Skills & Expertise

6 Secrets to Success as a Social Media Manager

Drive engagement, prove your worth, repeat

Being a social media manager is a multifaceted job: You’re a data analyst one minute, a community moderator the next and an innovator and entrepreneur after that. Whether you’re a freelancer looking to score your next big client or a job seeker eager to land a new opportunity, here are tactics you can employ right now to rise up in social media management.

1. Know Your Channels

You won’t land gigs, or an interview, if you’re not experienced in programming content on the top social media channels. Being comfortable in Facebook and Twitter is a good start, but depending on your skills and client list, consider taking some time to work with other platforms like StumbleUpon, Pinterest and YouTube. Also on your to-do list: Keep up with channels that are gaining momentum like video hub Vine, shopping site Wanelo and slide hosting service SlideShare.

2. Beef Up Your Graphic Design Skills

You don’t have to be a Photoshop god, but having a keen eye for design will place you far above the competition. Social media is saturated with content, and the posts with fine-tuned images are the ones that stand out. Graphic design skills carry over into every corner of marketing, as well.

3. Make an Infographic to Show ROI

One of the biggest challenges in social media management is showing return on investment (ROI): in short, proving to clients and potential employers that your hard work generates real results. Take the data from your best campaigns and put it all in one place.

Then, use that finely tuned graphic design skill (or hire a designer) to make a stunning infographic that you can send to future employers and hand out at conferences to promote yourself. The benefit is vast: Not only will an infographic support your claims with stats, but you will demonstrate that ability to communicate visually.

4. Demonstrate Your Ability to Handle Sticky Situations

Responding quickly and tactfully to online disasters not only proves your aptitude as a social media manager, but it proves your ability to stay calm amidst chaos—a skill essential to any media job.

5. Get Some Testimonials

Can you think of a time you got some excellent feedback after a stellar social media campaign? Whether it’s from a coworker, client or former employer, a few affirmative sentences from others can go a long way. Post these on your website or solicit them on LinkedIn to lend some real-world credibility to your hard work.

6. Target Your Next Goal

The strategy you employ now will vary depending on the role you seek. If you’re striving for a social media manager job at a targeted company, you’ll want to keep honing your skills as a jack of all trades. But if your long-term hope is to secure a C-level position or start your own company, now would be a great time to build a social media consulting practice. Work on your sales know-how to grow your client base and follow the big players in your field of choice.

If you’d like to hone your social media skills even more, consider taking a class. Mediabistro’s Online Social Media Courses teach you how to do everything from creating a social media strategy to using social media for business.

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