The 10 Best Skills of a Social Media Marketing Professional
Employers, you want to find a social media marketing professional who can help you reach your marketing goals for real business results. Candidates, you want to land a social media marketing position where you can get the job done. How can both of you find what you’re looking for?
This article is a subtopic of an existing article on marketing skills. It narrows down the topic to social media marketing professionals with the aim of helping employers and candidates find exactly what they need. Use these 10 skills to pinpoint what you’re looking for, and you’ll see the search process become easier to manage.
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Social media activity is always moving at rapid speeds, but your audience still expects you to respond in a timely fashion. Your social media marketing professional(s) need to reliably be there when users engage with your brand. Responding to your prospects quickly and effectively can dramatically improve your chances at achieving a sale. In regards to your existing customers, a quick response to concerns or even praise can help you build brand loyalty.
Your social media marketing staff need to know how to respond to people in a way that’s fast yet still effective. This allows for matters to be resolved quickly, which improves your brand image and even your sales.
As a side note, social media marketers should always know the best ways to handle the speed required for reliability. One of the best tools for keeping your brand on time and reliable is Respond by Buffer, which social media support teams use around the world to track mentions and respond to other users in real-time.
2) Ready for Change
Social media is advancing at amazing speeds. New platforms and updated features are introduced regularly. A social media marketing professional needs to have the ability to adapt to these changes without hesitation. They need to be willing and eager to try new social media elements as they fit with your business goals.
A marketer who sticks to the same platforms and same features without branching out to new things closely resembles a dinosaur. When you don’t adapt, you lose your edge over your competition. Your social media marketing becomes outdated and ineffective.
Your business’ social media marketing ROI is dependent upon whether your marketing staff is embracing what works or staying with what once did. As an employer, it’s imperative that you find a social media marketer who won’t stay firm with the status quo. The ideal candidate must demonstrate an eagerness to stay on top of new developments for the betterment of their employer.
When your business is on social media, it’s important that your activity gives your audience a sense of humanity and positivity. Your social media marketing professional should know how to publish updates that express this. The best way for your updates to be upbeat is for your staff to be upbeat. Being positive in nature is easier to recognize in social updates instead of trying to force it.
When social marketers are upbeat in life, they can easily be upbeat in their work. When they are positive in their work, they give your business an advantage. Your business’ social updates will benefit from expressing positivity because it’ll make your activity more human and relatable. If you remain neutral and automated in your social activity, you’ll bore your audience and push them away. A social marketer with this upbeat skill will draw people in for your business, not steer them away.
To determine whether a candidate has this upbeat attitude, look at how they communicate online:
- What tone do they use in their updates?
- How do they communicate with other users?
- Does the wording in their communications resemble a positive attitude?
If a candidate makes it to an interview with you, keep track of how he or she expresses their answers to questions from you. This will help you determine what kind of tone they’ll bring to your social presence.
Social media is all about being there when and where it matters. A social media marketing professional should know how to stay on top of trends and how to incorporate them into their own activity. Facebook and Twitter provide top trends on their platform for users to be in the know about what’s going on in the social world. Your ideal candidate should have the skill to monitor these trends to determine whether it would be beneficial to your business to participate.
Some of the best ways to be in the know are:
- Monitor Google trends to see what’s happening at this moment
- Maintain a calendar of regularly-occurring events
- Follow industry thought leaders’ blog content and social activity as it happens
A social marketer should be trend-savvy. They should know what they need to do to get your business in front of a large audience while also keeping that attention relevant to your needs. When you’re looking at candidates, you can narrow down that overwhelming list by finding out which ones are likely to know how to do this. Look at past work experience as well as present activity online to see which candidates know what they’re doing.
A social media marketing professional is responsible for representing your brand online. Their job is to attract people to your business, which requires a certain approachability in what you publish. Your social media staff will share a tone or voice that can make or break your marketing ROI.
How? It starts with a social media update’s wording, but it can go beyond that to how your social media staff engages with your target audience. If your social media accounts are pushing people away rather than drawing them in, look at how your updates are worded and what your staff is saying to people in real-time.
It’s not always a matter of staffing, but this is a good area to evaluate when you’re seeing a problem or want to improve your social media accounts’ likability.
6) Effective communicator
Social media marketing requires strong writing capabilities. Marketers need to express their information in the most effective way while working with character limits and platform best practices. Each platform has its own way of creating updates to reach the largest audience, so a social media marketer should have the writing skill necessary for per-platform optimization.
There are so many writing training tools out there to improve one’s skills, so there’s no reason why a candidate shouldn’t know how to communicate on social. A social media marketing professional must combine platform skills with writing in order to create the best presence for your business. Writing skills can be acquired without having to go out of one’s way. Some of the best ways to develop writing ability are free and natural.
In addition to communicating effectively in writing, social media marketers need to have the eagerness and personality for audio and video social platforms, such as podcasts and YouTube. This is often overlooked, so it’s essential you as an employer evaluate this in your candidates. Don’t neglect verbal communication in a social media candidate because not all platform activity is written.
7) A well-established social presence
A social media marketing professional is not that if they don’t have their own active social presence. Even if the activity is personal, it can show employers a lot about how candidates use each platform:
- Are they engaging with other users?
- What are they sharing and how often?
- How are they expressing themselves?
When talking with candidates, ask them what platforms they’re on and what kind of results they are seeing from their activity. It is especially helpful if your ideal candidate is using social media to build their own professional influence in their industry. This gives you a clear picture of how knowledgeable and influential a candidate is.
A social marketer should have demonstrable skill visible online. Twitter is a helpful place to start if you want to see evidence of social media engagement. The platform moves fast and allows for plenty of real-time engagement. Look for that when evaluating a candidate’s fit for your open role.
8) Time management
You know by now that social media can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so it’s important you evaluate your list of candidates for their time management skills. Social media grows rapidly and requires the ability to manage time effectively.
A social media marketing professional needs to know how to manage his or her time. They need to know what they can do to stay in control of their activity. Using a tool to schedule and analyze social activity is a great example. Marketers need to know what to automate, when, and how. Using IFTTT recipes can help a ton with that.
There are many time management strategies social media marketers can use. It’s just a matter of whether they know about them or have the skill to apply them. As an employer, you can find out a lot about a candidate’s time management capabilities with targeted interview questions and hypothetical scenarios.
When someone wants to be an effective social media marketing professional, they need to know how to be organized. This organization skill is essential to maintaining a healthy flow of social media results for businesses.
Social marketers need to know how to create, follow, and maintain a calendar for their activity. This involves planning for the future and following-through with it. If a social marketer is disorganized, they won’t be able to handle a calendar. Using a calendar is important, so social marketers need to know how to use them.
In addition to that example, a social media professional should know how to follow a well-designed workflow. This requires a significant amount of organization skill. If a candidate on your list doesn’t show a clear ability to stay organized, they might not be a good fit as your social media marketer.
10) Analytical thinking
Last but not least, a social media marketing professional should have clear analytical thought capabilities. They should know how to measure, report, and respond to social activity. They should know what metrics to measure for whatever reason, and they should know how to explain this measurement data to others outside the department. They also should know how to use this data to make improvements to their social media efforts.
One of the most important elements of analytical thinking is being able to use the tools available to stay informed. This means social marketers should know how to use Google Analytics for their social measurements. They should know where to look on each platform for the key metrics needed to demonstrate a relevant ROI.
Most social platforms offer thorough analytics to help marketers understand how their activity is doing. The important task for social marketers is being able to use this data to make informed decisions in the future. If something isn’t working, they need to know how to fix it. If something is working well, they need to know how to maximize those results.
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As a social media marketing candidate, do you have these 10 skills? Perhaps you need to build upon them a bit. My recommendation: educate yourself and practice, practice, practice. Skills don’t develop overnight, so get working on them today. I wish you the best of luck in your career development.
As an employer, are you looking for a social media marketing professional with experience, expertise, and skill? I’m the ideal candidate to consider. Based out of Philadelphia, PA, I’m seeking my next great opportunity to work for a business with social media marketing goals. When you’re ready to take the next step in the hiring process, contact me using any of the means below. I’m looking forward to speaking with you about your business needs and goals.