9 skills every social media manager must have

A social media manager can be a marketer, a strategist, a copywriter, a designer, an analyst and a customer service rep—sometimes all in one day. As someone who loves a challenge, that variety is one of the things that first drew me to working in social.

Managing all of these diverse responsibilities requires social media managers to develop a number of crucial marketing and marketing-adjacent social media skills. An effective social media pro brings both hard skills and soft skills to the table, both types which take time and effort to develop. Hard skills like data analysis and copywriting can be more easily studied and trained, whereas soft skills like being organized and making connections may be more difficult to learn, but are just as important.

One of the most rewarding and challenging things about working in social is that you’re never done learning. You have to constantly refine and develop all nine of the social media skills below to continue advancing in your career. The more you focus on cultivating these skills, the more you’ll be able to drive results, realize true business impact and level up your own abilities as a social pro.

Level up your social media skills with the right social tools

As you master the skills in this article, start leveraging a social media management tool to further your social success.

Test out Sprout social with a free trial, or schedule a demo to learn more.

How to post a thread on Twitter

Step 1: Compose your first tweet

Step 2: Add your second tweet

Step 3: Write out the rest of your tweets

Graphics are a great way to grab your audience’s attention as they scroll through their Twitter feeds — and infographics work extra well here. Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.

Step 4: Publish your Twitter thread

4 tips for writing great Twitter threads

1. Hook readers with the first tweet

The first tweet of your thread is the one that people are most likely to see in their feeds and retweets. It’s a lot like an email subject line or headline: If it doesn’t grab people’s attention, they won’t read the rest of what you have to say.

Jeremy starts off with the thesis of his thread: “Building in public helps you acquire customers, market your brand, and refine your product.” Then he explains how he plans to back up that claim throughout the rest of the thread.

2. Make it shareable

When you post something that resonates with your customers, they’re more likely to share it. And the more they share it, the more people will read your awesome thread and share it with their followers. (And so on, and so forth.)

Tim taps into a common challenge content marketers face: Proving the ROI of content marketing. His thread talks about something that rings true to many people — and he’s got the hundreds of retweets to prove it.

Another way to get your thread on more timelines is by tagging the Twitter accounts of brands and people you mention. After all, if they don’t know that you’re talking about them, how can they share your tweet?

3. Tell a story

Spencer shares the story of how Podia reached profitability. If readers want to learn the whole story, they’ll have to read to the end of the thread. (I know I’m biased, but I think it’s a story worth reading.)

“Essentially, our brains run on electrical pulses, and when we hear stories, our brains light up. Neuroscientists have this saying that ‘neurons that fire together, wire together.’

So, when we’re hearing a story and our brain is lighting up, you have all of these neurons that are then wiring together, which triggers us to remember more of the information we’re getting.”

Bots like Thread Reader App make it easy for Twitter users to read an entire thread at once. All they have to do is reply to a tweet in a thread with “ @threadreaderapp ”, and the bot will “unroll” the thread and provide a link to a webpage with every tweet laid out.

All in all, storytelling makes your threads more memorable and enticing. And there are plenty of different ways to tell a story — so why not experiment to find what works best for you and your followers?

4. Experiment often

Last but not least, remember that everything we’ve gone over today is just a suggestion. Twitter didn’t roll out thread functionality until just a few years ago, and social media best practices are constantly evolving.

Take this Twitter experiment from marketing automation provider ActiveCampaign, for instance. The ActiveCampaign team used Twitter threads to create a marketing automation-themed “choose your own adventure” game:



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