not only knows this position, but also knows how to present it in a way to attract the attention of the target audience.
It is important to be able to adapt content, as social media trends change very quickly. A flexible SMM strategy allows you to react quickly to current events.
Monitoring audience engagement in real time is one of the main tasks of a social media manager.
Sometimes a social media specialist has to mix styles to make content match subscribers’ tastes and current trends.
How to develop the social media manager skills to form a creative strategy:
- Identify the brand’s core traits and find social platforms that support its position;
- Develop a clear social media marketing strategy, paying attention to trends and brand needs;
- Analyze results and make changes to the content plan based on audience engagement.
Flexible content management
Social media accounts often require multiple posts, sometimes multiple times a day. However, it’s not always possible to create entirely new, high-quality content for every post (especially if the client is a startup).
An experienced social media marketing manager can find and reuse quality content by creating multiple publications based on the same source material. This requires a well-honed skill. The specialist needs to know what content they have and whether it fits the brand’s image.
Flexibility in managing creative resources is extremely important. Content that stays relevant for a long time needs to be organized and stored so that it can be quickly found and reused.
This work is often done in conjunction with other employees whose tasks are related to creativity — graphic designers, copywriters and video editors. Together, they can create vibrant and relevant content for social media.
Resource management tips and tools:
- SMM managers recommend using the Canva service to create graphic content. You don’t need to have design skills to use it;
- Google Drive and Dropbox are ideal for storing and organizing content for publications;
- Organize your content into folders so you can quickly find important files amongst a large amount of other content.
Storytelling and Information compression skills
An SMM manager should be able to tell stories creatively and condense them properly. This makes content interesting and concise. Storytelling social media specialist skills are the ability to intrigue with text to convey ideas. This skill is essential in marketing.
Effective social media storytelling is a key component of engaging content. Social media posts should be eye-catching and relevant to the context of the platform where they are posted. For example, LinkedIn is characterized by a more austere style, while Twitter is characterized by short, humorous posts.
A social media marketing manager needs to create engaging posts or comments that convey the tone of voice of the brand. A big plus would be the skill of creating short but impactful videos. The development of storytelling social media specialist skills is possible through specialized courses for copywriters, which can be found in the public domain.
Useful tips for effective storytelling and concise communication:
- When creating content, it is important to follow the brand’s identity so that your posts remain consistent and compelling across different social networks over time;
- Write engaging posts to keep the reader’s attention;
- It is also effective to use seo optimization in your texts to attract organic traffic. By the way, we have an interesting article about the best seo plugins for wordpress.
A quick response is a key characteristic of a social media marketing manager. What was popular on TikTok last month may be obsolete today.
A great social media manager often has to publish posts quickly, as long as the content is relevant. It is also important to be able to competently edit both their own and others’ work.
An experienced manager is able to edit drafts of posts taking in view of the style of the brand and trends in the social network. To minimize errors, you can use specialized software for text correction.
Tips for text editing social media specialist skills:
- Ensure the text is clear and accurate for publishing;
- Emphasize the text with your own observations or elements of humor, if possible.
Collecting feedback is an important part of a great social media manager’s job. Feedback can come from both the target audience and company employees. The manager must be able to carefully perceive feedback and promptly respond to it.
A specialist must be ready for criticism in order to efficiently process feedback and build an action plan based on it.
Useful tips and tools for handling feedback:
- Collect feedback and store it in separate files so you can see your mistakes;
- Track changes on social media after adjustments based on feedback.
Public Opinion Monitoring
Opinion monitoring involves analyzing social media for brand-related conversations. This includes looking for mentions of the brand name, key products or competitors.
An SMM manager should be able to identify all important brand mentions, even if they are not tagged, to effectively manage the brand’s online image.
Tracking untagged mentions, especially on Twitter, allows the SMM manager to respond to negative comments and maintain a positive reputation.
Opinion monitoring is also an effective tool for learning about a brand’s audience: what your followers are interested in and what they don’t like. This information is important for adjusting your SMM strategy.
How to develop public opinion monitoring social media manager skills:
- Respond to both negative and positive feedback;
- Create a dedicated account for customer support;
- Use apps to detect untagged comments.
Working with Influencers
One of the key social media specialist skills is to work with Influencers as part of marketing strategies. The SMM manager’s task is to find relevant and promising Influencers and establish strong partnerships.
Long-term partnerships usually yield better results than one-off deals. The longer the partnership, the better the Influencer understands your brand, and the more genuine their desire to help promote it will be.
Tips for finding and engaging with Influencers:
- Search for influencers among your brand’s community members or even company employees;
- Communicate openly with Influencers about your goals and KPI;
- Don’t neglect micro-influencers: their small communities often show more engagement than massive celebrity followers.
Data analysis and reporting
An experienced social media specialist knows how to evaluate each post and ad campaign using metrics and analytics, adjusting strategy in the process.
This professional must be confident with the basic analytics metrics provided by social media. Analytics media skills are key for the SMM manager, as he or she has to report to management on performance in each social channel.
Useful tools for analyzing social media data:
- The main focus should be on audience engagement metrics, number of views and ROI (return on investment);
- Use services like HubSpot, TapInfluence and Snaplytics to monitor metrics;
- Create infographics to visualize changes over time in key analytics data for company stakeholders.
One of the important media skills of an SMM manager is the ability to build useful connections. Effective social media promotion requires the ability to interact not only with influencers, but also with relevant brands and popular account holders.
An SMM manager must be able to network on social media to form long-term working relationships. Since all SMM professionals are in the same field, sharing experiences, learning from others’ mistakes, and supporting each other are valuable to the profession.
How to develop media skills for successful networking:
- Network with peers, managers and marketers on social media;
- Joining SMM manager communities such as The Social Media Geekout Facebook group;
- Reach out to PR agencies — they have valuable SMM insights.
Evaluate the effectiveness of promotional channels
Social media is constantly evolving and new social platforms emerge regularly. An SMM manager should be competent in selecting channels for effective brand promotion.
The choice of platform for content placement should be strategically sound. Spreading efforts on all possible social networks can lead to a waste of time and resources.
You need to start by defining your goals and then choosing the social platforms where your audience can best fulfill their interests. Many brands have a presence on all popular social media platforms thinking it’s a necessity, but this is a misconception.
Tips for evaluating the effectiveness of promotional channels:
- Take a close look at your brand’s social media goals and audience;
- Compare the average age of the platform’s users with the age range of your target audience; you might be surprised: for example, TikTok, known as a platform for teens, has a large number of users in the over 30 age group;
- Don’t copy the strategies of others, avoid branding other social networks just because your competitors are doing it.
It turns out that being an SMM manager isn’t easy. However, anyone can develop all these skills and become a skillful and effective social media specialist in demand on the labor market. Also read our article on affiliate marketing to master several areas of modern digital marketing together with RateMeUp.