So you want to be a social media strategist? Over the past few months, I’ve had dozens of informational interviews with aspiring social media managers who want to know what it takes to be successful. These are the three key qualities I emphasize.
Ability to influence without authority
Social media strategists often start off as an island. You’re likely half a person or a whole person (if you’re lucky) who manages a blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and 4 other social networks. According to your job description, you’re responsible for editorial strategy, community engagement, data analysis, etc. What you soon learn is that your real job is to educate social media novices internally about why it matters, why they should clue you in on important announcements, and most importantly why they’ll win if they work with you.
Passion for the brand
Being a social media strategist is more a lifestyle than a job. To be successful, you really have to love, live and breathe the brand you’re managing. If you truly believe in the mission of the brand you work for, you embrace your social media strategy as an extension of that mission. This sense of purpose makes the late night crisis calls much more tolerable.
Thirst for learning
The social media landscape is constantly evolving. You have to be flexible and adaptable to keep up with the latest and greatest. It doesn’t mean you have to use every new app that launches. But it does mean you should know what the hottest apps are on the market, think strategically about whether your audience will be active on that app to then determine whether your brand should have a presence there.
Do you agree? What do you think it takes to be a successful social media strategist?