Almost all social media specialists can agree that they’ve been called “the guy/girl who gets paid to tweet” at least once in their careers. Social media specialists have more in common than just a love for all things #social. Here are 6 skills all social media specialists should harvest.

Be Passionate

A key part of being a social media specialist is being passionate about interactive marketing. But I’m not just talking about enjoying Instagram and hashtags. If you’re working in-house for a brand you’re obviously passionate about the product they sell. Let your enthusiasm be a reflection of your social media posts.

Showing what makes your product the best or why your company’s culture is unparalleled is interesting to your followers. Have you ever watched episode after episode of Unwrapped on the Food Channel? It’s fascinating to get an inside look at your favorite food companies. Do the same for your brand or client’s business with social media.


Passion comes from inspiration, and it’s easy to be inspired when you work with fabulous co-workers who are interactive marketing fanatics and believers in what it can do for others.

Be Authentic

The notion of “one size fits all” is not accurate for social media specialists. We use social media to maintain a genuine online persona that is unique to each business so we can attract new followers, as well as foster relationships with existing fans.

Recently, I attended the Social Fresh West conference in Downtown San Diego. One of my takeaways was from Eleni Tavantzis (@eleni_t) who said “know your brand doesn’t have to be on every social media channel to have a big impact.” Instead focus on the social media channel that is right for your brand and build up the other channels.

Be Communicative

With the world connected to every possible outlet, there are so many ways to communicate. In one day, I can Skype with my Grandma Babs, tweet to my college roommates, Facebook message my friend in Indiana, and Snapchat my old co-workers in Prague, and that’s just the beginning of my daily online communication.


Aside from personal communication, a social media specialist has to communicate the brand messages in short or long form. Understanding the brand identity is fundamental when communicating online where things are not easily understood. It is important to be clear and stand firm on your values and message.

Be Connected

Whether you’re working for a client or for a particular brand, one has to be connected to the social media best practices and what is #trendingnow. Twitter and Facebook have sections on your feed to help you see what people are talking about and what’s gathering buzz.

You may have noticed a certain Bieberesque teenage boy filling up your timeline this week, namely #AlexFromTarget. You might not need to integrate #AlexFromTarget into your marketing campaigns, but knowing who Alex is and why he’s relevant in the social media space IS important to your credibility.

Image: Twitter

The “trending now” section of any social media channel can help you understand the backstory of a trend, as well as help you evaluate what people are currently saying about that particular trend. By being connected, you can be relevant and participate in conversations about these important red-shirted trends.

Be Personable

Personality plays a huge part of your role no matter what your job title is. Have you ever met someone who likes social media who’s not well… social? Didn’t think so.

People in digital marketing have infectious personalities and let it shine through. Your job is to be the digital voice of the brand, and that means having to deal with the positive and negative feedback, promotions, and interactions with followers. Being grumpy will just add more hate in the online community.
As the online voice of a brand, you must understand where people are coming from and why they love or are angry with your brand. My mother always said you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.

Be a Multitasker

There could be a Buzzfeed list on the amount of multitasking that goes on daily in the life of a social media specialist. Along with being in charge of and assisting with various accounts, a specialist is responsible for every social stream of those accounts, as well as reporting on client goals. Take the number of accounts and multiply that by the number of social media platforms they have and you will get a handful of personas you have to emulate.

Image: Relay

I would be lying if I said social media specialists don’t get some help when it comes to multitasking. By using Hootsuite or other social media management tools, you can easily keep track of all your clients and their social channels in one place. Couple these tools with a project management or team collaboration tool like Basecamp, and you’re good to go.

Having a career in social media means embracing these skills and the changing social landscape. I’m excited to be a part of the a team where this expertise is encouraged and grown each day!


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