6 Essential Skills You Need in a Social Media Manager Job Description

By Dara Fontein

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The last decade has seen the creation of jobs that simply did not exist ten years ago. SEO specialists, app developers, and wall scouters (those in the fashion world who hunt for photo and Instagram backdrops, of course) did not exist prior to the opportunities created thanks to the accelerated enhancements in technology taking place. One of the most popular and necessary jobs that has become almost a basic requirement amongst large and small companies alike, is that of the social media manager.

While many small brands think they either don’t need a social media presence and, therefore, a social media manager, or that they can handle the tasks one would perform, the truth is that there are numerous reasons why a social media manager is crucial to your small business. We’ve put together the following post to help highlight some of these reasons and make your decision a no-brainer.

Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Social media manager job description

Occasionally you hear someone’s job title but can’t imagine what this person actually does every day when seated at their desk (Honestly, what would their browser history show?). For many small business owners, the title “social media manager” conjures up such confusion. To clarify the general job description of a social media manager, we turned to Monster.com as a leader in career advice and resources. According to Monster.com, “social media managers are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for a business’s social media sites. This might include blogging, creating social media profiles, managing regular posts and responding to followers.”

Not only that, but “social media managers must stay at the leading edge of industry trends, so they can create a marketing strategy that generates inbound leads, gains followers, and creates a positive image for the company. They are also responsible for regularly evaluating the success of their marketing efforts and tweaking their marketing strategy as needed.” While just recognizing this list of responsibilities and tasks as quite comprehensive should make the necessity of a social media manager clear, the following list of reasons should emphasize this.

Technical skills

1. SEO knowledge

While often believed to be a divided area, SEO has great impact on your social media strategy. A social media manager knows this, and knows how to optimize SEO by aligning it with the overall social media plan. As marketing approaches with inbound focuses, both SEO and social media have the ability to bring your customers and audience members to you with the potential to build actual relationships and communicating with them, rather than at them. SEO and social media are both directed by content, and as Forbes explains “content is the cornerstone of your SEO strategy, and your social media manager is the gatekeeper and promoter of much of this content.” When thinking about your social media manager’s approach to SEO, Forbes suggests asking yourself the following questions:

  • How will they promote your blog content on social media?
  • Do they understand the connection between exposure on social media and increased search rankings?
  • Do they know how driving traffic to the company’s website impacts the bottom line?

2. Social media expertise

It seems obvious but your social media manager must have social media skills. This includes knowing what type of content works best on what platform, optimizing content accordingly, as well as understanding the different nuances of each platform.

They should know how to engage an audience through social media posts and interactions, and should hopefully find some joy in doing just that. Social media is one of those skills that is not as easy as it may seem to the untrained professional, so you need an expert who can truly take your brand’s online presence to the next level.

3. Customer service specialist

With our recent blog post highlighting the importance of social media as a customer service tool, a social media manager will know how to best communicate with your customers and audience members. If your customers see your branded account posting inspirational quotes and product images on a regular basis, but ignoring their direct inquiries and social media comments, this will have obvious negative implications for your company.

A social media manager will know how to best handle all customer interactions, and as Forbes explains, “A successful social media manager knows that your social media presence is your brand’s face online; that everything they say or do on social media is a representation of the brand – for good or for bad.”

4. Social media management tool masters

Just as a carpenter is only as good as his saw skills, a social media manager is a master of the tools they use. If you still think your small business doesn’t need a social media manager, think of how long it took you to simply figure out how to use any of the new programs on your computer when you first got started. A social media manager comes with a deep knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the tools in their digital tool belt, and will know how to use these tools to direct the marketing strategy at hand.

They have most likely undergone training, like Hootsuite University, for example, related to how to best use their preferred social media management tools, and can therefore seamlessly apply their knowledge to your content marketing strategy without any additional time dedicated to learning and training.

Creativity

5. Copywriting skills

As you have come to recognize by now, a social media manager is a skilled jack-of-all-trades. Along with being an expert in everything social media, customer service, and SEO, a social media manager has copywriting skills that will be invaluable to your small business. The ability to convey ideas in a clear and precise way can mean the difference between a sale and a business fail.

When your customers and audience members can easily understand the messages being conveyed on your social media channels, there is an obviously higher chance that they will leave with a positive sentiment towards your brand. As Forbes explains, your social media managerwill be communicating with customers on a daily basis – and 99 percent of this communication will be in writing.”

6. Visual intelligence

While much of your social media managers output will be in writing, visual content to accompany posts is crucial. The right photo can mean a post gets shared a hundred times rather than ten times, and having someone who knows what images will work, and when, is invaluable to your organization.

A social media manager will also have general knowledge of design in order to create visually appealing graphics to coordinate with appropriate posts–a skill that is incredibly valuable in today’s media landscape. With video an ever-increasing component of social media strategies, we explain in our post outlining skills social media managers will need in 2016 that a social media manager will “know great video when they see it, and most importantly have a firm grasp of social video trends and how they fit into each major network. Certain networks, like Vine and live-streaming tools Meerkat and Periscope, also have a far lower expectation of quality, so the average smartphone user can become a video content creator for your brand.”

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