What Makes a Good Social Media Manager?
According to Later’s social media team, a solid social media manager is as quick as they are creative.
“They’re able to think on the spot and quickly adapt in a fast-paced industry,” says Social Media Specialist Chantal Hermetz.
when someone tells me they wish that they had my job as a social media manager because all i do is post pictures on instagram pic.twitter.com/aejjjh2xyc— annie-mai (@anniemaisocial) September 8, 2023
Better yet? “They know how to stand out amongst a crowd,” adds Later’s Social Media Manager Christine Colling.
“You can have the basics down, but a bright personality and a good sense of humor makes all the difference in relatability, connection, and driving your strategy forward.”
Pssst, we’ve already done the hard work for you. Download our ready-to-use resumé template to take your social media career to the next level, today.
13 Social Media Manager Skills to Master
Wondering how to become a successful social media manager? These are the top 13 skills to master:
An Eye for What Works on Social
Nimbleness or Ability to Pivot
Graphic Design and/or Editing
From an Instagram caption to campaign assets for a product launch, copywriting is a highly-used skill for social media managers.
Writing captions like:— Later (@latermedia) February 18, 2022
C'mon brain think of things. C'mon brain be so smart.
Plus, given that the attention span of social media users is so low, being able to write content that elicits engagement is a must.
#2: An Eye for What Works on Social
It’s hard to quantify, but being able to identify the type of content that works on social media relative to the industry you work in is an important skill.
Paying attention to little details like aspect ratio, editing techniques, or even the use of memes, and then applying what you've learned (with your own spin on it), can help set you apart.
#3: Project Management
Social media managers often juggle multiple deadlines and collaborate with several people at a time, whether it’s clients or other team members.
Without project management skills (and knowing what to prioritize), you won’t be able to make as great of an impact on your business goals.
TIP: Later’s social team loves this Digital Project Management course from Superhi.
Whether it’s tracking audience behavior or digging into the latest CapCut trend, a social media manager’s ability to research is what will keep them steps ahead of the competition.
Aka, if you have a questionable amount of browser tabs open at all times, you’re doing something right.
#5: Community Management
A loyal community is the north star of social media management.
Plus, social media managers are generally the first to know how customers are feeling about a brand and its product or service.
A great social media manager knows how to ask the right questions to facilitate (and grow) their online community.
PRO TIP: Download our free Instagram comments and DMs template to quickly answer any question that comes your way.
#6: Nimbleness or Ability to Pivot
The one constant about social media? It’s always changing.
when I had an idea for a TikTok trend but another creator got to it first: pic.twitter.com/Uxd4CbNwWG— Later (@latermedia) March 22, 2023
Social media managers often have to pivot their content strategies and update their content calendars, so nimbleness is a must.
PRO TIP: Download our free ready-to-use social media calendar to streamline your social media strategy.
#7: Public Speaking
Not every role will require on-camera skills, but being comfortable on camera can give you an edge.
Plus, being able to pitch your ideas or share results in team (or client) meetings is important for showcasing your value as a social media manager.
In other words: Lights, camera, action!
While this might not be a “hard skill” you list on your resumé, being curious is essential to being a social media manager.
Why? What works one month, might not work the next. So, it takes a level of curiosity and openness to dig into what's happening and then come up with solutions.
TIP: If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy constant change, social media marketing may not be the right career for you.
#9: Graphic Design and/or Editing
While graphic design, video editing, and social media management are very different, having basic design and editing skills can be helpful for creating quick-turnaround assets — especially if you’re a team of one.
You don’t need to be a professional, but having an eye for design will benefit your career.
#10: Data Analysis
As you climb the social media marketing ladder, being well-acquainted with platform analytics is key.
Even better? Being able to find patterns within that data to inform your content strategy and tell a story.
FYI: Weekly, monthly and/or quarterly reports including social media results are a typical part of the job. So, get comfortable with numbers!
#11: Crisis Management
Compared to other marketers, social media managers arguably have a better pulse on their customer’s wants, needs, and complaints.
And crisis management on any social media platform isn’t for the faint of heart.
TIP: Bookmark our resource for handling a crisis on social media: How to Manage a Social Media Crisis: A Step-by-step Guide.
#12: Budget Management
Another advanced social media manager skill? Managing money.
Even for smaller teams, tracking influencer and paid ad spend isn't necessarily off the table.
Knowing how to budget for these initiatives with your social media goals top-of-mind is a superstar trait.
PRO TIP: Spend less time manually tracking expenses with Later’s free social media budget template.
#13: Content Management
Above all else, a social media manager needs to master content management.
Using a social media scheduler to plan and post your content is the best way to save time, stay organized, and be consistent.
With Later, you can plan all of your social posts from one centralized dashboard, and schedule them ahead of time.
When it's time to post, Later does all the hard work for you. Simple as that.
There’s no denying that social media managers possess a unique set of skills, but there’s always room to grow.
By staying curious and seeking out new opportunities to learn, you’ll stay on top of your social game — no matter what platform changes come your way!