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10 Essential Skills for Social Media Managers

10 essential skills for social media managers.

In today’s digital space, social media has become crucial for businesses to connect with their audience, build brand loyalty, and drive sales. A Social Media Manager (SMM) plays a pivotal role in navigating this space, ensuring that a brand’s online presence is engaging and effective. To be outstanding in this role, a social media manager must possess diverse skills and continuously work to enhance them.

 In this blog post, we will learn the 10 essential skills a social media manager should have, how to acquire them, bonus tips for crafting an impressive resume, how much a social media manager earns, and how to upskill in a job.

10 Essential Skills for a Social Media Manager

  • Social Media Strategy

Developing a robust social media strategy involves understanding the brand, audience, and goals. When you have passed an interview stage or screening, they believe you have knowledge about their brand and you should come up with a strategy to grow their online presence. This includes:

  1. Setting clear objectives and KPIs
  2. Planning content calendars
  3. Identifying the best platforms and times to post
  • Content Creation

As a social media manager, it’s important to have a content creation skill from designs, videos, etc. let’s elaborate on it;

Writing: The ability to write clear, and engaging content is fundamental. This includes understanding the shades of different social media platforms and tailoring messages accordingly.

Visual Design: Proficiency in graphic design tools like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or Illustrator is crucial for creating visually appealing posts. Understanding basic design principles such as color theory, typography, and layout enhances content quality.

Video Production: With the rise of video content, skills in video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, CapCut Pro, Viva Video, or even simple tools like iMovie can set a manager apart.

  • Copywriting

Effective communication through written words is crucial. A social media manager must craft messages that resonate with the audience, promote engagement, and align with the brand’s voice and goals. You might ask why it is not included in the content creation part. Copywriting is an exceptional skill and not regular writing. Key aspects include:

  1. Understanding audience personas
  2. Writing clear, compelling, and persuasive messages
  3. Creating content for various platforms (posts, ads, captions)

Its end goal is always a sale and needs to be strategically and psychologically drafted.

  • Analytics and Data Interpretation

Well, in this digital space, we work a lot with data, and knowing what to do and having in-depth knowledge about it, is important.

Understanding Metrics: A successful SMM must know how to measure and interpret key metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and more.

Tools Proficiency: Familiarity with analytics tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Meta Business, is essential. These tools help in tracking performance and making data-driven decisions. Generally, for all tools that are involved in managing a social account, it’s great to know how they work and their best use.

  • Communication and Community Management

Know you might also have the role of customer service (if a smaller organization), if you have the skill of managing people, trust me to be the best staff everJ.

Customer Engagement: Responding to comments, messages, and reviews promptly and professionally is key to maintaining a positive brand image.

Crisis Management: The ability to handle negative feedback and crises effectively without escalating issues further is critical. How to manage difficult customers

  • Strategic Planning

Campaign Planning: Skills in developing comprehensive social media strategies that align with business goals are important. This includes planning content calendars, setting objectives, and defining KPIs.

Competitor Analysis: Regularly analyzing competitors’ social media strategies to identify opportunities and threats is a valuable skill.

  • Paid Advertising

Knowledge of paid social media advertising can significantly enhance reach and engagement and it’s an important strategy for business venturing into long term. Social media managers should know:

  1. How to create and manage ad campaigns
  2. Targeting and retargeting strategies
  3. Budget management and optimization
  • Technical Skills

Platform Proficiency: Mastery of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and emerging platforms ensures effective content distribution.


  • SEO Knowledge

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO) principles can help create content that not only engages but ranks well in search engine results through organic traffic.

These Skills include:

  1. Using keywords effectively
  2. Optimizing posts for search engines
  3. Keeping up with SEO trends and algorithm changes


  • Trend Awareness

Staying updated with the latest social media trends and platform updates is crucial. In the online space, new stuff keeps coming up, and if you don’t take advantage of it (attention), you will miss the visibility opportunity. How to go about it includes;


  1. Monitoring industry news
  2. Adapting to new features and algorithms
  3. Experimenting with emerging platforms and formats
  4. Learning from competitors

How to Acquire These Skills as a Social Media Manager


  • Online Courses and Certifications

Content Creation: Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses on content writing, graphic design, video editing, etc.

Analytics: Google Analytics Academy and HubSpot Academy provide comprehensive courses on data interpretation and analytics.

SEO: Moz and Yoast offer courses that cover the basics and advanced techniques of SEO.


  • Hands-on Experience


Internships: Gaining experience through internships or volunteer work can provide practical knowledge and skills.

Personal Projects: Managing personal or small business social media accounts can be a great way to practice and refine skills.


Networking and Mentorship

Professional Groups: Joining groups like The Social Media Haven (TSMH) or attending industry conferences can provide valuable insights and networking opportunities.

Mentorship: Finding a mentor experienced in social media management can provide guidance and professional development.

Bonus Tips for Crafting a Social Media Manager Resume


  • Highlight Relevant Experience

Focus on previous roles where you’ve managed social media accounts, including the platforms used and the results achieved. Quantify achievements with metrics like engagement rates, follower growth, and campaign ROI.


  • Showcase Your Portfolio

Include links to social media profiles you’ve managed, or create a digital portfolio highlighting your best work (such as canva, etc.). This can include successful posts, campaigns, and analytics reports.


  • Emphasize Key Skills

List skills relevant to social media management, such as content creation, analytics, communication, and strategic planning.


  • Certifications and Training

Mention any relevant courses or certifications, as these demonstrate your commitment to professional development.


  • Tailor Your Resume


Customize your resume for each job application, highlighting the skills and experiences relevant to the specific role and company. Do not use one (1) resume for all jobs you apply for.


How Much Is a Social Media Manager’s Salary

The salary of a social media manager can vary widely based on factors such as location, experience, and the size of the company. As of 2024, the average salary for a social media manager in the United States ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 per year. However, in larger markets or for those with significant experience, salaries can exceed $90,000 annually.


Entry-Level: $40,000 – $50,000 per year

Mid-Level: $55,000 – $70,000 per year

Senior-Level: $75,000 – $90,000+ per year

How to Upskill as a Social Media Manager

  • Stay Updated with Industry Trends

Regularly reading industry blogs, following thought leaders on social media, and subscribing to newsletters can help you stay informed about the latest trends and best practices.

  • Advanced Training and Specializations

Consider advanced certifications in areas like data analytics, advanced SEO, or digital marketing strategy. Specialized knowledge can set you apart and open up new opportunities.

  • Experiment with New Tools and Platforms

Continuously experimenting with new tools and platforms can help you stay ahead of the curve. For example, understanding how to use TikTok for business or mastering new features on Instagram can be valuable.

  • Join Professional Associations

Organizations like the Windave Digital Skills Academy offer resources, training, and networking opportunities that can enhance your skills and professional growth.

  • Develop Soft Skills

Skills such as problem-solving, time management, and adaptability are crucial in the fast-paced world of social media management. Workshops, webinars, and self-help books can aid in developing these skills.

What We Say

Becoming an effective social media manager requires creativity, analytical skills, and strategic thinking. By acquiring the essential skills outlined in this post, continuously seeking new knowledge, and staying adaptable, you can thrive in this dynamic field. Crafting a strong resume, and actively upskilling will not only enhance your career prospects but also ensure you remain a valuable asset in the flexible world of social media.


Remember to share with your friends too.

Naomi Obialor

A Digital Marketer with a passion for writing and sharing knowledge in any little way I can, I hope you learned something new today?