Believe it or not, everyone has a set of skills they’ve acquired over the years. In my case, magic is a skill that I have obtained.
I bet you were just checking your Facebook a few minutes ago, weren’t you? How did I know this? Magic.
Okay, so maybe it’s not magic. Social media is everywhere and we’ve made a habit to check it often. In order for your social media pages to thrive, you need to have a certain skill set to do so (and get actual work done).
I’ll teach you everything I’ve learned from working in the social media world and how you can implement these skills in the upcoming year.
Let’s break the skills down into two distinctive sections: soft skills and technical skills.
Soft Skills Social Media Experts Need
We often hear the term “soft skills,” but what does that mean exactly? Soft skills in the work place are basic skills most individuals naturally have, such as people skills or time management skills. Social media pros require their own set of soft skills.
So the big question is, “What soft skills are needed for social media?”
Having the ability to stay organized is the #1 skill for social media managers. Without an organized plan, your social media will crumble and fall. Here are a few key points to help you stay ahead of the game:
Use and keep an updated content calendar. Planning out social media posts is time-consuming, so keeping track of it all with a content calendar can help cut down on time. Consider investing in a content marketing editorial calendar to improve your social media planning and stay on top of your schedule.
Schedule social media posts ahead of time. Scheduling posts in bulk saves a great deal of time, and it allows you to focus on other parts of your job. In my case, I use CoSchedule to schedule multiple posts ahead of time. CoSchedule’s Best Time Scheduling feature does all the work for me, so I don’t have to worry about deciding which times will work best for each post. I can schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest in a matter of minutes with CoSchedule.
Bookmark apps you use everyday. Are you constantly opening the same pages day in and day out? Bookmarking sites and tools you visit often will help you stay organized and save time. I have my bookmarks specifically placed based off which order I use them in. This way I work efficiently and never forget a step in my social media process. Bookmarking rather than having scattered tabs opened will help you build organizational skills.
Keep a list of sites for curating content. Sharing the content of others is one of the best ways to show that you’re not all about you, and that you value a variety of perspectives beyond your own. First, sign up for an RSS reader like Feedly and subscribe to industry news sites and blogs that post on industry trends and topics. This way you won’t spend a lengthy amount of time searching the internet for content your audience will find interesting.
It’s always important to be to work on time, but in the social media world, it’s especially important to be on time with your audience. This means that it’s your job to be punctual in all aspects of social media.
Respond to your audience quickly. In order to connect with your audience, you have to interact with them. If you receive a message, comment, tweet, or any other form of communication from your audience, you must respond promptly. Our team uses the Mention app to respond to our followers quickly and efficiently. Many of your followers will have questions that need urgent answers, so it’s important to reach out to them to resolve the issue. Or to simply thank your followers for sharing your content.
Post relevant content. Your audience is following your business because they like what you have to offer, so don’t spam them with irrelevant content. Position yourself as a trusted brand by only sharing and posting the best content that will benefit your audience. Be on the lookout for current and relevant content during your daily routine.
Consistency is key. Yeah, I just said “daily routine” in that last sentence. Social media thrives on consistency. Think of your daily routine as a mental checklist of everything that needs to be completed. Forgetting a simple step, such as posting a piece of content, can have big consequences for the rest of your team. Consider everything you have to do for social media, then make a habit out of it.
Post upcoming events. Certain pieces of content have to be posted on certain days. Does your team have a webinar coming up? Or a demo? It’s important for the social media manager to be aware of these events and promote them accordingly. Make sure to inform your audience when these awesome events are so they don’t miss out.
Being flexible means you should be able to do backflips and jump through hoops — not literally — but figuratively. Social media is social, it happens at all hours of the day. That doesn’t mean you have to be checking Twitter at 2am, but expect to be a little flexible outside of work.
Understand that social media happens 24/7. Remember that part about responding to your followers? You might have a 9-5 work day Monday through Friday, but social media is happening 24/7.
When you’re scrolling through your social media before bed, quickly check your business pages to make sure:
- Nothing has posted wrong or has grammar mistakes.
- There are no urgent messages that need responses.
- Links are not broken or missing.
Quick little check-ins will make you the ultimate social media manager. Don’t let your Monday’s be overwhelming because you didn’t check your company’s social media over the weekend.
Put in effort to show that you are human. Social media can be extremely fun if you take a step back from trying to be business professional all the time. You want your audience to know that you’re real. A good skill to have is going the extra mile. Don’t take the easy way out by auto-responding or sharing the same content over multiple medias. Be fun and have fun with your audience, and I can guarantee it won’t feel like work. Social media is social, so be yourself and join in on the conversation.
Be able to multitask. I know, you’ve read dozens of articles that tell you multitasking is bad. In the social media world, multitasking is something that will come naturally. Managing accounts for multiple social media channels is going to require a bit of multi-tasking. With the right tools, you can accomplish these tactics efficiently.
As mentioned before, here are some tools that will help you multitask:
- Use CoSchedule to create and schedule posts.
- Use Feedly to create RSS feeds for curating content.
- Use Google Analytics to keep track of how well your content is performing.
- Use Mention to respond to your audience’s tweets, comments, and mentions of your company.
- Use Canva to create quick graphics for social media.
These tools can make your social media process run much more smoothly, plus save you a headache.
Technical Skills To Incorporate Into Your Workflow
Having soft skills is important for social media, but being able to balance those skills along with the technical side of social media is the big picture for a social media expert. Working in social media, you are responsible for building brand awareness and analyzing success.
In order to fully understand how social media works, you need to have knowledge in these three areas:
Knowledge of Social Media Analytics
So you’re thinking, “I spend enough time on social media. I don’t need to spend more time checking social media analytics.” EHH wrong. Tracking your social media analytics is essential because it helps you figure out what is or isn’t working, enables you to track your progress throughout a given time, and ultimately saves time. So how can you develop social media analytic skills?
How to interpret analytics. Creating content is important, but so is tracking its performance. You need to be able to asses what content is resonating with your audience and what isn’t. In order for you to identify which posts are working, you need to check your social media analytics. Use tools like Google Analytics to help you find out things like page views, engagement rates, and when your audience is most active. You can also check out analytics directly on each social media channel, such as Facebook.
Start using analytics to track your social media efforts today and overtime you will see patterns and trends forming.
If you want your social media to stand out above the rest, than you need an audience. You might have all the social media skills you could ever dream of, but without an audience, it’s all just smoke and mirrors. People are the heartbeat of social media so it’s important to connect with them.
Be able to understand your audience. Why does your audience matter? Your audience is the reason your company exists. Without them, you would be tweeting or posting to nothingness. It’s important to understand your audience in order for you social media content to connect. You might be posting content that you think is awesome, but that doesn’t mean your audience thinks the same thing. Here are some ways to understand your audience.
- Look for trends. Does your audience seem to be sharing more content that has visuals? Then add visuals to more content!
- Listen to your audience. Does the majority of your audience seem to be asking for the same thing? Make it happen!
- Use surveys. Having trouble deciding on something? Make a quick Twitter poll or survey to find out what your audience would like better!
What would you like to see from CoSchedule!?
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) July 12, 2016
Target your audience. The best way to reach success is by knowing how to find your target audience. Start by asking yourself some simple questions. These can include:
- What problems does my company’s product or service solve?
- Who are our current customers?
- Who is my competition?
- What do customers stand to gain from choosing us (instead of a competitor)?
After getting a better understanding of where your company stands and the type of audience your competitors have, you can develop outstanding content based on their interests.
Develop a strategy to get more followers. Find out where your audience is most prominent. Try spending your limited time and resources investing in only the social media sites you know that your customers use. Develop a set plan to increase your engagement and your audience will skyrocket.
It’s important to build engagement, but as a business, it’s priority to build brand awareness and market your brand through social media. Don’t just “do” social media, but do it well and apply these skills.
Work on your writing skills. Ah yes, writing. You might have entered the social media field because you thought there’d be limited writing. Well, it turns out there’s a lot of writing to do here. If you want your audience to click on your content, you need to give them a reason. Before posting content think to yourself “What’s in it for my audience?” Why should someone click on this content or even share it? Having a strong social message will tell your reader what to expect and why it’s important.
Here’s a few ways you can become a better social writer:
- Practice writing catchy social messages that will make your audience want to like, share, and comment.
- Use our headline analyzer to write killer headlines.
- Avoid repetition. Write unique content for every social message.
Share what you know with your content team. You are a social media rockstar, you know what your audience likes and you have some great technical skills. Put those combinations together and you can create amazing content. Sure, you might have a content marketing team that does all the writing, but they don’t know everything there is to know about social media like you do. Don’t be afraid to use your skills and share what you know!
Are you ready to be the ultimate social media expert?
Social media marketing has evolved over the years. Separate your social media pages aside from the rest and be unique!
Apply the skills you’ve acquired for social media in 2017 and watch the magic happen.