When I graduated college in spring 2009, Facebook had yet to introduce the “Like” button and Instagram was still a year and a half away from launching. I didn’t have aspirations to be a social media marketer because that job title had yet to exist as we know it.

Nine years later, most businesses have some kind of presence in the social media realm, with many staffing entire departments to manage their brands’ social identity.

So, what does it take to be a successful social marketer? While it’s always possible to sharpen your social media skills, these four inherent traits are must-haves for social media marketers:

1. Amicable

By definition, a social media marketer should be a people person. This doesn’t mean they have to be a serious extrovert (I’m more of an introverted extrovert, myself), but they should be friendly and likable since they’re representing the company online (or at least great at faking it). Any of that offline approachability will ooze into the online attitude.

2. Adaptable

You know the saying, “the best-laid plans often go awry?” It rings especially true for social media marketers.

Social folks spend a lot of time planning and curating content calendars, but they also have to be ready for things to change in a snap — because they definitely will. The product launch campaign you planned will get postponed because of a late shipment. The Facebook Live presenter you booked will come down with the flu the day before.

Social media marketers who can shift gears quickly and take detours in stride will be better situated for success, especially when something inevitably goes wrong.

3. Analytical

Social media marketers need to be able to think strategically to curate content that meets business goals, but we also need to know how to measure that content’s performance. Yes, creating cool images and striking video is exciting, but we need to know if that content actually resounds with our audience or not.

Knowing which key metrics to evaluate helps social marketers figure out what’s working or not working, and make informed decisions moving forward.

4. Academic

Social media accelerates and morphs every single day, so a love of learning is a must. New platforms pop up and existing platforms add new features regularly. The types of content users seek out, when they seek it and how — that’s all ever-changing, too. To keep up, we have to keep learning.

There’s no shortage of knowledge out there, either, whether it’s about the newest platforms or how others are utilizing existing ones in new ways. Plus, social media doesn’t exist in a bubble! There are all sorts of other facets of online marketing like SEO and public relations.

Those who insatiably read articles, blog posts, sign up for webinars and consume as much knowledge as possible will be ahead of the curve when it comes to best practices in the social arena.

Need help with your social media marketing? Get in touch!

Melissa Slack

Author Melissa Slack

Melissa is a Digital Content Specialist at InQuest Marketing. She creates and manages social media content for a variety of clients, and she also has experience in SEO, SEM and public relations. Her favorite things about InQuest are the people. Melissa loves her rescue dog and tackling home renovation projects, and she could eat tacos everyday.

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