Most Important Social Media Skills (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Sep. 18, 2020
Skills Based Articles

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If you manage your company’s social media presence, you’re probably used to taking on a wide variety of roles.

From customer service, to graphic design, to marketing strategy, there is a lot more that goes into a strong social media presence than meets the eye.

Because this industry is always changing, it’s important to keep up your qualifications.

If you’re searching for a new job in this field or just want to make sure you’re still a valuable asset to your current company, here are some skills that you should make sure you have.

What Are Social Media Skills?

Social media skills are traits and abilities to create and convey marketing material on social media platforms to achieve a business goal. People who thrive in these positions normally understand how the social media platforms work, are creative, and enjoy creating written or visual content.

Social media skills extend beyond just posting content to Facebook. Really good social media marketers understand the larger business objectives and have the skills to communicate effectively. Writing, graphic design, and community management are key social media skills.

Types of Social Media Skills

Here’s an extensive list of the most important skills for a social media marketer:

  1. Writing. It may sound obvious, but social media managers need to know how to write well.

    This doesn’t just mean being able to craft clever and concise captions, though. It means knowing how to write with the voice of the organization while still adjusting it to fit each platform. Your posts on Facebook will sound different than what you put on Twitter, but both should sound like they came from the same person or company.

    Your ability to learn and reflect the voice of the organization you work for and then adapt it to different platforms is something to hone and then highlight when you’re applying for a job.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary
  2. Graphic Design. You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer in order to be an effective social media manager, but you do need to at least know some basics.

    Find an online course on design principles, or find websites like Canva that offer templates for amateurs to use. Whether you prefer these or more complex software like Adobe Photoshop, becoming proficient with a design tool will make your job easier and help you become a more valuable asset to businesses.

  3. Data Analysis. A large part of effective social media marketing is analyzing data. Whether it’s identifying your most active audience or figuring out why some posts perform better than others, it’s important that you know what works well and what doesn’t.

    Employers want to see that you can identify best practices and implement them in the future. If you can, get certified for individual analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager. These classes are usually free when you do them through the platform itself, and they’re a great way to brush up on your skills and have additional credentials to put on your resume.

  4. Marketing Strategy. Even though you may not be the one coming up with the company’s marketing strategy, you will need to be able to help further it through social media. Whether that’s keeping branding consistent, increasing brand awareness, or creating strategies to get customers to your website, you’re a key element in making the marketing strategy happen.

    Companies want to know that you’ll be able to effectively work with the marketing team or even add to it with ideas of your own. This often comes from experience, so make sure you mention that in your resume and cover letter. If you need some help in this area, you might consider taking a class at your local college to help build the foundation you need.

  5. Social Media Management Software. Whether you’re managing social media for one company or several, you probably know that scheduling posts in advance is one of the most effective strategies you can have. While you can usually do this from the platforms themselves, most businesses want to use third party tools to help keep the content and analytics all in one place.

    While you don’t necessarily need to have used every management software out there, being familiar with one or two of the most popular ones like Hootsuite and Sprout Social will show potential employers that you know the basics and can figure out the software they prefer you use.

  6. Digital Media. While different companies have different expectations for how much actual content curation you’ll do for them, it’s important that you’re able to cut together a simple video and take a well-framed photo. You’ll also become more valuable if you can do a quick touch-up on your photos and format files correctly for easy sharing and viewing without having to contact the IT or graphic design teams.

  7. Content Management. While many larger companies may not require you to do much with their websites, smaller companies often have their social media managers handle tasks like putting videos and blog posts on web pages as well as on social media. If this is the case, they’ll want to know that you’re familiar with using systems like WordPress.

    If you’re going to be doing a lot of this work, learning basic HTML can also be helpful for troubleshooting and formatting. Plus, it’ll help you get into your IT department’s good graces, since they won’t have to help you every time you want to post something.

  8. Law and Ethics. There’s no need for you to become a lawyer or even take law classes, but having a basic understanding about the rules 一 both written and unwritten 一 that govern social media is necessary to keep you and your company out of hot water. Every action, from sharing photos of employees and customers to handling nasty comments, requires some level of understanding about the ethical implications that come with it.

    Making sure you’re up to date in this arena is always a good idea, especially if you’re working for organizations that are government-run or deal with minors or sensitive data.

  9. Customer Service. One of the biggest benefits of businesses having social media presences is that it allows customers to reach them more easily. This also means that it’s easier for them to post complaints and questions, however.

    As the social media manager, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate your ability to handle these issues. If you don’t have a system in place for taking care of these questions and comments, it’s a good idea to do some research on best practices and make one, especially before a job interview.

  10. Flexibility. Being able to turn on a dime and rework your social media strategy is an important skill to have, since this field works directly with people and technology, two factors that create ever-changing and ever-challenging work. In addition to these external influences, you also need to be ready to adjust to internal company changes.

    Whether it’s a crisis or a new marketing strategy, being able to rethink your entire plan at a moment’s notice and still keep a smile on your face is a skill that will make you a highly valuable asset to your employer.

  11. Problem-Solving. In addition to being flexible, the best social media managers are able to think quickly on their feet and come up with effective and creative solutions. Whether it’s handling an incorrect post, finding ways to increase engagement or simply filling your calendar with content, having effective problem-solving skills is vital for anyone working with social media. This means being able to come up with your own ideas as well as knowing how to quickly research reputable tips and ideas.

  12. Time Management. As with any job, knowing how to effectively manage your time and energy is important when dealing with social media. In this case, though, it includes setting time aside for batching your posts, knowing when you need to check your analytics, and scheduling time for strategic planning, whether that’s once a month, quarter or year.

    This skill is especially valuable if the company wants you to handle responsibilities beyond managing social media as well.

  13. Research and Development. Because the world of social media is always changing, it’s important that you keep up with the current trends and best practices. Hiring managers will want to know that you can do this effectively.

    If you haven’t already, find a few publications or forums that are designed to update you as the industry changes and follow them closely. Check in regularly with each of the platforms to see what metrics they’ve added or adjusted, and then figure out how that affects you. This is not an industry where you can set it and forget it, so you need to be constantly improving and fine-tuning your work.

  14. Community Management. One of the main reasons companies are on social media is to connect with their current and future customers. This means they want to know that the person speaking on their behalf is good at building and maintaining relationships. You’ll have your own way of doing this, but you should be able to identify specific steps you take to relate to your audience.

    It may be that you share the content you know your followers want to see, promptly respond to every comment and message, or interact with other pages and influencers. When your customers feel connected to you as an organization, they’re more willing to trust and buy from you, which is, after all, the end goal.

Social Media Skills On A Resume Example

These qualifications don’t do you any good if you can’t show potential employers that you have them, so here’s a sample resume to help you see how to emphasize these key skills. You don’t need to include all of them, but be sure to highlight the ones you’re strongest in.

You should also tailor your resume and cover letter to feature skills specifically listed in the job posting and be ready to provide anecdotes about them in an interview.

Angela Martin

Chicago, IL
angelam@gmail.com
222-333-4444

Summary

I love creating strategies to better reach and connect with new audiences. I’m always looking for opportunities to improve my skills and use them to further an organization.

Experience

Communications & Marketing Specialist – August 2018-Present – Hanson Technology, Inc. – Chicago, IL

  • Curated social media content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

  • Created and implemented new digital marketing campaign strategies, including Google ads and Facebook retargeted ad campaigns

  • Interpreted social media analytics reports and used them to develop best practices

  • Responded to approximately 25 customer questions on social media daily

  • Photographed events and campus activities for use in marketing materials, press releases, and social media

  • Worked with emergency response team to develop crisis communication plan for social media

  • Researched and wrote bi-monthly blog posts and shared them across social media channels

  • Maintained and updated website content and SEO

Social Media Manager – January-April 2018 – World Charity – Chicago, IL

  • Planned and wrote social media content, monitored and responded to comments

  • Created text and concept for highest-performing social media and online ad the organization had seen

  • Collaborated with marketing team on strategy for finding new donors

  • Produced marketing videos and ran video ad campaigns on social media platforms

Skills

WordPress; SproutSocial; Facebook Ads Manager; Google Analytics; WordPress; Basic HTML; Basic Adobe CC Photoshop, PremierPro; MS Office suite

Certifications and Training

Media Law and Ethics; Google Analytics Academy; SEO; Principles of Graphic Design

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Communications – May 2018 – University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (Summa Cum Laude)

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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