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Social Media Manager Must-Have Skills

By Evan Bryce 13 November, 2023, 6 mins read
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Social media platforms have become powerful tools for businesses and individuals alike. Marketers and business owners use them to connect with their audience, build brand presence, and drive engagement. As a result, the role of a social media manager has grown in significance over the past few years.

A successful social media manager is not just someone who posts updates; social media managers are digital strategists who must possess a diverse set of skills to thrive in an incredibly dynamic and competitive industry. It’s no coincidence that social media managers work more than their colleagues, as there are simply too many things to do in this field.

In this article, we will take a look at the essential skills every social media manager must have to excel in their role:

Content creation


Social media revolves around content, and a social media manager must have a strong understanding of content creation and curation. This includes the ability to create visually appealing graphics, write engaging copy, and select or create multimedia content like images and videos that resonate with the target audience. 

Moreover, staying updated with the latest trends in content marketing is crucial to keep the audience engaged. This is particularly important given the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a technology that was already implemented by 68% of Australian businesses.

Advertising expertise

Paid advertising on social media platforms has become increasingly important for businesses to reach their target audience effectively. A social media manager should be proficient in creating, managing, and optimising advertising campaigns. This includes knowledge of targeting options, budget management, and analysing ad performance.

For more information on social media advertising, please check our Instagram advertisement guide and the costs of advertising on different social media platforms.

Data analysis

Understanding data is key to making informed decisions in social media marketing. Social media managers should be comfortable with analytics tools to track and analyse performance metrics, such as engagement rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI. These insights drive strategic decisions and help refine social media strategies over time.

In a world where the collection of vast amounts of data has been made possible (and democratised) by the Internet, the challenge of marketers and business owners is no longer to collect data but to interpret it. If done right, data analysis can be a game-changer for online businesses in and outside of Australia.

Community management

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Engaging with the online community is a fundamental part of a social media manager’s role. They need to respond to comments, messages and mentions as promptly and professionally as possible. Effective community management fosters trust and builds strong relationships between the brand and its audience.

Humour is one of the most effective methods world-class brands use to connect with their audience. Behind each funny brand on Twitter, for example, there’s one or more tireless social media managers doing their best to manage a community of followers.

When it comes to community management, social media management is not just about answering every query; it’s about being innovative, creative, and understanding one’s audience.

Understanding of SEO

Understanding search engine optimisation (SEO) principles is crucial for social media managers, as it can impact the discoverability of content. Knowing how to optimise social media profiles and posts for search engines can boost the brand’s visibility and reach. Social media managers should be able to incorporate SEO guidelines into their content seamlessly.

Moreover, social media managers should have a perfect command of as many SEO practices as possible, including keyword research, on-site optimisation, and backlink incorporation. It’s also vital to know how Google and other search engines rank pages based on their content.

These are the five main factors that Google uses to rank pages, as stated in a previous article:

  1. Time spent on site;
  2. Mobile compatibility;
  3. Backlinks;
  4. Content length;
  5. Content relevance.

Graphic design and video editing

While not every social media manager needs to be a graphic designer or video editor, having basic skills in these areas can be incredibly beneficial. Being able to create simple graphics or edit videos can save time and money on outsourcing such tasks. For people looking for a job as a social media manager, graphic design and video editing skills can be game-changers.

Considering that a third of Australians use social media for brand research, a brand’s online presence has become more important than ever. It’s up to social media managers to make sure that a business’s graphic and video content is up to its core values and promotes the business favourably and enticingly. Our YouTube channel is a great example of this!

For more information on this topic, check our guides to make video ads that sell and remove TikTok filters from videos.

Legal and ethical understanding

A social media manager should be aware of legal and ethical considerations in the digital space. They need to understand issues related to privacy, copyright, and compliance with platform policies to avoid legal problems and reputation damage.

This is particularly important at a time in which most consumers have grown conscious of issues that go beyond the commercial realm; these include matters related, for example, to animal cruelty, environmental sustainability, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Other crucial social media manager must-have skills

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Apart from technical skills, social media managers should also have the following attributes:

  • Strategic planning: A social media manager should be capable of creating and executing a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns with a brand’s goals and objectives.
  • Creativity and innovation: Social media managers should be able to think outside the box, come up with fresh ideas, and experiment with new content formats and trends to capture the audience’s attention.
  • Communication skills: Effective communication is at the heart of social media management. Social media managers need to craft compelling copy, engage with the audience in a friendly and professional manner, and convey the brand’s message clearly and consistently.
  • Time management: Social media management can be overwhelming with multiple platforms, posts, and campaigns to oversee. Strong time management and organisational skills are essential to juggle these tasks efficiently.
  • Adaptability: Platforms change, algorithms are updated, and trends come and go. Social media managers must stay adaptable and agile, ready to pivot strategies as needed to stay relevant and effective.
  • Networking skills: Building relationships with influencers, partners, and other brands can be instrumental in expanding the reach and impact of social media efforts. Social media managers should be adept at networking and collaboration.

Is it worth it to be a social media manager?

Whether being a social media manager is worth it depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. The role of a social media manager has evolved into a multifaceted and strategic position that requires a diverse skill set. From content creation and analytics to community management and crisis response, social media managers play a critical role in shaping a brand’s online presence.

Being a social media manager can be worth it if you have a genuine interest in social media and are willing to develop the necessary skills. It offers opportunities for creativity, flexibility, and career growth. However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential challenges and stresses that come with the role and ensure that it aligns with your long-term career objectives.

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