New!Check out Board viewCheck out the new Board viewOrganize and track your social content ideas with the new Board view.Learn more

9 Essential Social Media Manager Skills and Qualities Found in Industry Leaders [SSM026]

Jan 25, 2017 5 min readPodcasts

We are excited to share our fifth, very special bonus podcast episode with you on the 9 essential social media manager skills and qualities found in top industry leaders.

These bonus episodes offer a fun change of pace from our traditional “interview-style” episodes on The Science of Social Media. Get to know the hosts Hailley, Kevan, & Brian as they share thoughts on the state of social media, ground-breaking tips and tricks to make your marketing more effective, and much more.

This week we’re chatting all about some of the most essential social media manager skills and qualities that help the world’s top marketers find consistent success. Whether you’re looking to build an all-star social media team, get into the industry, or simply brush up on your skills, this episode is perfect for you!

A huge thank you to all of you for joining us every week for brand new episodes. We appreciate you taking the time to listen and for your amazing support over the last few weeks. We’d love to hear from you on iTunes or using the hashtag #bufferpodcast on Twitter.

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

Here’s what we chat about in this episode:

  • Brian’s top 3 social media manager skills to create great content and succeed
  • Hailley’s top 3 social media manager skills for setting yourself apart
  • Kevan’ top 3 social media manager skills from a hiring and manager perspective
  • Social media game: 20 Questions

Top 9 Social Media Manager Skills and Qualities Found in Some of the Industry’s Best Marketers

Social Media Career Quote - Marc Andreessen
“What I listen for is for someone who really wanted something that could be attained only through taking the risk.”

– Aaron Brown

Campaigns pulled from the show!

Brian’s top 3 social media manager skills and qualities

1. The ability to find inspiration everywhere

There are so many great resources out there for social media managers to find as inspiration and then use to craft into their own unique social media content. For us in social media, I’m constantly monitoring top pages and keeping an eye on the industry.

2. Understanding what makes content great

Let’s take video for example, a lot of what makes a great videos great isn’t always the footage itself or the people who are in it. Many times people don’t realize that it’s the editing and the music and the sounds that make overall video better.

3. Willing to connect with your audience

Unfortunately, this is a very un-scaleable activity for social media managers. Automated human interaction isn’t the best way to go (or truly possible) and so taking the time to develop your audience is a wonderful skill to have.

Hailley’s top 3 social media manager skills and qualities

1. Having efficient systems in place

Sometimes social media managers end up doing a lot of the same thing, multiple times. If you can create really efficient systems and get good at making sure you’re doing things at the same time, then you’ll succeed. Having a system will help you to quickly improve on certain activities and iterate on those week over week.

2. Having grit

Many times social media managers get stuck in the habit of the same tasks day-in-and-day out or repeating the same sorts of content and not seeing any traction. Having “grit,” or an experimentation-first mindset will allow you to see long-term results. But it takes perseverance to be able to continue to experiment at a consistent and productive pace.

3. Don’t forget about the customer service aspect of social media

Sometimes social media is a big part of a business’ customer service program. It’s really important to have great people skills as a social media manager. From a marketing standpoint, you can’t just automate, you have to follow through and talk with the people.

Kevan’s top 3 social media manager skills from a hiring perspective

My inspiration comes from a blog by Marc Andreessen and so I would love to share his 3 most important hiring criteria.

1. Drive

What Marc means by ‘drive’ is self-motivation. It’s a bit theoretical in some ways, but you’ll know it when you see it. So when he’s looking at someone’s background, for instance, he’s looking for what someone’s done. Not what they’ve been involved in, not what they’ve been a part of, not what they’ve seen from the sideline – but what they’ve actually done.

2. Curiosity

Curiosity is something that is evident in a job that you love. I think it comes very naturally that if you love something you’re curious about it, you want to know more about it, read about it, study it, and talk to other people about it. For someone who is super into social media, curiosity is a very good indicator of potential success of that employee.

3. Ethics

This one is a bit obvious and probably the deal-breaker trait. If you’re not an ethical person by nature it probably won’t work out long term. This is especially true in a social media position because it is so public-facing.

Show Notes and Other Memorable Moments

Thanks a million for checking out this episode! Below are the websites and other tidbits that were mentioned in today’s podcast about personal branding on social media. If you have any questions for us, feel free to drop us a line in the comments and we’ll respond right away!

Awesome Mentions in the Show

More Great Quotes from the Show

6 Essential Social Media Manager Skills and Qualities [Podcast]
  • “It’s important for social media managers to look outside of their given industries and truly be a “student of inspiration.”
  • “Consuming as much content as you possible can so that you begin to understand the subtle nuances in what makes it great is crucial for social media marketers.”
  • “There’s a certain level of customer service skills and people skills that you have to have to work in social media management.”

How to Say Hello to Us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a

rating and review on iTunes


About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

Brought to you by

Try Buffer for free

140,000+ small businesses like yours use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month

Get started now

Related Articles

best podcasts
FlowFeb 14, 2024
20+ Podcasts You’ll Want in Your Feed in 2024

Check out the 25 best podcasts for creators, marketers, small business owners and anyone looking to up their social media.

podcast creator
FlowOct 5, 2023
Here’s How This Creator Has A #1 Podcast While Working Full Time (At Buffer)

In this article, we dive into podcaster and Bufferoo Phill Agnew's strategies that can help you grow an engaged audience, no matter the format.

Why Damian Fagon Wants More Black People to Become Cannabis Farmers

Damian shares his journey from hemp farmer, to teacher, to business accelerator leader, and the economics behind why he focuses so hard on encouraging people to become hemp farmers.

140,000+ people like you use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month