What to look for in a Social Media Manager

What to look for in a Social Media Manager is key to a business such as ours and many others. As a start-up, we understand that our social media presence is going to help us establish ourselves. A business social media channel is the heart and soul of a brand. As a result, we recently acquired the services of a social media manager to slowly integrate our start-up onto social media. 

The information contained in this article came from our clients that are Social media managers and small business clients who have had success on social media because of a social media manager.

What does a social media manager do?

In a nutshell they: 

  • responsible for curating a brand’s social channels.
  • manage social media partnerships with other brands
  • strategize and execute digital marketing campaigns
  • Monitor the overall health of the brand’s social media presence
  • Optimize the brand’s profile for each platform
  • Measure, test and report on social strategies and campaigns using analytics tools
  • build a social media content publishing calendar
  • Create budgets for your social media activities
  • Report on effectiveness of campaigns
  • making sure that the company voice is always consistent
  • monitor social media analytics using free or paid tools
  • Engage with viewers
  • Stay informed about trends and tools in social media

WE can go on and on to illustrate the beauty of having a social media manager in your pocket.

This infographic from Meltwater shows all of the tasks that a social media manager might do in one day.

What to look for in a Social Media Manager

What to look for in a Social Media Manager

What to look for in a Social Media Manager

Below are the skills you should look for in a Social Media Manager:

Strategising and Planning

What is the end goal? Can you see the bigger picture? What is the correct platform to start? How do you make sure your social media goals are aligned with the overall company goals. These questions are critical to address and a competent social media manager will attack them.


This is a key skill to have. social media managers need enough creativity to get the job done. You need to have creative content that engages with your customer to be competitive. Creating is at the heart of social media. Creating content be it in the form of gifs, Instagram stories, posts, ads or articles is a must-have skill. 


The written word is key. Text is necessary for every single social media platform. They need to be able to write a killer call-to-actions because that will bring your social media plan together. Emoji is a language ( our social media manager told us so!!!!! ) so they need to speak emoji fluently. Also, typos are a no no but you’re human ( we might have some on here) so excuse us but Twitter won’t as you cant edit that tweet. 

They need to understand that each different social network requires a slightly different style of writing. Linkedin requires a more professional tone, while Facebook is more light and fun. The written word is so vital because they will be communicating with customers on a daily basis.

Understand how content works on a social web/ social media savvy 

It may seem obvious, but a social media manager needs to have social media skills. Social media managers need to know what content works on what social platform. Know when to post, what to post and how frequent they should post. What works on social platforms for example gifs do well on twitter while visually aesthetic posts do well on Instagram. The ability to engage an audience through social posts is very key. They need to understand how they can make their information go viral across all platforms.

SEO Knowledge

A great Social Media Manager knows and understands SEO. The relationship between SEO and social media is important. Content that performs well on social media will earn more backlinks, which helps boost the search rank. What this all means is that SEO, if used as part of your social media strategy, you will attract a larger audience. That leads to more eyeballs on your site leading to sales

Usually, blogs drive such content so Social Media Managers need to find ways to promote the blog and understand how to drive traffic to the site.

Flexible & Adaptable

Social Media is fast and on top of that, your companies goals may shift. A great social media is very receptive about these changes. They need to be able to keep up with hourly trends or new ones and effectively decide on the spot a plan of action to take. 

Customer Services/Customer care/customer relationship management

More than 40 % of consumers reach out to a company on social media. What this means is that you need a social media manager that engages these customers effectively. They must be able to be proactive about future customer concerns and relay those concerns to management. 

Keyhole states A social media manager will need to understand how things look from the customer’s point of view. Is the brand customer-friendly? How is the user experience? Successful social media managers will ask and answer these questions.

Social media provides ease of communication between you(the business or social media manager) and the customer. What happens if the customer has an issue and uses twitter or Instagram to communicate? If you don’t reply to the customer on these platforms this will create a bad customer experience and service.

Understanding your customer is crucial for the businesses survival because usually, businesses fail in their first year however by having a social media manager who understands the customer increases your survival rate.


Since a social media manager is in charge of implementing a social media strategy, for that to be successful they have to be analytical. 

Digital marketing institute states that Social media requires two different types of analytics skills.

  • The first is the ability to analyse and assess social media data, ranging from page and content likes to retweets, shares and buyer personas that are most likely to follow your account and engage with your content.


  • The second is the ability to analyse conversion metrics, ranging from usage statistics such as time on site and bounce rate to business metrics like leads, revenue and conversions.

Use Heropost Analytics to help with your social media planning.

Leadership and communication

This is arguably the No. 1 skill social media managers need to be successful. Jon Clark states that  Social media managers need to be able to understand the audience they are communicating with and speak in a way that will resonate with that audience.

Social media channels are all different and require different forms of communication. They need to ensure that management is informed at all times, the employees are motivated and that the customers are informed and this entails knowing the art of communication.


Social media managers must stay up-to-date with new tech and tools. They need to understand what is happening in the industry and what the latest trends are. For example the emergence of mobile. Mobile actually accounts for a lot of traffic to one’s site. 

Great social media managers set up Google Alerts on popular topics and use tools like Feedly and BuzzSumo to keep up with trending content.

Visual Skills

Social media is a very visually-driven form of communication, therefore, social media managers need to have a general knowledge of design. Creating visually appealing graphics to complement your posts is important because it will boost your social media presence.   A great social media manager will know what type of video is needed and how it will be viewed by the intended audience.

Ability to Recognize Leads

This is one we love. Online review sites like quora are places where people share their experiences and opinions, what you then see are discussions into a certain product or topic. The successful social media manager will recognize those questions as opportunities to bring a customer closer. Kruse Control states that “Answer your prospect’s question and then pose another consultative question that will help them think through their decision and lead them to the sale” this statement is so important that we have actually experienced this.

What the Experts Say About Social Media Manager skills 

Jon Clark Managing Partner and chief SEO at Moving Traffic Media

  • Solid Communication Skills
  • Must Be Social
  • Have Personality & Creativity
  • Up on Digital Data
  • Be Project Managers
  • Write & Edit Well
  • Have Visual Skills
  • Flexible & Adaptable
  • Great Marketers
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills

DMI Daily Digest

  • Copywriting
  • Research
  • SEO Knowledge
  • Social Media Expertise
  • Customer Services Skills
  • Visual Intelligence
  • Adaptive

Neil Patel.

  • Keyword Research
  • Building Blog Audience
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Growth Hacking
  • Landing Page Optimization
  • Copywriting
  • Understanding Consumer Psychology
  • Business Branding
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Audience Engagement
  • Lead Generation

Entrepreneur Magazine 

  • Does this person understand your brand?
  • Can the person be capable of managing multiple channels?
  • Is this person committed to collaboration?
  • Is your candidate a good writer?
  • Does the candidate have a strong online presence?
  • Are they an analytical person?

Sachs Marketing Group

  • Someone who really know social media 
  • Organised
  • knows how to prioritise
  • Good researcher

It seems the experts tend to share the same principles when choosing a social media manager.

In closing Social Media Managers must be partners of your business. They must not be or feel like outsourced help. Their integration into your business is key.


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