From regularly updating your compliance knowledge to being comfortable with wearing many hats, here are 22 answers to the question, “What are some important things every social media manager needs to know and why?”

DEEPER DIVE: Forecasting 2023 PR and marketing trends

  • Keep Up With Legal and Regulatory Compliance
  • Adapt or Fall Behind
  • Remember Results Take Time
  • Engage With Like-minded Businesses
  • Cultivate Curiosity for Strategic Planning
  • Stay Up-to-Date With Industry Trends and Changes
  • Troubleshoot Issues 
  • Maintain Authenticity
  • Rely on Data for Decision Making
  • Create Valuable and Engaging Content
  • Conduct Audience Research
  • Adhere to Best Practices
  • Understand the Dynamics of Different Platforms
  • Stretch a Budget
  • Facilitate Genuine Human Connection
  • Master Crisis Intervention
  • Grow Your Analytical Abilities
  • Practice Public Speaking
  • Learn Basic Psychology
  • Take Accountability for Each Detail
  • Speak Your Story
  • Be a Jack of All Trades, Master of Most

Keep Up With Legal and Regulatory Compliance

In my opinion, this is essential knowledge for any social media manager, as social media platforms are now subject to legal and regulatory compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guidelines are all examples of laws and regulations that could affect your business. 

If you want to keep your brand’s reputation intact and out of court, you need to make sure your material abides by certain rules and regulations.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics

Adapt or Fall Behind

I believe that every social media manager needs to understand the value of staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. Social media platforms are constantly evolving, and what worked yesterday may not work today. By staying informed and adaptable, social media managers can stay ahead of the curve and ensure their strategies remain effective.

This involves regularly researching and analyzing industry trends, studying the latest algorithm changes, and monitoring emerging technologies and innovations. It also means actively engaging with their audience, responding to feedback, and monitoring performance metrics to continually refine their approach.

Ultimately, social media is a constantly changing landscape, and it takes a proactive, informed, and flexible approach to succeed. By prioritizing ongoing learning and adaptation, social media managers can not just survive but stay ahead of the competition and deliver results for their brands.

Vincent Orleck, President, Social Media Club Phoenix

Remember Results Take Time

Seeing the results of your campaign will take a bit of time. While you may or may not know this personally, as a social media manager, you’re likely going to explain more than once to a client that the turnaround on a social media campaign isn’t something that is going to take place overnight. 

At least from the standpoint of many companies, even those we’d consider completely modernized, the actual metrics of social media’s influence on a business can be somewhat muddled or, in some cases, a completely alien concept. 

As a social media manager, it won’t hurt to occasionally gather that data so that you can show your work to clients in a way that’s going to be easy for them to digest.

Liza Kirsh, Chief Marketing Officer, Dymapak

Engage With Like-minded Businesses

Don’t just wait for followers. Instead, follow businesses that have similar interests so they’ll follow you back. Additionally, you can like and comment on their posts. It’s essential to be active on social media (other than posting) to get the most out of it. Other businesses will appreciate your engagement, making them want to return the favor.

Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications, RPM

Cultivate Curiosity for Strategic Planning

Every social media manager should know they need to possess a curious and strategic mindset for planning. Curiosity is a crucial ability to have, and it’s imperative that your social media strategist frequently explores new features, engages in social listening, and understands your competitors’ actions.

Having a manager who is not only focused on carrying out tasks but can also quickly come up with solutions and create long-term strategies is a valuable asset. An excellent social media manager should arrange strategies and planning with the upper team and the marketing department to understand their goals and start integrating all social media campaigns in the same direction. We must connect each campaign to a business aim and fit it into the comprehensive strategy.

Georgi Todorov, Founder, ThriveMyWay

Stay Up-to-Date With Industry Trends and Changes

For instance, a social media manager who worked for a fashion brand discovered that Instagram’s algorithm had recently changed. The algorithm now prioritized posts with high engagement rates, meaning that posts with lower engagement rates would be seen by fewer people.

To adapt to this change, the social media manager shifted their strategy to prioritize engagement, using strategies like influencer collaborations and interactive content to boost engagement rates. As a result, the brand could maintain its reach and visibility on the platform.

By staying informed about industry trends and changes, social media managers can adapt their strategies to keep up with the latest developments and ensure their brand stays relevant and visible to their audience.

Dejan Kvrgic, Founder, ProContent Services

Troubleshoot Issues 

Managing social media requires you to be an excellent problem solver and to adapt to the ever-changing networks. Very often, platforms will get updated, and you’ll need to figure out how to navigate these changes without causing too much interruption to your clients’ social posting schedule. 

You can certainly ask for help or lean on support articles found online, but many times, the issues you encounter as a social media manager are very situational and aren’t easily solved through common methods. Learning things as you go and adjusting to these bumps along the way will make for a more successful manager.

Ashley Romer, SEO Manager, PaperStreet Web Design

Maintain Authenticity 

Social media users have spoken with their “likes” and “follows”—if they must be marketed to, let it be authentic. For example, user-generated content, informal brand Q&As, and personal stories perform well because they are relatable. If your content doesn’t feel approachable, potential customers may not see themselves aligned with your products.

Lyudmyla Dobrynina, Head of Marketing, Optimeal

Rely on Data for Decision Making

Every social media manager should know the need for data-driven decision-making and how it can inform future strategies. Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data from metrics and analytics allows the social media manager to develop evidence-based strategies that are designed to better meet their customers’ needs and effectively engage with prospective customers. 

Without understanding this data, it can be extremely difficult to develop content that resonates with followers or track the success of deployed campaigns. Taking a data-driven approach easily shows what does and doesn’t work, so they can adapt their strategies accordingly. Therefore, data should be at the center of every social media manager’s efforts in order to remain competitive.

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska, Marketing Manager, Spacelift

Create Valuable and Engaging Content

Every social media manager needs to know the importance of creating valuable and engaging content. While it may seem obvious, many social media managers fall into the trap of creating content that needs to be more sales-focused or simply uninteresting to their audience.

Creating content that provides value to your audience can build a strong relationship with them and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. This can increase engagement, higher conversion rates, and even brand loyalty. Additionally, creating engaging content can help you stand out in a crowded social media landscape and capture the attention of potential customers.

Ultimately, social media is all about building relationships with your audience, and valuable and engaging content is vital. Social media managers can create a solid and effective social media presence for their brand by focusing on providing value and building relationships.

Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media

Conduct Audience Research

Social media managers must have a firm grasp of their target audience. In my opinion, they must investigate their target audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. This data assists businesses in creating content that resonates with their target audience and increases engagement.

Holly Cooper, Marketing Manager, Lucas Products & Services

Adhere to Best Practices

To get the most out of your efforts on social media, you should be familiar with the best practices recommended by each site. To avoid being blocked, follow the platform’s posting guidelines. Don’t forget to fill out your profiles by adding a bio, photo, and cover. If you want your material to rank higher in search results, include hashtags, keywords, and alternate text.

Matt Magnante, Director of Content and SEO, Fitness Volt

Understand the Dynamics of Different Platforms

Every social media manager needs to understand the dynamics of their platform. They need to know the best practices for engaging with followers, the best strategies for content creation, and the most effective ways to measure and track performance. Knowing these key components of social media management will help ensure that posts, campaigns, and activities are optimized for maximum effectiveness and reach.

Jaya Iyer, Marketing Assistant, Teranga Digital Marketing

Stretch a Budget 

All good social media managers need to know the basics of budgeting to get the most out of what they are allotted. A social media budget can get surprisingly tricky between paid advertisements, commissioning designs, and content, and training on new courses to keep up to date on the latest tech. A solid understanding of budgeting can greatly improve the efficacy of each aspect.

Alexandre Robicquet, Co-founder and CEO, Crossing Minds

Facilitate Genuine Human Connections

Consumers can contact businesses directly through social media with comments, questions, and concerns. The interactions that customers have with a brand’s social media accounts are public, so it’s crucial to be courteous and helpful in your responses.

 It is possible to show the authenticity of your business and your desire to assist your clients in any way possible by facilitating genuine conversations and human connections online.

Alex Constantinou, Managing Director, The Fitness Circle

Master Crisis Intervention

Social media managers must be prepared to address social media disasters. In my opinion, companies should have a strategy in place to respond to bad comments, reviews, or posts that can harm the reputation of their brand. They should also be able to successfully communicate with their audience during a crisis and take the appropriate actions to fix the issue.

Jeff Romero, Founder, Octiv Digital

Grow Your Analytical Abilities

There weren’t any metrics to track the success of your social media marketing and advertising operations until long after the advent of the medium. Neither Facebook nor Twitter had any sort of metrics section. 

A Media Manager’s job was to blindly scroll through feeds, postings, and pages to find the winning formula. More of a work of art than a methodical study. What works and what doesn’t can now be monitored in real-time. Sentiment analysis is now a viable field of study.

James Nathan, Founder, Market Jar

Practice Public Speaking

Communicating clearly and boldly in front of a large audience is, in my opinion, the foundation of public speaking abilities. You see, things have changed in the world of social media advertising since the advent of Facebook and Instagram Live Streaming. Brands need to appear in front of a live audience and speak with them since 82% of viewers would rather interact with a brand’s live stream than their social postings. 

In addition, live-stream retail shops that focus on social media platforms are becoming increasingly common. If you’re a social media manager and you want to take advantage of live streaming, you need to feel comfortable doing live sessions, fielding queries from viewers in the moment, and conducting interviews in real-time.

Mathew Bowley, Head of Marketing, Solmar Villas

Learn Basic Psychology

Understanding what content the audience wants and how they want it to be presented is a must-have skill for social media managers. This helps to get a better view of the audience’s mind, allowing them to create engaging content. 

The better a social media manager understands psychology, the better his chances of success. This also helps them predict the outcomes of their content strategy, which is crucial for setting expectations and goals.

Byron Redhead, Director and Co-founder, First Page

Take Accountability for Each Detail

One thing that every social media manager should understand is that the details aren’t the details; they are in charge of the design. Making a spelling mistake isn’t the end of the world, but it should be treated as such by a social media manager. 

The results will reflect your ability to keep your communications and strategy razor-sharp. No brand wants to be associated with sloppiness or inconsistency. Attention to detail applies not only to the social media post but also to the team with which you are working.

Sarrah Pitaliya, Head of Digital Marketing, Radixweb

Speak Your Story

The biggest thing I enjoy about social media is being able to take a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. Through social media, we build relationships with individuals that we may never have the opportunity to meet otherwise. 

With that in mind, the biggest thing social media managers need to do is curate content that is true to that individual’s story or mission. This helps foster the relationship that social media builds and keeps interactions ongoing.

Cassie Mace, Owner and Creator, She’s Sew Vain

Be a Jack of All Trades, Master of Most

A good social media manager is someone who can essentially function as a one-person social media team if given enough time. They need to have a firm grasp of graphic design, content writing, research and analytics, time management, project management, and stakeholder management—a tall order, and not one that most can fulfill on their first day on the job. 

This means that any good social media manager’s secondary job is to be an excellent learner. You should always look to develop yourself and keep abreast of the latest developments and best practices for the platforms in which you operate.

Onno Halsema, CEO, Contentoo