8 Traits That Define a Superb Social Media Marketer
Social media marketing has changed exponentially, year over year, since it started. In the early days, we were all still figuring things out. Some of us succeeded on our own, and others had to learn from their mistakes. Nowadays, even though this type of marketing continues to evolve, there are traits that the most successful social media marketers share. These people have the fundamentals figured out, and they know that they’re wielding a very powerful tool. Here are eight traits that they have in common – the things that make them superb social media marketers.
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They Understand (and Genuinely Like) People
The most important trait a social media marketer can have is the ability to understand and connect with a brand’s social audience. They are intuitive, empathetic, and they identify with a social audience so they can deliver content that audience wants to see. Their understanding of a social audience allows them to create contextual posts that invite likes, shares, and the type of engagement that converts to leads or sales. And, they do it all with good humor and a gentle touch. They like people and it shows.
A brand’s social media account should never seem disingenuous or contrived. It should fit in naturally in the social space and be a place where people can learn good information, be entertained and engage with the brand. The social media marketer in charge understands that, and uses their deep understanding of the brand’s audience to create pitch perfect content.
They Like Social Media – A Lot
In order to dive in and learn an audience, you have to understand how social media works. And, perhaps just as importantly, you have to like it. Just like any job, when you like what you do, it hardly feels like work. When a social media marketer likes and embraces social media, it can be where they live comfortably. They have fun growing communities, participating in online conversations, and they have a robust personal online presence that they can artfully parlay into their work.
That’s not to say that social media marketers have to forgo all privacy. There is a fine line between responsibly using one’s personal social profiles to promote a brand’s and blurring the edges so completely that the brand appears unprofessional. Great SMMs know the difference, and walk that fine line like the most skilled tightrope performers.
They’re Great Communicators
Running a brand’s social media account is serious business. The social account is the brand’s mouthpiece, so the person running it needs to understand the stakes. Customers, potential customers, competitors and critics abound in the social media space, and a social media marketer’s job is to create airtight practices that result in clear, open, and awesome communication. To do that, it’s important to understand everything about the brand – the product or service they offer, the people who interact with their social account, and the type of questions those people ask.
So, being super responsive to any sort of comment or question is paramount. J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study found that 67 percent of social followers use a brand’s social media account for customer service reasons. Today, Sprout Social tells us that 90 percent of the people they surveyed in their 2016 Social Index use social media to interact directly with a brand. So, at the helm of a brand’s social account, be prepared to give great customer service.
They’re Responsive to Their Clients
Not all social media marketers have learned the balance between their own subject matter expertise and the phrase “the customer is always right.” Often, a client will ask for content, strategy, or communication without totally understanding the potential social media implications. That can be frustrating, but it’s vitally important to your relationship with your client that you be responsive and collaborative in terms of their brand’s social media account. It’s easy, you see, to get personally attached to a social account and its audience. Remember that you’re doing this job for your client, business or company, and you’re part of a bigger team.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible to educate a client or team member. If you have an opinion on a subject and can back it up with some data and examples, by all means propose a shift in strategy or a different type of post. Just remember to be professional and respectful.
They’re Awesome at Time Management
Social media is a time consuming world. A social media marketer running accounts for just one brand can easily spend 40 hours per week finding content ideas, creating posts, responding to users and monitoring the each social media channel for trending topics. No matter the SMM’s role, be it a freelancer, employee of a company, small business owner or agency employee, can afford to let one set of social accounts take up all their work time. That’s why it’s important to get supernaturally great at time management.
Of course, certain automation tools can help with this. PromoRepublic’s content calendar with layers of ideas helps. As does our graphics editor and auto posting feature. Some of our clients tell us that they save as much as 20 hours per week by using PromoRepublic for their social media marketing.
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They Are Infinitely Flexible and On-The-Go
A superb social media marketer knows that there is always more to learn about their craft. That’s why constant reading and research about SEO, social media platform changes, and more is necessary. They have to be willing to change gears at a moment’s notice. They have to be nimble, organized, think outside, inside and around the box, and they have to be able to do their jobs from almost anywhere. While you might do most of your scheduling from a computer, it’s important to stay connected wherever you are.
It’s not necessary to stay up all hours monitoring social accounts. But, if you get an angry customer, an interested potential customer, or some other hot-ticket comment on a social account, it’s good to respond as quickly as possible. Facebook, in particular, keeps track of how quickly you respond to private messages, and they offer the ability to set an auto-responder when you’re not available.
They Are Journalists at Heart – And They Are Hip to Pop Culture
Social media might be classified as new media, but it’s still subject to the laws of journalism. Which means that any content that is shared should be accurate, well-researched, contextual, timely and honest. The editorial process is important, and to remain brand-compliant, one of the first steps a social media marketer should take is establishing the guidelines of that brand’s social identity.
And, because social is consumed as it’s posted, it’s good to be relevant in ways that surprise and delight. Tapping into pop culture can help you devise content that your social audience wants to see right now. A word of caution – that same audience can smell a fake. If you post something topical, but it’s not clever or timed appropriately, if won’t resonate and you can come off looking cheap.
They Have Head For Numbers – At Least Analytics
There are so many reasons to pay attention to analytics that it seems silly to even talk about it. We know we have to measure our social campaigns. Not only do the analytics tell us how our posts are performing, they give us a peek at our social audience’s preferences vis a vis our content. And, you can use this data to tweak and refine your social media campaigns.
Great social media marketers pay close attention to analytics and constantly improve their content plans accordingly. They start each campaign with some expected metrics and they use the data they receive for benchmarking and reporting to stakeholders. It’s a pretty important part of social media marketing, so they learn how to do it well.
Are you a superb social media marketer? Do you have more ideas on ways you can be awesome? Post them in the comments!