digital marketing, digital strategy, social media marketing

5 traits every good social media marketer must have

In an effort to keep up with their competitors and the fast-paced world of digital marketing, so many brands are rushing social media and getting it wrong. They hand over responsibility for managing social media channels to anyone in the marketing department who has enough free time, without giving proper thought as to whether that is actually the right person for the job.

Despite the fact that the first social media platform was launched all the way back in 2004, research from 2010 showed that only 12% of businesses (based on a sample of 2,100) believed they were using social media effectively.

More recently, the Capgemini Consultancy study on the “Digital Skills Gap” found that companies were not investing enough in digital skills and talent, finding that over 90% of the companies interviewed admitted not having the necessary skills in social media, mobile, automation, performance monitoring and analysis.

Who should I be hiring?

You don’t necessarily need to be an expert in social media marketing to do a great job of managing a brand’s social presence. With certain traits and a good understanding of the platforms and the way users engage with them, as well as a solid marketing strategy and a clear set of goals, there’s no reason why you can’t take the DIY approach and succeed. To make sure you assign or recruit the right person for the job, here are the 5 traits to look out for:

  1. Editorial/writing skills. Just because there’s a character restriction on some platforms, this doesn’t mean that your social media manager can be a poor writer. Quite the opposite – your social team should be able to create engaging, dynamic content and do it quickly.
  2. A great sense of humour, conversation and social skills. The kind of person who will thrive on social media is the one who is great in social situations, who can be witty, charming and likeable both on and offline. A great sense of humour is a must in the social media world, as is the ability to not take oneself too seriously.
  3. Customer service skills and empathy. Providing great customer service is one of the main ways that brands utilise social media platforms, dealing with customer queries and complaints. If you can empathise with a user’s frustrations, then you are more likely to be able to soothe, reassure and help them.
  4. Multi-tasking skills. Managing multiple social media channels at once can be a real time drain unless you know how to manage your time.
  5. Awareness of latest trends and pop culture references. In order to communicate effectively and ‘fit in’ online, a social media marketer needs to know exactly what is happening both online and in the real world, as well as having a good eye for fresh and relevant new material.

What other skills do you prize in a social media manager? Have you brought in someone new to manage your social channels or did you look internally for someone to do the job – and has it proved successful so far? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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