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5 Skills Required for a Social Media Career

April 20, 2023
  • 2,036
  • 8 min

The role of a social media specialist is becoming increasingly popular in the current market, with companies looking to take their digital marketing to the next level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this role is expected to grow at least 10% by 2030

If you’re looking for an exciting and impactful career, or you’re looking to hire someone for the job, you need to understand what a social media specialist actually does and which skills you need to succeed. 

We’ll outline five essential skills that all successful social media specialists have and answer some common questions about this career. We’ll also provide tips on how best to start your career in social media. With the right knowledge and skill set, you can become a successful social media specialist and make an impact on your organization.

Roles of a social media specialist 

A social media specialist is responsible for developing, executing, and monitoring campaigns on various social media platforms. They’re also responsible for analyzing data and optimizing campaigns to ensure the best results. 

The roles of a social media specialist can include: 

  1. Developing content marketing that meets the organization’s goals (video marketing, images, copywriting)
  2. Scheduling posts and managing interactions with customers on multiple channels like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
  3. Monitoring trends in the industry to create relevant content 
  4. Utilizing analytics tools to measure campaign performance and optimize campaigns (Sprout Social, BuzzSumo, and Google Analytics just to name a few)
  5. Developing strategies to increase followers, engagement, and brand awareness 
  6. Researching competitors to stay ahead of the curve 

As a social media specialist, you’ll also be expected to collaborate with other departments, notably marketing, sales, design, and customer service to ensure alignment to the company’s social media objectives.

Must-have skills for social media specialists 

Let’s take a look at some of the most crucial skills for social media specialists to possess to succeed in today’s fast-paced digital world:

1. Trends awareness

Keeping up with the most recent social media trends and the most used platforms is not only a necessary skill for an exceptional social media specialist, but it should be second nature. 

In this role, staying on top of patterns regarding content style and types of posts, how audiences respond, and the frequency of posts must be frequently assessed and revised to guarantee that your brand is in-line with those you’re trying to convert into customers.

Although it may not sound as interesting, understanding your competitors’ output and tracking your target audience’s behavior is just as important as knowing about the newest meme going around. Knowing why your competitors are doing well (or not so well) allows you to identify social media opportunities to get ahead.

Understanding content such as memes, videos, case studies, lists, and infographics, and anything else that can go ‘viral,’ is also crucial. However, if you decide to take part in a popular trend, it’s vital that the content, regardless of how it is presented, is applicable to your brand and adds value to your audience.

2. Copywriting

Good copywriting skills are essential for social media marketing and all other types of marketing. Social media managers must be able to craft captivating descriptions, tweets, and posts that drive engagement and clicks. To develop these skills, studying a few copywriting formulas can be very beneficial as it can improve productivity and the quality of the published content.

Being a copywriter is like being a storyteller, and you’ll need to understand that the audience needs to feel connected to the story. That is why an understanding of how to use language effectively is so essential to excel in this industry.

3. Analytic skills

Analytics are crucial in social media marketing as they allow you to measure the performance of your campaigns and optimize them accordingly. After all, understanding what type of content resonates better with your target audience will shape all your future posts and campaigns.

Having a good understanding of analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights can be very helpful when analyzing data from social media campaigns.

YouTube also provides its own analytics platform that allows you to track the performance of your videos, giving you valuable insights into how well your content is doing and which topics are resonating with viewers. Depending on the platforms you’ll be working with, you’ll want to become at least familiar with some of the analytics tools required for proper monitoring.

4.  An eye for design

Making a mark in the overcrowded social media space requires differentiating your brand from others. To this end, it’s crucial for social media managers to create content that is both valuable and enticing. This takes an eye for design, which can help them:

  1. Come up with original campaigns that take risks
  2. Generate visually stimulating multimedia material
  3. Pay attention to all aspects of a post’s presentation, including images, links, and text formatting 
  4. Facilitate brainstorming sessions that bring out their colleagues’ brightest ideas  
  5. Refine and develop their brand’s voice as well as its persona.

Keeping creativity front and center is an essential part of managing social media. It can help make content stand out from the rest, reach a larger audience, and if you’re lucky, be remembered for years to come.

5. Communication skills

Finally, social media professionals require the ability to communicate effectively. At its core, social media is a means of communication. You have to be able to use different methods, such as writing, emojis, GIFs, videos, and pictures, to get your message across in a way that captures your audience’s attention. So, what entails strong communication skills?

Client communication

Not only do you have to be able to communicate with your customers on social, but you also have to be quick acting when it comes to trending topics or customer complaints. You need to be able to drop what you’re doing at a moment’s notice and respond appropriately.

Internal communication

Strong communication skills are also key when working with your boss, peers, and people from other departments. You need to be able to explain how your work on social media will benefit the business, so they can understand its importance. 

Lastly, developing internal education and training is essential so that other departments, such as sales, customer support, and creative, can use social media in their own roles. This’ll also help your various departments be able to experiment and explore more social media opportunities. 

Bottom line

Making your leap into the world of social media is a great way to make an impact on your company and broaden your career prospects. To do this, you need a wide range of skills that go beyond the basics of just knowing how to use social media platforms. 

But having the skills is just the first part; you need an arsenal of tools, starting with a well-crafted resume to a strong portfolio showcasing your work that’s on-brand. If you’re unsure about what a suitable resume would look like, consider looking into modern and creative resume templates or social media resume examples to boost your professional image as a social media specialist.

Once you have the skills and tools, you can start to show potential employers your commitment by staying up-to-date with industry trends, participating in industry events, and engaging with other professionals on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. 

The main thing to remember is to keep educating yourself; social media is constantly changing, so staying ahead of the curve is important. With the right knowledge, dedication, and passion for social media marketing, you can be a successful social media specialist.

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