Social media improves communication skills

10 Underrated Skills Social Media Professionals Should Learn

Can you already do everything? In the age of digitization, lifelong learning is one of the core qualifications. Social media professionals know that. Because here too the requirements grow with the development of the medium.

A social media manager is truly a "jack of all trades". Whether as a copywriter, as a quick reaction force in customer service or when shooting a convincing video - social media managers have to be real all-rounders in order to keep their audience in line and your company at the top.

But which skills should a social media manager master and where can they acquire them? You will find out in this post. After reading it you will know:

  • Why you need to be proficient in video
  • What simple tips you can use to optimize your design skills
  • How to improve your ROI tracking and analysis skills from a few sources

1. SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the core competencies of many Internet professionals. Bloggers, web developers, copywriters, and even designers need to consider where your work is listed in the search. Social media managers also have to.

Although Twitter previously blocked Google from indexing tweets on its platform, the signs are now pointing to relaxation. Recently, Google announced that it would search and index tweet data again. For more information, see Stone Temple's Guide to Google Indexing Practices.

Google finds content faster if it has a lot of traction on Twitter. This is important for SEO: the faster your content gets on the index, the faster you will be rewarded with organic traffic to your site.

The influence you have on social media can also improve your ranking. Google will list your blog posts and website higher up when it detects that it is a credible source. And influencer marketing (relevance, reach and response) is a factor that counts.

The faster your content gets on the index, the faster you will be rewarded with organic traffic to your branded website.

bonus: Learn from our step-by-step guide how to create a social media strategy and optimize your social media presence with Hootsuite.

2. Customer service

When I want to complain, social media is my first port of call. I'm not alone in this. According to a study by J.D. Power, 67 percent of consumers use social media for customer service inquiries. Whether it's a question via Facebook Messenger or a complaint tweet, social media is an invaluable source of information for customer service.

As a social media manager, you should know about these customer service topics, among others:

  • How to cope with difficult customer conversations online
  • When to continue conversations offline
  • How a pro-active social media customer service acts
  • How to become a brand expert and communicate in the brand's tone
  • How to respond in a timely manner (and manage expectations)
  • How to find and monitor conversations about your brand (keyword social listening)
  • How to use data to make informed future decisions

3. Copywriting

Writing is part of the nature of most social networks. Even visual networks such as Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube cannot do without texts such as titles and captions. And often enough, a well-written caption will make or break your photo. The same goes for your video titles and descriptions.

Use the power of active verbs! With the right words, you can arouse emotions and ensure that your content is shared more often. You can find more information on gripping content in our blog post "How to write content that gets clicks."

Basic writing training is useful for social media professionals in more ways than one. LinkedIn promotes publisher. Hybrid blogs like Medium offer new reach. And a well-written answer to Quora or Good Question can generate millions of views. So a good letter can increase your reach.

As you work on your copywriting skills, the chances of your content being shared increase. If your content calendar does not have any current company content up its sleeve on one day, it is a clear advantage if you can write your own blog post.

4. Analytics and sales tracking

Marketers need to be able to link social media activities to current sales.

With the help of tools like Salesforce, social media professionals are able to tag any links they share on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. These tags are a starting point that allows you to later match leads or sales generated via a completed online form, a downloaded app, or a purchase from an online shop.

When you can attribute sales to individual social media messages, you can gain valuable insights into the content that works for sales.

You can also use this data to demonstrate the value of your social media work to your company or organization.

If you work intensively with frequently used analytics tools such as Hootsuite Analytics and Salesforce, you will make an impression in the new social media job or strengthen your tracking skills in the existing one.

To learn how to get real-time analytics from your social media networks, watch this video on Hootsuite Analytics.

5. Take pictures

These days, you don't need to be a professional photographer to share great photos on social media. Comprehensive knowledge of exposure times or time-lapse photography is not required. And because social media are mainly used on the move, the pressure in terms of professional photo quality is no longer quite as high.

Nevertheless, people expect well-lit and beautifully made photos - and interesting motifs that are worth sharing. Therefore, it is worthwhile if you acquire some knowledge.

We all use royalty-free images. For your daily content, however, you should rely on original photos. Learn how to optimize your social media images with our design tips from the experts.

6. Photoshop

Those who can edit and improve photos help ensure that they are not drowned in the flood of social media images and are therefore shared more often. Photoshop skills are useful when it comes to emphasizing the best parts of an image, inserting ad text where appropriate, and creating composite images.

Great visuals stand out from the crowd of social media images. Knowledge of Photoshop is an invaluable asset.

I recommend the Photoshop tutorials available on Lynda.com. Here you will learn the basics in a few hours and then know more than the average social media marketer.

7. Design

Basic design skills round off knowledge of photography and Photoshop. People remember 65 percent of a message when it contains a picture. Only 10 percent remember a message with no picture content. Make it memorable: not just with any picture, but with a well thought-out design.

See what we did here?

Our post Optimizing Social Media Images: Design Tips From Experts gives the following tips:

  • Attention when choosing colors:Ninety percent of all hasty product reviews are due to the color alone. For best results, align the color scheme with your brand guidelines and brand voice.
  • Also stay consistent with text and typography: Fonts should reinforce your brand and therefore be clear and concise. Consistency helps your target group and your customers to recognize them - and strengthens brand loyalty.
  • Create space: If you put too much information in one picture, the brand message will be lost. Use negative space (the area that surrounds objects in an image) to create balance and set the focus of the image.

You can find the full post here.

8. Project management

Whether international corporation or local start-up: when it comes to the publication of company content, your colleagues come to you first.

Therefore, you should know how to strategically manage tasks and inquiries from different employees from various departments in the company. You need to act as a brand ambassador and determine which posts contribute to the business goals and which do not.

Project management skills are beneficial when working with teams from across the company on new campaigns and company-wide initiatives. You will work closely with executives from different departments to filter out how social media can best support these events and campaigns.

9. Video

Perhaps your company has a competent video team. But developing social media videos is also part of your job. Social media managers should know how to create compelling content for Instagram Stories, Facebook Live-Create broadcasts and Snapchat stories. With all of the options available, knowing how to optimize videos for your various social media channels is very useful.

The plus point: You can do without expensive equipment. There are a number of free and inexpensive social media video apps and tools that businesses can use to create content for their social media channels.

10. Speaking in front of an audience

Speaking skills generally pay off for your career. As a social media marketer, you should be able to present your ideas in an understandable way in order to forge real relationships with your audience.

And you shouldn't be camera shy. Live broadcasts on social media are becoming increasingly popular - and they are reaching a large audience.

Free speech is not for everyone. If you stumble over your words, find it difficult to formulate your thoughts, or feel extremely uncomfortable (blushing, sweating, shivering ...), you should work on your speaking skills.

Start small. For example, with a presentation in front of your own team. Then approach a larger audience - at a company meeting or with a Facebook live broadcast. You can do it!

We've put together more advice on broadcasts people really want to watch in our Facebook Live Guide, based on the experiences of the Hootsuite social media team.

Combine all of your social media skills with Hootsuite. Free test now.

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This post was first published on the international Hootsuite blog under the title "10 Underappreciated Skills for Social Media Professionals".

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By Maryam Lawal

Maryam Lawal is responsible for content marketing at Hootsuite. She detects new trends around social media and also looks after our community.