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Career Profile: Social Media Manager

Being a Social Media Manager means you tend to walk the fine line between the corporate world and the creative world. This means that you will have to be able to adapt to various situations and be constantly prepared for a sudden change. Below are the 3 main skills you will need to be a Social Media Manager.

· Communication

· Creativity

· Analytical Skills

Communication is the obvious one here, social media is all about communication and as humans, we’re literally born to communicate. So what is the big deal?

A Social Media Manager should be easily able to communicate effectively to various groups of people, and depending on the organisation you are working for then this can be easier said than done. To be able to communicate effectively, a Social Media Manager must be aware of the relevant Tone of Voice (TOV), which can be influenced by their organisation’s branding as well as the target audience’s age, culture, education and much more.

Creativity, is another obvious skill, as most Social Media Managers will have to have creative media made for them or create it themselves, dependent on their skill set and the organisation they work for. Like communication, it is not just about putting something out on social media that you like, it is about making sure it is relevant to your audience. For example, if you were working for a brand that operated in both China and the UK, the use of the colour red can have different meanings. In China, the colour red can symbolise good fortune and joy, where in the UK it can symbolise passion, anger or danger. Creativity and communication go hand in hand, a good Social Media Manager can ensure there is no conflict between written communication and visual or audio communication.

Analytical Skills are often something that is overlooked when people are considering a career in social media. However, being able to analyse data and trends is an important part of the Social Media Manager’s role. A good Social Media Manager will often plan in advance and works with other departments to ensure that the brand's message is right, being able to plan ahead with confidence means that as a Social Media Manager, you are keeping on top of the data and responding to changes that arise.

As well as the three skills mentioned above, a Social Media Manager must be extremely organised but not rigid. You must be able to be at the forefront of change.

Being a Social Media Manager does not require a degree or a formal qualification. A lot of organisations will expect one though if you’re lacking experience. However, getting started in social media could look different to many people, some pick it up as a side gig to supplement their income and will move towards it full time, some will do an internship or apprenticeship to gain valuable work experience and some will have a degree and find it a natural progression.

Finally, when trying to start out working in this industry, it is previous work experience and attitude that matters more than anything. Having other skills, especially media skills can make you stand out from the crowd, so don’t be afraid to diversify your skillset.

If being a Social Media Manager is something you're interested in, why not come along to a DEVA/hack and learn some skills that will help you? You'll learn from industry professionals and create your own video portfolio in the process

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