9 Essential Social Media Manager Skills You Should Have

9 Essential Social Media Manager Skills You Should Have

9 Essential Social Media Manager Skills You Should Have

The role of social media in the growth of businesses has triggered an increase in the demand for social media managers.

And it’s understandable.

Given that building a solid social media presence requires perfection across multiple stages, the job of a social media manager is diverse as much as it is critical.

A social media manager is a jack of all trades who shoulders multiple responsibilities. And due to the diversity of the tasks, the skills required to become a successful social media manager are wide-ranging.

In this article, we will discuss 9 top-rated social media manager skills you must possess in order to forge a successful career.

Stick around till the end to see what these skills are, why they are important, and how you can develop them.

Skills for Becoming a Successful Social Media Manager

In recent years, we have noticed a sharp spike in social media usage. According to statistics, the average user spends around 2 hours on social media leading to a spike in demand for Social media managers.

Today’s industry requires them to wear multiple hats at the same time. They are writers, designers, researchers, and marketers all in one.

To become a social media manager, you need a combination of skills that are critical on their own but are deeply intertwined with one another. These skills include:

1. Creativity

About 91% of marketers working for businesses with over 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing in 2021. This statistic is a clear representation of how crowded social media is.

Brands have to go out of their way to develop campaign ideas that stand out and get them the attention.

This is why creativity is one of the most important skills in a social media manager’s portfolio.

Creativity is best defined as inventiveness. It is their ability to take something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary.

Having said that, well-found creativity helps you develop buzz-worthy social campaigns and come up with innovative ideas. Well-honed creative skills give you the discerning eye to see what others cannot see and create content that grabs your audience’s attention, regardless of the inherent social noise.

Check out how Oreo creatively seized the opportunity to engage its audience when the lights went out during Super Bowl in 2013

Oreo creatively

This post by Oreo is still regarded as a creative masterpiece and will go down in digital marketing history books as the most exceptional spontaneous social post.

How to develop creativity?

Creativity is not a magical power that is only bestowed. Dedicated efforts and focus can help you develop creative skills and win as a social media manager.

Creativity stems from inspiration. As famous American writer Mark Twain once said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” But contrary to popular belief, inspiration does not dawn on someone. You have to seek it.

So, allocate some time from your routine to seek inspiration, flex your imagination muscles, and ask questions to tickle your curiosity.

2. Communication

Having communication skills means that you can narrate your ideas so that they can be well- received. But communication is not one-sided.

Strong communication stands on four pillars:

  • Articulate speaking: sharing your ideas in a way they can be understood.
  • Active listening: absorbing what is being shared to develop a relevant and valuable response.
  • Observing: understanding your environment to adapt the way you communicate.
  • Empathizing: to make sure you don’t appear as a soulless robot.

Your brand exists on social media to connect with its audience. And you, being your brand’s voice, must know how to communicate with your audience in a way that intrigues, attracts, and keeps them engaged.

Starbucks’ social media team really knows how to communicate with their audience through relevant humor.


But as a social media manager, you have people other than your audience to communicate with. These communication forms include:

  • Sharing new ideas with your team
  • Explaining your strategy and its outcome to the stakeholders
  • Talking to angry or upset customers and making them feel cared for
  • Giving briefs to the creative heads about what exactly you are looking for

3. Copywriting

You have to elicit an action out of your readers. The purpose of your existence on social media, after all, is to get your target audience to take some sort of action.

So, a social media manager is required to have well-honed copywriting skills.

You see, unlike regular writing, copywriting is action-driven. It captivates the readers and motivates them to take a particular action.

You can take copywriting inspiration from Emirates and their crisp yet comprehensive Instagram caption that delivers a complete message in less than 50 words!


How to develop copywriting skills?

A good copy stands on a solid understanding of the target audience. So, before you start typing away, perform thorough audience research to adapt your tone and style accordingly. Uncover the emotions that elicit a reaction from your customers.

Apart from being relevant, make your writing adaptable. You may have to use different platforms with a unique set of audiences and adjust your writing accordingly. For example, you may use a more casual writing style on Instagram, but that may not work well on LinkedIn.

4. Design

Having design skills means you can channel your ideas and communicate your thoughts through striking graphics and compelling visuals.

49% of marketers rate visual marketing as very important for their strategy. Why? Because people are visual learners.

Honey Bunches of Oats does graphic designing right on their Instagram. With a crisp caption and striking colors, this post is hard to miss.


Also, a social media manager often faces the task of making topical content, adding branding images, or fixing the rejected images as per guidelines on the go.

At such times, having a few design tricks under your sleeves saves you time and eliminates dependency on the designers.

How to develop design skills?

You can begin by observing what others are doing in your industry and getting inspired. For a hands-on designing experience, you can use social media graphic designing tools like Canva.

SocialPilot also has a pretty straightforward inbuilt image editor you can use to fix the aspect ratio of your images and add colors, frames, stickers, logos, watermarks, and annotations to make them super engaging.

socialpilot image editor

Color psychology matters as well and can increase conversions by 24%. So, research what colors attract your audience the most and include that in your color palette.


5. Community Engagement Skills

Community engagement is an umbrella term that involves a variety of subskills, including:

  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Transparency
  • Research
  • Qualitative analysis and, of course,
  • Communication

Community engagement on social media means retaining the attention of existing customers while gaining new customers.

An engaged community is the best way to stay on top of your customer’s minds and experience increased conversions.

As a social media manager, you are at the forefront of your social campaign. You have to foster digital relationships, gather your prospects, and assemble them into a community of engaged audiences who share problems, thought processes, and capabilities.

How to develop community engagement skills?

You have to dive deep into data and unearth insights that give you a sneak peek into your audience’s lives. Listen carefully, and then deliver content that resonates with the audience.

Additionally, you have to monitor your online brand’s activity continuously and respond to comments, positive or negative, and react to criticism and feedback. Oh, and don’t forget to capitalize on trends relevant to your community.

Here is a handy guide on replying to negative comments on your brand’s social media.

Facebook broke down on 4th October 2021 and smart brands didn’t miss out on the #FacebookDown trend that ensued. Check out how Mercedes Benz hilariously took part in the trend:


6. Public Speaking

Public speaking skills are built upon your ability to communicate articulately and confidently to a large audience.

You see, with the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Live Streams, the social media marketing scene has evolved. Given that 82% of viewers prefer to interact with a brand’s live stream than their social posts, the ability for marketers to appear in front of a live audience and communicate with them is valuable.

Social media live stream stores are gaining popularity as well. And if you, as a social media manager, want to leverage the potential of live streaming, you have to have the confidence and ability to conduct live sessions, answer spontaneous questions, and conduct interviews in real-time.

How to develop public speaking skills?

Developing public speaking skills will need dedication and a commitment to overcome your fears. Here are a few practical ways to become a better public speaker:

  • Take public speaking seminars and workshops.
  • Go out and talk to people in person.
  • Practice speaking in front of the mirror.
  • Watch videos of accomplished public speakers and get inspired.

7. Analytics

As a social media manager, you have a cart-full of data that you have to analyze to optimize your social strategy. Optimization is critical to ensure that your efforts, time, and budget are invested across the right channels.

Apart from that, you need to learn how to read data and derive meaningful conclusions to prove your social media ROI to the stakeholders who are already skeptical about social media.

How to develop your analytical skills?

Strong social media analysis, in this day and age, is not an impossible task due to the presence of innovative and extremely adept social media analytics tools.

How to prevent mixups and streamline things when you have to keep an eye on the analytics of all the social accounts for numerous clients separately?

SocialPilot’s Advanced Reports simplifies it all by stitching together the analytics of multiple profiles of your choice. This way, you can track them from one dashboard. You can also download PDFs of these advanced reports or send them to your clients for a complete overview of the progress you made.

Advanced Reports

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8. Understanding Behavior Psychology

Understanding human psychology will help you understand the type of content that will perform the best for any given audience.

For example, you know how fear of missing out (FOMO) compels people to take action. Knowing this will help you create content leveraging FOMO and getting the desired response.

Check out how Soylent, a meal replacement supplement leverages FOMO on social media:


Similarly, people tend to act on herd mentality when they see many people doing the same thing. Knowing this, you can use social proof to drive the desired results for your brand.

9. Budgeting

More often than not, social media managers are given a fixed budget for their social campaigns. They have to create social strategies on a budget and optimize their expenditures in a way that ensures that their strategies are well-executed within this budget.

Marketers are found to claim that they waste 26% of their budget on ineffective strategies. Therefore, strong budgeting skills are intertwined with your ability to analyze and optimize your social strategies.

How to develop budgeting skills?

Fortunately, you can master social media budgeting without having a degree in finance and accounting.

  • Estimate your expenses, add in some contingencies and plan your budget accordingly.
  • Budgeting may have a bit of a learning curve. But with experience and time, you will most definitely master this critical skill.

Final Thoughts

Want success in social? Then hone your social media manager skills. If you haven’t noticed yet, the skills required to be a great social media manager are interlinked.

You need creativity to be a good designer and writer. You must be a good communicator to have excellent community engagement skills, and so on.

No matter how strong your skills are, there is always room for improvement. So, never stop refining your existing skill set if you want to grow in your career.

A social media manager has a lot to juggle. To prevent some of the tasks from slipping, progressive social media managers rely on intelligent, data-driven tools to manage some of their tasks for them.

SocialPilot is an all-encompassing social media tool that offers powerful publishing, seamless collaboration, and insightful analytics all in one.

Try it for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

🌟 What are the 3 most important skills to become a social media manager?

Creativity, copywriting, and communication are the three critical skills every social media manager must have.

🌟 How to learn social media management skills?

Get a relevant degree or look for helpful resources on the internet. Find work as a social media intern, gain hands-on experience and continue to look for inspiration. Analyze whatever content you come across and figure out what makes it good or bad. Learn to use social media analytics and implement your findings through new strategies.

🌟 What are the responsibilities of a social media manager?

A social media manager is responsible for a business’s social representation. The scope of responsibilities may vary from business to business, but generally, the responsibilities may include brainstorming content ideas, creating and posting content, tracking metrics, and community management.

🌟 How to become a social media manager with no experience?

Learn the skills needed to become a social media manager and start applying what you have learned by building and optimizing your own social media handles. Look for small business owners and help them set up their social presence. Continue to learn and build your portfolio as you go.

🌟 Is social media manager a good job?

If you are someone who loves to spend time on social media, then you can have fun while working as a social media manager. This job has a high satisfaction score, and depending on your skills and employer, pays well too. If you enjoy tackling professional challenges and love working in a fast-paced environment, social media management could be for you.

About the Author

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Atul Jindal

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