With the Internet changing so often, being a Social Media manager is an interesting proposition. There really is no code to follow about managing a site with a handful of writers posting articles and the community at large chiming in on topics. Fundraising Success Magazine (@frsuccess) introduced some valid key points on the type of qualities needed to be an effective social media manager. The points come from the book “Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits.”
The book offers a whole chapter on the standards to follow for social media managers. Perhaps, you will agree or disagree with these standards. Either way, it is a start for keeping managers human while going viral. I must admit without saying that an effective social media manager is both an art and a skill. Some personalities are more likely to experience success than others while managing and inspiring online writers and communities.
Here are 10 qualities that are needed in order to be a successful social media manager:
1. Has a passion for the topic or cause and for social media — You can hear it in his voice and read it in his tweets. A good social media manager has passion for his topic and enjoys participating in social media.
2. Is friendly, patient and responsive — Social media managers enjoy engaging with and responding to comments on social media sites. They relish discussing ideas and issues online, and they do it with patience and kindness. They are attentive to their communities on an almost daily basis.
3. Is creative and detail-oriented — Willing to be creative is what makes exceptional social media campaigns stand out from the rest. It’s not that they have to have creative juices flowing all the time, but they do something different, which set her site a part from the rest of the sites. Her mind is constantly at work dreaming up new campaigns, and rather than shying away from being different and taking risks, she embraces it.
4. Has experience in online communications — Just because someone is 19 and came of age using Facebook in his personal life does not mean that he can manage and implement your online communities on social media sites successfully. Untrained interns were fine two or three years ago, when the Social Web was still in its infancy and everyone was experimenting. But that era is over. The truth is, in terms of results in social media, you get what you pay for, and if you want the best person for the job, you need someone who has at least a year or two of professional experience in Web 1.0.
5. Reads blogs about social media and mobile technology — A good social-media manager is a regular reader of Mashable, TechCrunch, Social Media Today, Social Times, Mobile Marketing Watch, All Facebook, About Foursquare, Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Beth’s Blog, TechSoup, NTEN, and other such blogs. Social media moves very quickly, and your platform will fall behind or miss opportunities to explore the “Next Big Thing” if your social media manager is not regularly browsing these blogs for breaking news about tools, upgrades, and emerging trends.
6. Is not overly confident about her social media skills – Over confidence about their social media skills prevents most social media managers from getting the necessary training. Every second of every day, platforms on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, WordPress, Foursquare and other social media make obvious mistakes that are counterproductive to their presence on these sites. Please get training! Take webinars, attend boot camps or workshops, or go to conferences that focus on the how-to of social media.
7. Thinks like a journalist — Well-written, timely content is what drives the Social Web. Old news is not share-, like- or retweet-worthy. This is why blogging has become so central to a successful social media strategy. It allows social media managers to respond to breaking news by quickly and easily creating content that can be posted and shared by others on the Social Web. I need to adhere to this one more so. I tend to fall behind on the newsworthy of a piece.
8. Is mobile — Social media managers should be comfortable with the idea of posting status updates and tweets from any location at any time, when necessary. Whether we like it or not, the news cycle is now 24/7, and as a journalist for your cause, you need to be, too. The best social media and mobile technology practitioners embrace these new tools, experiment with them and are willing to sacrifice some of their free time outside of traditional office hours in order to be available to their communities 24/7.
9. Is willing to mesh his personal life with his professional life online — It’s a whole new Web. It’s social. It’s mobile. It’s public. You have to be willing to be on Facebook personally or LinkedIn professionally. You have to be willing to merge some of your personal life with your professional life online. That’s a tough one for me, but I still think you can do this and draw a line. For a good social media manager, privacy is a concern, but it is not a crippling one. He takes responsibility for his own privacy and takes steps to protect it where and when he wants to.
10. Takes steps to prevent social media burnout — For the entire social good it can do, social media does have a downside. Social media managers are bombarded with messages all day long on social media sites. It can be too much for the mind to process sometimes. A good social media manager knows when to draw the line and takes time away from her communities when necessary.