10 Skills You Need to Become a Social Media Manager

Social media managers are in high demand. If you want to become one, here are the skills you need to slay this position.

How to become a social media manager

Nowadays, social media managers are fundamental to any marketing team. Seeing as the role is relatively new (and is constantly changing to adapt to new social platforms), many are unaware of which skills are actually required to become a social media manager. And no, social media managers are not "on Facebook all day" or "dancing for Tik-Tok videos" (although sometimes we are).


So is there a secret recipe for how to become an excellent social media manager? Let's find out!

What does a social media manager do?

The responsibility of a social media manager depends on several factors, one of which is the company's size. There are "social media teams" which are actually made up of just one person who does the strategy work, content creation, community management, design, editing, and–the list could go on. But there are also those teams in which there are several roles, and the social media manager is in charge of strategy and executing the content plan.


What skills does a social media manager need?

Regardless of the size of the team, there are some skills that every social media manager must have to be successful. There is no specific professional degree for this role, but there are skills that will make a social media manager stand out. Here we’ll give you ten skills you need to become a social media manager:

Skill #1: Understanding pop culture and current events

Can you imagine a social media manager who hasn’t seen the latest viral meme or doesn’t know that next week is International Pizza Day? One of a social media manager’s main skills is to understand how to tailor their content strategy to what is currently happening in the world and adapt it to the brand. However, it’s equally important to be able to know when to pause or change content that’s too controversial or goes against brand values.

Skill #2: Creativity

Turning the normal into the extraordinary is one of the most important skills you should have. Creative abilities give you the power to see beyond what others can and create content that engages your intended audience. A creative or unique take on a popular topic is vital to going viral!

Skill #3: Analytical thinking

In any team, monthly reports going over data and metrics are important for tracking progress and measuring success... But a good social media manager knows that this is not just a report but a much more systematic analysis. In order to become a social media manager, you’ll need to recognize different engagement metrics and understand how to convert them into actions.

Skill #4: Strategy planning

In social media, it's not just about being creative. It's about getting organized and planning how to make your vision happen and what objective it will help you achieve. A social media manager who doesn't know the audience is like a rock star singing at a golf game. Thinking strategically, understanding the big picture, and managing efforts will make the job easier.

Skill #5: Setting priorities

No matter where you are in the world or when you’re reading this, somewhere a social media manager is editing a reel or sifting through a folder of unused memes.

Indeed, a social media manager's work is never done. Recognizing priorities allows better control of the time and setting boundaries for your work schedule so that you avoid burnout.


Skill #6: Fokus Pokus!

It's so easy to lose track of time when working on social media. You start scrolling on Instagram for inspiration and end up in a Twitter thread about how Miley Cyrus' songs predict the end of the world. Thinking strategically and knowing your goals will help a social media manager not waste time and work efficiently.

Skill #7: Project management

As multitaskers, social media managers need strong project management skills. They control the collaboration between copywriters, designers, and community managers. On many occasions, the social media manager will also be in charge of writing the copy, editing the video, designing the content, taking photos, generating reports, managing budgets, etc. With strong project management skills, the best social media managers will be on top of all the tasks and know what to plan, when to post content, and how to keep track of all the social media conversations.

Skill #8: Never stop learning

Ever heard the saying, “Change is the only constant”? This also applies well to social media. Not only are the different platforms changing at an accelerated pace, but so is the emergence of new platforms and tools to get the job done. In addition, followers' expectations can also change from one moment to another. If you want to become an excellent social media manager, you need to be willing to learn along the way.

Skill #9: Community management

It's undeniable that community is everything in social media. Creating and nurturing those online communities is essential for a social media manager's job. The ability to build connections and the love of communication are a must for success. Community managers are actually a role on some social media teams, but if you want to become a social media manager, you’ll also need to have this skill.

Skill #10: Storytelling

The secret of social media lies in creating engaging stories that convert passive listeners/readers into active listeners/readers. A social media manager with this skill can tell stories about the brand, products, or whatever it takes to captivate their audience. Storytelling on social media allows you to show your brand, tell what it's all about, and create real connections with your audience.

Time to put your skills to the test

If you already have these skills, cone-gratulations! But don't think the job ends there. As we discussed in skill #8, social media is a constantly evolving career, and you should be learning all the time. If there is something you are missing, there is always room to learn and continue to develop as a social media professional.

Create a Flawless Social Media Plan

A social media planning template that makes managing multiple social media platforms easier than ever.
Find out more about becoming a social media manager


How do I become a social media manager?
Although there is no specific study at a professional level to become a social media manager, there are different courses oriented to this important marketing team role. And beyond studying, you must have specific skills to fulfill this position, such as creativity and analytical thinking.
What does a social media manager do?
A social media manager is in charge of content strategy and executing the content plan on social media platforms. In some cases, a social media manager is also responsible for content creation, community management, design, and editing.
What skills do I need to become a social media manager?
To be a social media manager you must have skills that make you stand out. They range from creativity to time management skills. And let's not forget about analytical and strategic thinking. To make your life easier, on Collato you can find a social media plan template that will help you manage content creation, track channel performance, and see your plan in action to achieve your goals. Check it out via the link above!
What comes after working as a social media manager?
The career path of a social media manager will depend on the skills, experience, and personal goals of each manager. After becoming a social media manager, you can be a social media team leader or even a marketing team leader. If one of your greatest skills is creativity and project management, maybe your next step is within a creative team as a project manager until you become a creative director. While the path is not set in stone, if you can master the skills of a social media manager, you will have many options to choose from for your next professional step.