There's no doubt that social media managers have one of the most agile jobs on the planet.
After all—depending on the size of your team—you may be a copywriter, digital marketer, graphic designer, and social media manager (and the list goes on) in the span of your 8+ hour workday.
But let's face it: the job isn't getting any easier, so if you want to get ahead of the game and bring more value to your team, you'll need to learn new skills that can be applied to your day-to-day.
And that's just what we'll help you do in this article. We'll run you through 6 essential skills for social media marketers in 2019 and link you to resources that will help learn or improve on them.
Sounds good? Awesome—let's dive in!
Copywriting is an essential skill for social media managers and marketers of all types.
Having solid writing chops will let you write your own social media and blog posts, cutting out the middleman and letting your thoughts into action.
So in the New Year, look for ways to write short, clear, and concise content that sells. The more info you can fit into a single tweet or Facebook status, the more you can sell—and upping your copywriting chops can help you do just that.
You can learn this by reading articles on copywriting, studying copywriting formulas, and reading blogs and social media posts by brands you admire. Some of our favorite resources include:
- Copyblogger — an amazing website that teaches you how to copy write
- ProBlogger — a blog about... blogging
- Hemingway App — a web app that helps make your writing "bold and clear"
2. Video creation and editing
There's no doubt that video is the place to be on social media.
This means that your brand needs to embrace video in the New Year, so make it a point to learn some basic video shooting and editing skills.
You don't need to be a Final Cut Pro master, but getting a good grasp on iMovie can help you whip up a quick video demo or social media video when you're strapped for time and can't hire a video consultant.
Here are our favorite resources for learning video basics:
- Socially Sorted — a social media blog dedicated to visual media
- Lynda's iMovie course — a quick way to learn iMovie basics
3. Customer support
Customer support and social media go hand-in-hand.
When your customers have an issue, the first place they go for help is social media.
But unlike email and phone support, their problems are public when posted on social. This means that you can't waste time responding to social media support queries—especially when they're urgent or negative.
So with that in mind: make sure to brush up on your customer support chops this year.
If you do this, you can be your company's first point of contact when a customer seeks support on your social channels. This reduces lag time in helping your customers, giving your brand a good face.
We recommend talking with your support team and learning solutions to some of the most common questions. Then, learn how to properly relay these solutions emphatically when the question is asked.
Trust us, your customers (and support team) will love you for this.
4. Basic graphic design and image editing skills
Like video, images are more important than ever on social media.
Don't believe us? Look at the stats:
- Tweets with images are 150% more likely to be retweeted
- LinkedIn posts with images see 200% more engagements
- Brand Facebook posts with images make up 87% of Facebook's overall engagement
So like video, it's in your best interest to learn some basic graphic design skills. We recommend learning how to edit free stock photos and create simple graphics using simple web apps like Canva.
With these skills in your back pocket, you can make quick-and-easy graphics on the fly. This removes the overhead of having to hire a graphic designer for small jobs, saving you money and speeding up your workflow.
- Inspiration Grid — graphic design inspiration
- Canva tutorials — learn how to use Canva
- Pluralsight — awesome Photoshop tutorials
5. Public speaking (think webinars and live streams)
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram's live video platforms are blowing up—and your audience loves it.
In fact, 82% of social media users prefer live video to social media posts, and 80% would rather watch a live stream than read a blog post.
So it goes without saying that your brand needs to embrace live video in 2019. And as the social media manager, you need to be comfortable running those live Q&As, interviews, and behind-the-scenes office tours.
This requires impeccable public speaking skills and the ability to get in front of thousands of strangers in real-time. But despite humans fearing public speaking more than death, it's not that hard to learn: just practice.
Some great ways to practice your digital public speaking skills include volunteering to do product demos at your company and running live videos on your personal social media accounts.
6. Community management
Social media is becoming more and more community-based.
Networks like Quora and Reddit are getting increasingly more popular, and more brands than ever are using Facebook and LinkedIn groups to build a community around their products.
This means that social media managers are starting to live double lives as community managers. So with that, you'll need to know how to spark conversation, be a discussion moderator, and listen for what your audience does and doesn't like.
Our favorite way to learn community management skills is simple: practice.
Participate in group discussions in blog comments, Reddit, Facebook groups, and other online communities. Look for things that spark online discussion and monitor how the group's moderation team handles discussions gone wrong.
No one is expecting you to learn all of these skills overnight, but adding one or two to your toolbox will help you and your team achieve your 2019 goals.
And now we're handing the mic to you. What skills do you want to improve in the New Year? Does anything on this list stick out to you? Let us know in the comments.