Skills in social media and digital marketing are in high demand. There are currently 1,700 social media manager jobs on SEEK, and this is projected to grow by 21% over the next five years.
But you only need to look at advertised social media and digital marketing roles to see that you need more than a basic knowledge of how to post on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here are the top skills you need to stand out to employers and succeed in your social media marketing career:
In-depth knowledge of social media platforms
Each social media platform is different, with its own unique set of best practices, rules to follow, and mistakes to avoid. So spend time getting to know the platforms. Look at the type of content that performs well, and note how different brands are engaging their audiences.
Here’s what you need to know before you should start seeking a social media marketing career:
- How each platform’s algorithm prioritises content
- What’s happening with organic reach on each platform
- Which platforms are best for the business, based on audience profiles and business goals
- How inbound and outbound links are treated on the platform
- Extra features, like Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Pages
The only way to get this knowledge is through hands-on work or in-depth social media education, like what we offer here at Transformed.
Strategy and planning
In order to find success in the social media marketing world, it’s not enough to have been scrolling and posting on Instagram and TikTok. Do you know how to look at a brand’s social media performance, audience, and goals and then determine how to get where they want to go?
Higher-level social media marketing positions require more than content creation – they need a killer strategy aligned with their business goals.
Native and third-party business tools
Do you know how to navigate Facebook’s analytics, or how to schedule posts for Instagram ahead of time?
How about the steps involved to set up an Instagram shop or establish Rich Pins on Pinterest?
Will you be able to adapt to third-party tools like Agorapulse or Hootsuite, or contest software like ShortStack?
Get to know how to use each social media platform to the fullest both with native and third-party tools.
Data analytics and reporting
Marketing is nothing without measurement. To understand how social media marketing campaigns are performing, you must be fluent in data analytics and reporting.
Social media data goes beyond just likes and shares. You need to be well-versed in how data shapes and drives the customer experience across platforms and channels, understand how social ads are delivering a strong return on investment, and measure campaigns against reporting metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR) and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Think fast: How many characters do you have in a Facebook post before it’s cut off on mobile? Do you know when you should use hashtags and when not to?
Copywriting is an important skill for social media marketers. You need to know how to write social copy that engages your audience within the character limits.
Practise writing copy for your favourite brands, and try writing the same message in different tones for a range of audience personas.
Video and content creation skills
As many as 69% of marketers say visuals are absolutely essential to their marketing strategies. Added to that, wideo is the second most-used content type on social media used to increase audience engagement.
But what if you don’t have any graphic design or video skills? Can you still become a social media marketer?
Absolutely. While these skills aren’t needed for all positions, they are a definite plus, especially if you’re working as a freelancer or one-person marketing team for a small business.
You simply need to become familiar with the tools that make it easy to create incredible visual and video content. Graphic design is made easy with Canva, which has a drag-and-drop format to design branded images. Animoto is a brilliant tool to practise your video or graphic skills, and Biteable is a brilliant content marketing tool for all sorts of digital content, including video ads, explainer videos, and animations.
How to sharpen your skills
Learn how to become a social media expert, and how to successfully develop and implement a social media marketing strategy with the Diploma of Social Media Marketing, the world’s first and only formal qualification in social media.