As more brands realize the need to reach their audience online, the demand for social media managers to help grow their business through social is rapidly increasing.

As social media marketing recruiters, we recognize that every company today needs a social media manager if they truly want to reap the benefits of social channels. We also often encounter digital marketing talent who seek a career as a social media manager and wonder what skills they need to get there.

The social landscape has become far more complex than what it used to be just a few years ago – it requires constant monitoring, managing, and measuring to drive results. In today’s digital age, a mixture of certain key soft and hard skills is important to the success of any social media manager.

The Future Landscape of Social Media (Ep. 6) | Forbes

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Top Skills Social Media Marketing Recruiters See in Social Media Managers

Whether you’re just starting off in social media or you’re looking to brush up your sophisticated skill set, take a look at these core skills social media marketing recruiters believe every social media manager needs for success.


Social requires innovation, forward thinking, and a strategic mindset. You simply can’t go into it without a set strategy and hope for the best without doing your research. You must be strategic in determining the best times to post, your content strategy, and understanding your target audience.

If you’re in charge of social, you need to ensure the strategy contributes and aligns to the overall marketing and brand strategy. You must define your goals, audience and the networks that will help build awareness and drive results.

You must understand what content works and doesn’t on each social platform, along with the different content formats (like video, image, blog post) that work for your specific target audience.

A good social media manager is goal-oriented and has a documented strategy that aligns with overall marketing goals. Building a team and having the right digital marketing talent onboard that can execute the strategy you build is equally important. In order to stay organized and efficient with your team, use a social media content calendar to keep everyone in line.


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Content is the core element of social media that sets brands apart, with visuals playing a major role in standing out. As a social media manager, you will be charged with defining the strategy to ensure the content you share and curate is compelling and valuable for your audience.

You only have a short amount of time to make an impact and grab your audience’s attention, so it’s essential to have a good eye for design and creative. Being able to distinguish the type of imagery and visuals that will and won’t work on social is critical.

Storytelling is an essential element of great content. Video content is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience and drive engagement. Combine engaging media formats like video and a compelling script – and you have a potentially viral piece of content! You must think outside the box and know how to identify content that resonates with your consumer and connects with them emotionally.


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Social media marketing recruiters know writing is an essential skill for a social media manager. You won’t be writing long-form content on social, but knowing how to write short, concise copy that’s incredibly engaging and grabs your audience’s attention is important.

Your compelling content needs to be supported by great writing and a voice that’s unique (and cohesive) to your brand. Doing so successfully boosts engagement and builds a credible online presence.

If you need assistance, Hemingway and Grammarly are great tools to make sure your copy is bold, optimized and effective.

Social media marketing is accountable for driving core KPIs, generating leads and ultimately impacting the bottom-line.

If you’re in charge of social, it’s valuable to know how paid social contributes to growing your reach and bringing in customers. If you know what you’re doing, social ads can significantly you help optimize your strategy and speed up measurable results.

Community Management

Social media plays an important role in customer service. In today’s digital world, brands must continuously monitor, engage, and measure social media engagement so any issues customers have are resolved.

Consumers appreciate and value brands that respond back to them. However, effective community management today is beyond just responding to people. Responses must be timely, and there must be a strategic and cohesive voice across all your channels.

Community management is different from social media marketing in that it focuses primarily on actively managing a community around a brand, advocating for it online, and building relationships. It occurs beyond your social media publishing.

The role of a social media manager involves being a community manager to ensure engagement with your audience is managed and in good standing. Managing your brand’s community becomes more important the larger your audience becomes. Effective community management involves customer service and being engaged in conversations that involve your brand, and should be consistently monitored.

Without a community management strategy established, you could potentially miss out on things like resolving customer issues, attracting prospective customers, nurturing current customer relationships, and driving brand awareness.


Marketing has become increasingly data-driven and social media managers must be able to prove that their strategy and efforts are driving measurable results. In order to prove an ROI from social, you must be able to measure your performance and use metrics to show it.

An effective social media manager uses analytics to understand their audience, enhance engagement and draw conclusions to improve the current strategy. You can determine what works and what doesn’t in your strategy in real-time with available data at hand.

As social media marketing recruiters, we recommend getting accustomed to reading and translating analytics reports. Having a good understanding of SEO and incorporating it into your strategy is additionally valuable in driving traffic.


As social media marketing recruiters, we know becoming a successful manager and social media guru in today’s digital world has become more demanding than it used to be.

Developing these 6 core skills take time and commitment. However, investing your time and dedication to learn these skills will prove to be incredibly rewarding in the long-run.

What other skills do you think are important to become an effective social media manager? Let us know below!