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7 Social Media Professional Skills Needed To Be Successful

Social Media Professional

So you’ve decided to become a Social Media Professional.

Your friends are doing great in their careers as Social Media Professionals. Any professional who knows about Social Media seems to be in great demand. The salaries are going up and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Social Media is no longer just a good-looking accessory on your profile as a Marketer but rather an essential one. You’ve seen eyebrows raised and sighs released when a colleague is not Social Media savvy yet happens to be a marketing professional.

And so, you’ve decided to become a Social Media Professional.

But is that enough?

Do you want to be just a Social Media Professional

Or do you want to be a Successful Social Media Professional

The sound of success makes it a worthy pursuit, after all. Isn’t it?

And now, you’re wondering.

You thought it was simple. You would quickly learn the ropes of Social Media Management. You would do some quick online courses, go through some free e-books on the matter, and voila! You would have transformed into a Social Media Professional.

Wasn’t success a given in this whole thing? Damn! If only life were that simple.

Now, you must learn how to become a Successful Social Media Professional.

It’s boring and might not seem like a fun thing to do.

Yet, it is extremely important and can’t be overlooked. It’s basic and straightforward, and that’s where the magic lies, ‘coz simple stuff is easy to miss. And most importantly, it can be learned, an acquired skill. Some perfect online courses for Social Media to help you with this.

This article establishes the difference between being a Social Media Professional and being a Successful Social Media Professional. It will also take you through the basic skill sets needed to become that.

So here it goes…

Essential Skill-set for a Successful Social Media Marketer

1. Brand Management Basics

Because of all the above-listed reasons, a huge influx of people wants to make hay while the Social Media sun shines bright. There is a huge pool of talented people who are doing amazing campaigns, communication, and engagement across Social Media and making it a fun world to inhabit.

At the same time, a huge pool has come just for the lure of all the buzz and glamor around Social Media. They don’t train themselves for this demanding and skillful job. They don’t go through the basics of marketing communication and brand management.

They’re going to find it very difficult to create meaningful, engaging communication, to put the content out there in the right way in front of the audience, and to keep the engagement going.

After all, the fruits of Social Media are slow, complex, and demanding labor. You need to keep going deliberately and keep building it brick by brick.

Don’t be like those people!

The first step towards becoming a Social Media Professional, that too a successful one at that is to get your marketing basics in a solid place. Call it Digital or Social Media or whatever.

Ultimately, it is still marketing communication being delivered to human beings. Behind all those screens, you’re still trying to communicate a brand message to living human beings (hopefully, otherwise, you’ve more significant worries to deal with).

You’ll still need all the brand management basics, more so if you’re determined to become a successful Social Media professional and want to carve out a niche for yourself in your chosen career path.

2. Statistical Analysis and Research

Fear of Statistics
Fear of Statistics


If you’re like most people, even the mere thought of Statistics might make you go weak in your knees, and not necessarily in a good way (pun intended!).

Research says that the human brain is not naturally wired to process Statistics. We need to make special efforts to learn Statistics and keep practicing it regularly to avoid losing our knowledge.

Now, let’s make it worse for you. Repeat after me and pay attention to each word – Statistics, Analysis, and Research

There, your nightmare just got tripled. These three words are enough to terrorize many people in their capacity, and if you put these three together, you have a perfect horror.

Does that strike a chord with you, too?

If your answer is yes, my dear friend, you need to face your fear head-on and either conquer it or befriend it.

Unlike what looks on the surface, Social Media is not just creative designs and quirky writing (well, that’s equally important too). It’s also a lot about reading, understanding, processing, and analyzing statistical data.

It would help if you dug down into what’s happening behind the scenes and how to tap into the full potential of Social Media as a marketing channel.

That’s how all your beloved Social Media channels have built themselves as Advertising empires, using Statistical Analysis and Research to understand Consumer Behavior Patterns and to put those to use for targeted advertising.

Put on that data analytics thinking hat on top of your head now!

3. Strategic Management & Planning

Successful Social Media Marketing is a lot about strategic management and planning. You need to thoroughly plan and develop at least some or mostly all of the following social media strategy:

  • content strategy,
  • outreach strategy,
  • publishing strategy,
  • audience engagement strategy
  • response management strategy and,

then it would help if you strategized to go back to the drawing board and work on your continual optimization strategy.

To keep your Social Media efforts going and going in the right direction, you need to build or adopt simple systems. Even doing simple things day in and day out can be overwhelming if there is no structure.

And your efforts would start crumbling under pressure to keep up if you and your team are overwhelmed.

That keeps Social Media Professionals from becoming Successful Social Media Professionals. Of course, you wouldn’t want that to happen.

The ability of strategic thinking and structural planning will go a long way toward ensuring that you stay on the right path and can execute what you’ve set out to do.

It would keep all pieces of the Social Media puzzle together, and you could switch between and manage the bigger picture and smaller parts coherently.

This is what would separate a Social Media Professional from a successful one.

4. Pattern Recognition

Social Media Professional
Audience Behavior Pattern Recognition – Getting into the mind of your audience.

The exponential growth of Digital Marketing also brought the onslaught of data available to work with. You can track so many parameters and can make so many cohorts. As time passes, Digital Marketers are getting swamped with the data tsunami.

You would say that having more data available to work with should be a good thing. It is only if you know how to make use of this data. If you recognize the patterns and gain audience behavior insights, that’s where the trick is.

To put it in a poetic analogy, Pattern Recognition is the art of separating the wheat from the chaff. You need to develop the ability to cut through tons of data and recognize the usage patterns this data is pointing towards.

You can also use this skill to accurately test your hypothesis and assumptions. Let’s say that you want to find out the exact time when your audience engages most with your content on Social Media. You could test out publishing at different times for a stipulated time and collect the data.

Then you could compare the data and identify the patterns to either reach the exact publishing period or you could already take an assumption and either accept it or discard it and move on to the next experiment. And that’s just one of the simplest pattern recognition utility examples.

Develop your skills to read the data over a while instead of point-in-time, recognize the patterns that it forms, and you’re on the path to becoming a genuinely successful Social Media Professional.

5. Visual and Creative Aesthetics

We don’t even need to make a case for this particular skill. This is publicly visible and central to the glam attached to Social Media as a profession. This is what the audience consumes and interacts with. This is the face of Social Media Branding initiatives.

Visual and Creative Aesthetics are integral and the most visible parts of your Social Media strategy.

If Social Media strategy is a magic trick, then Visual and Creative Aesthetics is the “prestige” of this magic trick.

All the planning, strategy, data crunching, and pattern recognition won’t be able to save your social media strategy from tanking if your aesthetics are not up to the mark.

You might have a professional creative team at your disposal. Still, as the pack’s leader, you would need a sharp aesthetic sense to guide them toward creating compelling designs and communication that resonate with your audience.

No one understands what your audience wants and how they want it better than you. You must understand your audience even better than themselves. So whether or not you’re designing the creatives for Social Media, you would have to take the lead on getting the aesthetic sensibilities spot on.

You would and should need to get into the nitty-gritties of visual and creative aesthetics. It would help you greatly in your quest to become a Successful Social Media Professional.

6. Copywriting

Strong Copywriting skills are a must for a Social Media Professional. As a Social Media Professional, you would be writing a lot. You would write the messaging on the creatives, the captions, hashtags, and responses to audience messages, etc.

Ensuring that a compelling (and don’t forget, error-free, unless intended otherwise) message is going with all your Social Media messaging and that the audience responds to it is very important to the success of your Social Media strategy.

Invest in honing your Copywriting skills and make your brand’s Social Media communication stand out from the clutter. That’s the ingredient you can’t miss in the recipe for becoming a Successful Social Media Professional.

7. Reporting, Measuring, and Analysis

Social Media Professional
Sample report from a Social Media Reporting Tool

What do Digital Marketers have but traditional marketers struggle with?

What makes Digital Marketing tick against traditional marketing?

What made Digital Marketing success in the first place?

Answer: Ability and tools to track, report, measure, and analyze the audience response data.

This is the crucial potion in making Digital Marketing work. The formula for succeeding in Digital Marketing is the ability to report, measure, and analyze the performance data and, in turn, use it for the next level of optimization. And Social Media is a child of Digital Marketing no different.

You would need to work on your fears. Suppose you have any working on piles of data in your analytics reports, making impressive excel sheets, and understanding those excel sheets. In that case, these are just some of the activities on your everyday work schedule.

By reporting, measuring, and analyzing the performance of your Social Media efforts, you would be able to gauge whether you’re headed in the right direction or if your strategy needs some tweaking. You can identify those required tweaks from your reports if it does need tweaking.

5 Steps to become a Social Media Professional

how to become social media professional

Step 1- Close skill gaps

Developing key marketing skills will help you start a career in social media marketing.

You can learn social media marketing skills through social media training programs.

While hiring, managers are interested in their marketing skills of project management, good communication, copywriting, adaptability, eagerness to learn, etc.

Step 2- Learn social media platforms.

Get to know the strengths and weaknesses of major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Study how your competitors are using social networks.

Familiarize yourself with social media marketing tools like Google Adwords, WordPress, Facebook Ads, etc.

Digital marketing courses can help you learn about these tools and teach skills like graphic design and SEO, which remain relevant even when social media platforms inevitably change.

Step 3- Gain relevant work experience.

You can gain work experience in two ways-

Social media marketing Internship

Connect with small businesses that need someone to manage their social media presence.

Step 4- Develop a portfolio.

A portfolio demonstrates your work and how it impacted you.

It is your key to success in social media marketing, whether you are working in-house or on a freelance basis.

Consider building a website to showcase your most successful work.

Step 5- Market yourself to clients.

Market yourself and show employers or clients that you can successfully market their products or services.

Social media is a highly competitive field.

Instead of applying for jobs online, try attending conferences and small business events.

Please introduce yourself in person and let them meet your brand face-to-face.

Social Media Jobs to explore in

You came across this article because you want a social media marketing job.

Here are some social media jobs you can choose from with their salary-

Social media professional jobs
Job Title Salary in INR
Social Media Specialist 2,00,000 – 8,40,000
Social Media Manager 1,20,000 – 10,00,000
Social Community Manager 2,50,000 – 12,00,000
Influencer Marketer 2,40,000 – 13,70,000
Content Creator 1,20,000 – 8,40,000
Social Media Consultant 2,10,000 – 9,10,000
Social Media Intelligence 1,80,000 – 7,00,000

It’s your turn now!

So now that you know the 7 essential skills for becoming a Successful Social Media Marketer, how do you plan to build upon these skills in the coming years?

If you already are a Successful Social Media Marketer, what skills came in handy during your journey, and how did you build those over time?

Share your responses in the comments section with our readers and us.

Moreover, to become highly proficient in social media marketing, you should also have social media certification that can act as proof of your worth.


1. What is a social media professional?

A Social Media Professional is responsible for creating and publishing content on all social media platforms, growing an audience, building brand awareness, and ultimately, boosting sales.

2. Can I be a social media manager without a degree?

Yes, you can be a social media manager without a degree.

But, still, a social media marketing course and certification can improve your chances of getting a social media job.

3. What are the job duties of a social media marketer?

The job duties of a social media manager would typically include the following:

  • Planning and developing social media campaigns
  • Crafting compelling content
  • Posting content across social media accounts
  • Engaging with customers on different channels
  • Analyzing running campaigns
  • Being on top of the latest social media trends

4. What are the 5 types of social media posts?

5 types of social media posts-

  • Social Networking
  • Photo Sharing
  • Video Sharing
  • Interactive Media
  • Blogging/Community Building

5. What do you do in a social media job?

Here are some common responsibilities that might be expected of you as a social media manager-

  • Creative copywriting.
  • Graphic design.
  • Social ad setup and optimization.
  • Creating and publishing content on various social platforms.
  • Performance tracking and data analysis.
  • Community engagement.
  • Customer support.
  • Public relations.
  • End-to-end planning of social media campaigns.

Image Courtesy: Queen’s University Library, SalesForce, MarketingLand

Ritu Jhajharia
About the Author Ritu Jhajharia Founder – Rolling Circle Pvt Ltd | Communications Consultant | Aspiring Writer Ritu has dabbled into various roles across functions in marketing, brand management, communication, public relations, content management, consulting, technology & entrepreneurship for over a decade. She is currently working as a full-time entrepreneur heading her venture Rolling Circle Pvt Ltd, an Integrated Marketing Communications firm. She likes to help growing start-ups with marketing strategy and thought leadership via content. She likes to write on various topics, is a successful blogger and is an avid traveler.

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