As social media marketing matures, it’s becoming evident that things have to change. A lot of money is being spent, with little notion of what’s working and what isn’t. Chief among the changes required are marketers with the necessary skills. So, what are the skills necessary to be successful in social media marketing?
According to Forrester Research (2010):
the days of everyone hanging up a single as a social media strategist are over. Too often these individuals had no expertise selecting and piloting new tools, integrating social widgets and analytics, helping to educate the organization, and integrating social-based thinking into the organization’s process and culture. Process design, stakeholder management, strategic planning, and the ability to manage large projects within complex environments will all be required.
I think we can add some other skills to this list, especially when talking about the folks who implement your social media strategy based on some interviews conducted as part of my research.
- Social – you have to be willing to share — even over share. That doesn’t mean you should talk about what you had for breakfast, but your personality needs to show through what you’re doing on social networks.
- Organized – you have to be able to post consistently so being organized and having a schedule seem critical for success.
- Patient – success takes time so you need to be able to work without immediate rewards, just keep doing what you know is right
- Analytical – this is a caveat to the above — you need to be intuitive and interpret analytics to maximize success in social networks.
- Thick-skinned – no one likes people complaining, but that’s much of what you’ll find happening on your Facebook Fan Page and Twitter Feeds. Be polite and express your apologies, even when it’s not your fault.
- Creative – it goes without saying that social media managers need to be good writers, use graphics expertly, and think a little outside the box.
- Strong grounding – not only is some knowledge of computers required, but an understanding of changing social platforms and a good marketing toolbox.
So, yes. The days of every out-of-work person thinking they can do social media marketing just because they take a good picture, can write a little, or know PHP are GONE. In fact, it may be impossible to find a single person with the necessary skills to run your entire social media campaign — you may need a strategist who can think strategically to put together the campaign and 1 or more tactical people who can implement the strategy.