What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

Skylar Sullivan Skylar Sullivan, Marketing Coordinator

Do you know what to look for in a social media manager job candidate? If your business is getting serious about its social media marketing, it’s essential that you know which skills and personality traits matter when looking at potential hires. Simply understanding the basics of social media isn’t enough. It takes a special mix of skills and personality traits to do this job well.

In this article, we’re taking a look at seven crucial qualities that the best social media managers have in common.

1. Eye for design. Today’s social media experience is almost entirely visual, with photos, videos, and memes playing a much larger role than traditional written content. To reach your customers, your social media manager needs to have a solid grasp on creating visually engaging content that can capture the attention of people who are idly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook while on their phones.

2. Competent copywriting. Engaging an audience through simple, short messaging is a valuable skill for any marketer. The writing doesn’t need to be complex or grammatically perfect, it just needs to be compelling enough to capture the attention of the target audience for long enough to tell them your message.

3. Social media mastery. The best social media managers actually use social media in their daily lives. This may seem like a strange point to make, but there are plenty of experienced marketers out there who don’t actually enjoy spending their free time on Twitter or Instagram. As a result, they don’t have an intuitive understanding of these platforms, and are out of step with the audience they are trying to reach.

4. Statistical savvy. A candidate doesn’t need to have a B.S. in Mathematics to become a good social media manager, but it does help if they have at least a working knowledge of basic statistics. Digital marketing is data-driven work, and it’s nearly impossible to make sense of a campaign’s results without an understanding of concepts like medians, modes, ranges, and standard deviations. They don’t even need to have a deep knowledge of the math behind these ideas, they just need to be able to correctly interpret the data generated by their social media and monitoring tools.

5. Behavioral understanding. Being able to comprehend social media data is important, but it’s not as important as having the ability to realize what that data is telling you. To understand why a given marketing campaign is connecting with your audience, it helps to have a little emotional intelligence. An ideal social media manager has an innate sense of customer psychology, and can clearly communicate their insights to the rest of the team.

6. Engaging attitude. At its most basic level, social media is about connecting with other people. Reaching out to customers, listening to their feedback, and building community are core responsibilities of the position. This doesn’t mean that it’s exclusively a job for online extroverts, but it’s definitely not ideal work for social media hermits.

7. Enthusiasm for technology. On a technological level, social media platforms are almost incomprehensibly complicated. There’s no way that an individual person could ever make sense out of the millions of connections and data points that are generated on a daily basis by your brand’s social media marketing efforts. The best social media managers understand this, and as a result they prefer working with the best available tools for managing campaigns, engaging in social listening, and building brand reach. If they don’t already understand how these solutions work, they’ll be more than happy to learn.

What else should you look for in a social media manager? There’s no universal answer, but a good place to start is by finding someone who already loves social media, understands your brand, and cares about doing a good job. To truly excel, however, social media managers also need strong internal support. This means providing them with the right resources — social monitoring software, analytics and reporting tools, media intelligence solutions — to do their jobs to the best of their ability.