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Serious about social media marketing? These top 5 skills can help you shine

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

With the thriving social media craze of today, having an active online presence is a crucial marketing tactic for businesses. According to Australian marketing company, Genroe, organisations should have at least two networks to generate further sales and customer engagement. 

As the population of our nation’s social media users increases by the year (with 18 million Australians now active on multiple platforms), the strategy continues to dominate business models. In fact, four in ten consumers are likely to check a brand’s social media presence before deciding to make their first purchase.

With the industry booming and its skills in high demand, those passionate about social media can apply their skills through a valuable marketing career.

SkillsTalk discuss the top five skills one requires for successful social media marketing – and how they create positive business impact.

What skills do you need for social media marketing?

  1. Excellent communication skills (both verbal and in writing).
  2. Skills in traditional (and digital) marketing.
  3. Creativity.
  4. Customer service.
  5. Data analytics.

1. Excellent communication skills (both verbal and in writing).

Generating an effective social media strategy comes down to close collaboration with other internal stakeholders – including your boss, product managers, and creatives from other departments. It’s vital to discuss your current social media initiatives, how they drive business progress, and how other members of the company can help.

Of course, fostering such teamwork requires strong communication skills – both in face-to-face interactions and online messaging platforms. 

More importantly, a successful social media marketer possesses the sharp ability to communicate with target audiences online. This involves the skill to write concise, yet attention-grabbing copy – and how to optimise such copy on various social media channels. Different platforms often have different ways of engaging users through text (along with varying methods on reaching new audiences, as we’ll discuss further below). 

Strong copywriters are also capable of crafting meaningful messages in as few words as possible; helping them effectively navigate the strict character limits on most social media sites. 

Furthermore, their copy doesn’t just rely on monotonous, sales-y product posts – they also possess the communicative skills to build a dialogue with their company’s following; fostering meaningful interactions and making customers feel both heard and valued. 

2. Skills in traditional (and digital) marketing.

social media marketing concept

An impactful social strategy not only involves the skills to manoeuvre various social media platforms – but the ability to connect it to a larger marketing and business vision

This is where a general knowledge of traditional and digital marketing comes into play, along with strategic and critical thinking skills in a business context. 

One must therefore familiarise themselves with common practices in the marketing field, including public relations, lead generation, event management, and e-mail campaigns. Social media is but a vital ingredient of a larger business recipe; one that works in tandem with other methods to drive growth, sales, and audience connection. 

As Sprout Social puts it, “Social sits at the intersection of marketing, customer experience and sales and is the source of so much valuable business intelligence.”

Understanding other marketing aspects can thus help you better use social media to further your overall business strategy. 

One must also have a sound knowledge of their market, with the skill to identify and explore their brand’s target group personas. This allows them to build insight on their consumers’ needs, problems, and characteristics, and helps them better mould their social marketing approach - developing the brand awareness and loyalty required

3. Creativity.

Successful social media marketing requires exciting, unique content to stand out, while also providing their viewers with the value they’re after. A creative skillset can help one develop innovative ideas for social campaigns, aesthetically pleasing multimedia designs (and appealing formatting of social media posts), and witty marketing copy – all while maintaining their brand voice and persona

Chintan Ruparel, co-founder and CCO of the “micro-fiction platform” Terrible Tiny Tales, believes virality and relatability are two essentials in achieving a strong marketing strategy. 

This is where creativity comes in – as new ideas are vital in achieving outstanding, share-worthy social media content. “If something relatable is said in a fresh manner, it becomes viral,” Ruparel explains. 

Of course, a strong understanding of one’s target market is also key. Such insight allows one to better craft creative concepts that resonate with their brand’s audience, raising their relatability and chances of virality. 

Common methods of spicing up one’s social media strategy is leveraging user-generated content, encouraging users to participate in competitions or polls, and developing a snarky, non-corporate online persona – a la Burger King or Wendy’s

To boost one’s creative skills in social media marketing, Sprout Social recommends online classes in design or advertising, as well as reading up on popular publications (such as Fast Company and Campaign) for the latest trends and insights on the digital marketing world. 

4. Customer service.

live chat concept

At the heart of social media marketing lies a brand’s followers – comprised of their loyal customers or those  likely to convert – so skills in connecting with and assisting them are vital.

Like it or not, social media is a platform for customer service, as consumers will often use such sites to reach out to brands on product queries, issues, or concerns. As with any line of customer service,  the faster a response is given, the better; according to research by The Social Habit, 42% of consumers expect a reply on social media within an hour.  

The ability to problem-solve and provide customer support in an efficient, level-headed manner is thus a key skill in social media marketing. It’s not enough to attract them with clever copy or captivating images; a successful marketer further retains their audience by listening to their problems and offering fast resolutions in turn

This goes hand-in-hand with quality communication and people skills, as both help in fostering positive customer service experiences. 

Failure to offer such service can do considerable damage to a company’s reputation, with 89% of consumers likely to jump ship to a competitor brand, and 45% likely to share such bad experiences on their social media channels. 

On the flipside, two thirds of Australian consumers are more likely to trust a brand who interact with their customers positively on social media. 

5. Data analytics.

Finally, keen skills in data analytics are a must in the social media marketing field. 

One must be able to assess the audience and activity data provided by their brand’s social channels – these including “likes”, shares, and the demographics of those most likely to engage with your company’s content. 

Social media marketers are also able to interpret specific conversion metrics; such as the amount of time users spend on a particular page or site, business leads, and revenue.  

Analysing this information helps one craft a marketing strategy that better targets and resonates with their audiences, boosting their company’s ROI. Of course, for an effective analysis, one must also be organised in continuously monitoring and logging their social media activity (and that of customers). This additionally helps them pinpoint any weaknesses in their strategy (such as non-optimal posting times), allowing for quick adjustments as needed.

For those who already consider themselves as social media savants, skills in managing the analytics tools of various platforms (as well as sound knowledge of how to optimise posts for certain channels), are also highly valuable when seeking employment. 

Think you’re suited for a social media marketing career?

The social media marketing profession helps one apply their analytical, communication, and strategic business skills while weaving creative concepts and solutions in-between. 

For those serious in pursuing a social media marketing role, Upskilled offers a one-year 10904NAT - Diploma in Social Media Marketing, designed to equip you with fundamental skills in engaging with and creating content for social media audiences. Students will have the opportunity to explore various strategies in content marketing, e-mail marketing, and analysing related trends and data. Best of all, the course is delivered 100% online, helping you tailor your study according to personal commitments and schedule.

Join the exciting (and expanding) world of social media, and enquire today. 
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