A freelance social media manager can work as a marketer, strategist, copywriter, designer, analyst, and customer care representative. Only ten years ago, the position of social media manager was neither a profession nor a vocation. It was non-existent.
Facebook had just been around for a year and was still mostly used to connect students online. Years ago, the word “social media marketing” was nonexistent. Social networking was formerly thought of as a recreational activity, something to use when you needed a quick break from work or to keep you occupied during your commute.
However, for a select few lucky professionals, being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat is their full-time job! It’s also becoming more popular in a variety of different marketing professions and hiring managers who want to see that you have the necessary professional skills on your otherwise well-written CV.
All businesses, brands and organizations can benefit greatly from skilled freelancers. After all, most businesses are now required to publish on up to seven platforms daily, develop social strategies, manage interaction, and track results. All of these must be done while keeping up with constantly changing social media features and algorithms.
Social media managers need a diverse range of talents, as well as the ability to manage a large number of moving pieces. Technical, analytical, creative, with project management tossed in for good measure. So, what are the most important qualities and capabilities for a social media manager to succeed and excel?
One of the most difficult aspects for brands in the crowded social media environment is differentiation. Every social media manager wants to create content that is exciting, valuable, and viral, but coming up with unique ideas takes creativity.
While there are no formal social media manager credentials required to enter the profession, you will need ingenuity. Without it, your campaigns will lack the zing that distinguishes outstanding campaigns from average ones.
Do you have an unconventional style of thinking? Is coming up with new ideas a thing you enjoy? If so, you have a skill that you can use as a freelance social media manager.
The issues that freelance social media managers face are distinct. For one thing, social media never goes offline. That means you may need to work outside of your established scheduling tools to address the community in real-time, even on nights and weekends. There’s also the harsh fact of how quickly technology and life change. After a recent news event or shift in consumer mood, a campaign you worked on for months may no longer be relevant or prohibitive to the message. One of the most noticeable features of today’s finest social media managers is their ability to take hits and adapt.
3. Writing skills
Copywriting is one of the skills you’ll need as a freelance social media manager. Writing experience, a talent for words and content marketing skills are valuable assets to have. Even if photos, video, and other forms of media are important components of successful social media campaigns, they will be ineffective and ineffective without the correct copy.
While you don’t have to be the next Chinua Achebe or Wole Soyinka, you must be able to type basic ad text and make fascinating observations with a few words (if any errors.) Because the social media manager is frequently needed to reply to client requests in real-time, you must be exceptionally detailed.
Engaging consumers and marketing a brand’s goods require a good copy. It’s also crucial for increasing brand awareness and trust. The copy for social media posts must not only be good but also reflect the brand’s voice and values.
If you can convey a brand’s persona and value through brief social media copy, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful freelance social media manager.
Another significant benefit of improving your writing skills is the added value of being able to write better social media marketing proposals, which leads to more clients and higher income.
4. Community Management skills
Although social media is the most popular platform for customer service, just 21% of companies use it for customer assistance. This means that there’s a big chance to give outstanding customer service.
Many firms use social media freelancers to handle time-consuming tasks like community management.
Community Management includes everything from monitoring inboxes and responding to direct messages to participate in post comments and mentions, connecting with other users, and moderating debates.
Forums and chat boards ruled the world before social media. While answering queries and facilitating new debates, moderators usually kept comments under control. Today, the same idea holds for social media. A smart manager can see problems in the online community and respond appropriately, all while adhering to the platform’s regulations.
5. Reporting and analysis
Another important trait for a social media manager is an analytical eye. If you’re wondering how to be a social media manager — and whether you have the right skills for the job — consider this.
If you want to work as a freelance social media manager, you’ll need to be able to analyze and assess data and information in a variety of ways.
Freelancers typically have to conduct analysis and reporting on the client’s social media platforms as a one-person team.
A successful freelance social media manager should provide a monthly report detailing the results of their work, including audience growth, engagement rates, reach, and, if appropriate, direct sales/conversions.
If your campaigns aren’t meeting these objectives, you’ll need to be able to identify where and how they’re falling short so you can improve them.
6. Multitasking abilities
Do you have the ability to multitask? Another of the many essential talents a freelance social media marketer must possess is this.
You’ll be working on multiple campaigns at the same time after you become a freelance social media manager and land diverse clients. You’ll need to keep track of each brand’s strategies, campaigns, content development, posting schedule, and so on, in addition to the inherent complexity that comes with managing several clients.
Not everyone is equipped to handle all of the responsibilities of a freelance social media manager! Aside from reporting, updates, campaign planning, customer service, and public relations,
7. Photography and design skills
According to research, social media posts with pictures tend to have more engagement and 43% of social media audiences want to see more video content in the future.
Clients will frequently want a freelance social media manager to record and develop content. This is when photography and design skills can come in handy.
8. Ability to manage the relationship with clients
Building and keeping client connections is one of the most important components of being a freelance social media manager.
Freelancers are always accountable to their clients, which means they must respect their budgets, campaign messaging, graphic assets, and other decisions (which can be frustrating).
That isn’t to say that freelance social media managers shouldn’t challenge techniques and strategies. Clients pay freelance social media managers for their experience, after all.
Although everyone is entitled to their viewpoints, freelance social media managers are held to a higher standard when it comes to how they use their accounts. No one knows you’re operating Brand A’s Twitter account because you’re the company’s hidden face, but that’s no excuse to make your account appear crass, offensive, or libellous.
When you Tweet and update on social media, remember that you are advertising someone’s business – your own! You risk appearing unprofessional at your workplace if you don’t have the self-control not to like, retweet, or respond to today’s political turbulence.
10. Organization skills
You must maintain track of admin-related items such as account login data, billing, contracts, and proposals in addition to being organized with your time, campaigns, and task list.
If you decide to work as a freelance social media manager rather than working for a corporation, you’ll have to deal with some business administration. This is critical for attracting new clients, preserving cash flow and correct records, and ensuring legal protection.
Drafting freelancing proposals and contracts are two of the most crucial client-related administrative chores. Clear proposals are essential for attracting new customers and aligning their expectations with yours.
While you may not need to be an expert in all of the areas listed above, being proficient in a few of them can make you an excellent freelance social media manager and a valuable resource to your present and future clients