It’s easy to think that since you spend all your time on Facebook, chatting with your friends, or Instagramming your dinner, you’d be perfect as a Social Media Manager. This is a common misconception, but the truth is, being effective in this role takes a lot more than time spent sharing Lolcats and inspirational quotes.
If you’re really interested in becoming a Social Media Manager, you need to be able to plan social media channels effectively, write engaging content, communicate with customers and much more. To do all these things effectively, there are several important skills you will need to master:
1. Good Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
It might be perfectly acceptable to use slang terms and txt spk on your personal profiles, but if you are representing a brand, you need to know where to put your apostrophes!
2. Discipline and Organization
On a personal social media account, it doesn’t matter when you update your profile, or if you get distracted and don’t post anything for a few days. If you’re managing social media for a business though, you need to not only post regularly, but also have some continuity of content. For example, you might follow a theme for a few weeks, mention celebration days, as well as come up with brand new content on a regular basis. All of this requires a discipline and organisation that’s not necessary when updating your own personal social media accounts.
3. Great People Skills
It’s easy to think that being a Social Media Manager is the perfect job for someone who doesn’t enjoy the company of others. After all, it is a job based on the Internet. However, you really do need to be good with people. Unlike your personal social media accounts, where you can respond flippantly and even argue a point with your friends if you feel like it, when you are the voice of a brand, you need to be able to keep your emotions and opinions to yourself and respond effectively and professionally to customers.
4. Good Copywriting Skills
As well as an excellent grasp of the English language, as mentioned above, you also need to be able to apply this in several different ways. This includes the obvious tasks of crafting engaging social media posts, but also populating profile pages and creating compelling ad copy to drive both engagement and clicks.
5. Graphic Design Skills
You might enjoy sharing images on your own social media accounts, but when you’re managing social media for a brand, you will need to create your own branded graphics. This is not as simple as using an app to plonk a quote on top of a photo. Your graphics need to be engaging, interesting, professional looking and on-brand. This can take a lot of work and skill!
6. Video skills
These days, social media is all about the video content, especially live video. Therefore, when you’re managing a social media account, you will need to be able to create engaging and interesting video content. This might be those clever cut-together videos showing how to make a meal or craft project, or perhaps a live video where you go on camera to explain a new product or idea for your brand. Either way, you can’t manage social media effectively without a little camera work.
Still interested in becoming a Social Media Manager? There are plenty of things you can do to help give yourself a head start:
● Invest in a Training Course
Hootsuite Academy has some great social media certifications that will stand you in good stead, and the Digital Mums social media training course is very well respected too. There are lots of different courses out there though, and it’s important that before investing in any, you investigate and make sure they are reputable qualifications which will teach you what you need to know. Check out testimonials and go by personal recommendations wherever possible.
● Sign Up for Free Webinars
There are lots of these available all the time. You’ll often see them advertised on your Facebook newsfeed, or on Twitter. Since they’re free, they will only cost you your time, and you may learn valuable nuggets of information.
● Read Articles and Blogs
Social media is constantly changing, so even if you get a good qualification, you will still need to stay up-to-date. Websites like Social Media Explorer are updated regularly with helpful and insightful articles. It’s also worth keeping an eye on sites like the Facebook Newsroom and the Twitter blog for announcements.
● Practice, Practice, Practice
Set up your own professional social media channels and run them. This will allow you to try out new approaches and ideas, as well as providing proof to prospective businesses or clients that you know what you’re doing.
Are you an aspiring Social Media Manager? Let us know if you have any additional tips that you think will help other readers!