What skills are most critical to have as a social media manager in 2016? Being organized – that’s a given. Creative? No brainer. But what else are your clients (and employers) looking for? Well, we’ve pulled together a list of the top four skills we feel are important for social media managers in 2016 to have under their belt.
1. Know How To Streamline Processes
Take advantage of technology and programs available to make things easy on you:
Scheduling platform (to keep your pages active round the clock)
Pre-plan the content you share and schedule it ahead of time. One less thing you have to worry about. One of our favorite programs to use for scheduling our clients’ social media content calendars is Hootsuite, we like it for its clean integration with brand pages that allow for “pretty posting” (content shared with no messy links and properly formatted images).
Monitoring platform (to have an eye on what’s going on)
Set up alerts for the most important keywords, phrases you need to be in the know about. As a social media manager it is your job to know what people are saying about your brand(s) online at all times – which, as you know, can be tough when you have a million other things to be paying attention to day-in day-out. We recently started using a tool called Nuvi, which takes social media monitoring to the next level. This tool not only lets you see what’s being said about your brand on every channel in real time, but you can just as easily keep a close eye on competitors and conversations you should be a part of so you can jump right in!
Audience growth platform (let the robots do the dirty work for you)
Audience growth is key to growing your brand. There are many ways to go about this – some organic, some paid – but the best social media managers know that it takes a little of both for the most effective results. While we would never suggest axing hashtag research from your daily management routine, we will suggest complementing your organic audience growth efforts with a tool that can help speed up that process a little bit. For Instagram, we suggest a platform called Boostgram, that allows you to target users based on who they’re following, interests and demographic info.
Cross channel aggregation platforms (two birds, one stone)
Utilize the function of one channel to fire a response on another channel automatically. If you haven’t heard of IFTTT (If this, then that) yet, you’re missing out. This social media tool allows you to integrate functions across different channels, you can create a “recipe” that will perform an action on one social channel based on an action on another. For example, if your store sells umbrellas, you can set up a recipe that will fire a message to your audience on Twitter letting them know you’re running a sale on umbrellas if it starts raining. This tool is definitely worth exploring, but don’t go crazy – remember that your audience can sniff automation from a mile away, so don’t over do it.
2. Create Hubs For Content Ideation
Inspirational quotes are a great way to connect with a large amount of people (and they’re share-worthy). Create one of your own or use one created by someone else so you can minimize the time spent tracking down relevant quotes for your audience.
Generate a long list of snippets/facts about the brand, company or individual you’re representing to cut down on time spent each week or month generating content ideas. Knock it out at once, you’ll have more time in the long run.
Compile a list of social influencers within the relevant verticals of the page(s) you’re managing. Think of your target audience and their interests – who are some of the influential people in that space? Compile their names, handles and contact info in one place and add to it as you go. These are the people/pages you’ll want to stay highly engaged with so you can form partnerships.
3. Train Your Team To Do Everything You Can
You may be the brains of the operation, but you need to have the ability to lean on others when things get a little crazy. Make sure your team is trained on how to do anything you do and your time will be freed up to put more attention on the bigger picture. Plus, empowering your team lets them know you trust them – which is a great feeling to have.
4. Understand People & What They Want To Talk About
Common sense is the best tool a social media professional can have. Stop thinking like a marketer and think about what your audience is interested in hearing and talking about. Data comes in handy if you need more insight into who your target audience is – Facebook in particular has a ton of insights that will give you everything you need to know about your audience (age, job title, interests, etc). From there, it’s up to you to take that data and make inferences that allow you to know what to say to them.
What else? What other skills do you think are important to possess as a social media manager in 2016? We are all ears – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or additions to what we’re shared here!