6 Fundamental Traits of a GREAT Social Media Manager

Photo: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/community-management-the-essential-capability-of-successful-enterprise-2-0-efforts/913Just a few years ago, the role of a social media manager (now commonly referred to as community manager) wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. Fast forward a few years, and I can say with confidence that most companies have someone that manages their organization’s presence on various social networks.

Be it healthcare, education, finance or consumer goods, organizations have begun formalizing what that role means to their brand(s) and how they choose to approach their respective digital ecosystems. Now that I’ve held a few Community Management positions, I thought I would compile a list of 6 character traits all social media managers should have.

A GREAT Social Media Manager…

Actively listens to their community  

Hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of conversations about or with your brand will happen on a daily basis. Social Media Managers must be able to listen carefully and sort through the various conversations happening around them, and most importantly, make sense of them all. Social media management truly begins with a thorough listening strategy or else you might be wandering the web aimlessly.

Is an information hoarder

A GREAT social media manager has, in my opinion, an inherent curiosity. They often want to gather news and information first, they love breaking news and hoarding insights. I admit, I’m an analytics geek (insert emoticon with glasses on)

Is a creative writer

The foundation of social media management is writing. Because many social media managers come from a background in creative writing, blogging or journalism, they often (and should moving forward) have strong written and oral communication skills. This means conveying complex ideas precisely, under tight deadlines. Consumers are being bombarded with an incredible amount of information so a quality writer, with a knack for creativity can be a very valuable addition to the team.

Has a passion for storytelling

Much of social media marketing is about telling stories. Whether you work for a multinational bank, a nonprofit or a food truck in Tatamagouche Nova Scotia, your company has a story that they want to tell and it’s up to your social media manager to develop and convey that story online.

Is a problem solver

The average consumer now views Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like as an official line of communication. Therefore, a great social media manager recognizes a potentially threatening issue, understands the fundamentals of customer services and finds way to solve problems that may come to an organization via social media.

Have superb time management skills

Managing social profiles isn’t a 9 – 5 job so coordinating several online profiles requires superb time management skills. Different industries have different peak hours, so taking the time to prepare content, pre-schedule posts and manage offline tasks is incredibly important. This way you can dedicate peak hours solely to interacting and engaging with your community.

The role of social media or community manager is evolving daily. While the requirements and tasks that they perform vary between industries, they fundamental skills and character traits overlap in many regards.A social media manager is your brand’s ears on the ground, reputational security guard and virtual CEO.

Am I missing any vital character traits? Let me know in the comment section below!

Jason Cassidy is a digital marketer and social media strategist. He holds a master’s degree in professional communication and currently works for a large restaurant company in Canada. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Photo: Photo: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/community-management-the-essential-capability-of-successful-enterprise-2-0-efforts/913


2 comments on “6 Fundamental Traits of a GREAT Social Media Manager

  1. Great post! I would add that a great social media manager should have some photo editing and/or video editing experience…it helps when adding visuals to content.

    • Jason Cassidy says:

      Thanks Kate! Totally agree. Basic photography and editing skills are increasingly becoming more important, particularly if you represent a smaller brand and budget is an issue.

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