What makes a great Social Media Manager?

by | Sep 16, 2022

If there’s one thing we know for certain here at Comms Creatives HQ it’s that social media managers are hugely talented.

Whether it’s your full time day job, part of your responsibilities as a communications or marketing professional, or a little side hustle – you are the face of your organisation on social media. And that’s no mean feat!

With Social Media Managers Day coming up (Saturday 17th September), we want to take this opportunity to celebrate you all and what it is that makes you so great at your job!

So, we took five and thought: ‘What is it specifically that makes a great social media manager?’

Then we asked our wonderful community of social media managers.

And what a response we got

Clearly there’s lots of skill sets that contribute to making a great social media manager, so let’s take a look at some of the common themes…

What makes a great social media manager?

  • Creativity

We’re not going to say creativity is number one but it definitely features towards the top. Whatever the nature of your organisation, product or service, you need to have creative skills to bring it to all to life!

Afterall, our social media feeds are SATURATED with content.

Yours needs to stand out to your audience and cut through all the noise.

And let’s not forget being curious!

  • Planning like a boss

Planning, organisation and time management skills – that came up A LOT.

There is a lot to juggle as a social media manager. You’ve got to:

  • Think ahead and spot upcoming opportunities to get in front of your target audience at the right time
  • Live in the now and not miss any opportunities which appear right under your nose
  • Balance the two and try not to pull your hair out (we’ll come back to this point)

Quite frankly it isn’t easy but there are lots of planning tools and resources out there to help you get organised such as Trello, Later, Hootsuite etc.

Equally, an Excel spreadsheet does the trick.

Top tip – if your social media planning document needs input from several people, save it in a shared area that can be accessed easily (Google Drive, SharePoint) so you haven’t got multiple versions dotted around.

Content isn’t the only thing you need to manage – let’s not forget all those wonderful stakeholders who turn up at your desk on Monday morning with a 60-page PDF and ask you to make it go viral!

Just remember – you’re the social media expert.

  • Boldness to test, push boundaries and the skill to analyse what works (and what doesn’t) 

Confidence is key.

It goes without saying that you need to know your target audience inside and out.

Doing that research and really getting to know what makes them tick will make any social media manager’s job that much easier.

You’ll pour all that insight into your creative, your messaging and your delivery. 

But the skill lies in uncovering why successful posts created those rich conversations with your customers, or why an idea absolutely bombed (and sadly we’ll all experience those tumble-weed moments!) 

You don’t need to be a statistician to pull out insights from the platform analytics.

But planning the time to look back and try to unpick what it was that resonated with your audience means you’ll have evidence (and confidence) to do more of it!

Never be afraid to test an idea, especially if your research and your gut feel tells you it could lead to something truly wonderful.

We believe in you!

  • Resilience and being thick–skinned

Quite possibly one of the downsides to being a social media manager is that where you work is also the place where you go for downtime, to be social with friends and family.

There will even be comments from ill-informed work colleagues that ‘you spend all day on Facebook.’

Well yes, that’s part of my job. 

So when things aren’t going to plan or the reaction to your posts is rather negative, it’s understandable that you can take comments personally or feel that you are living and working in a negative place.

And some of your comments reflected this reality:

There will be times when you need to close down the apps and walk away. Take a break.

Your mental health is far more important than the company profiles.

With time (and experience) you’ll build up your resilience and allow those comments from the ranters to go over your head and into the bin behind you.

And for the times you’re really fed up or need a rant, come and join us on The Comms Creatives Club.

  • Patience 

‘Nuff said! There’s a lot falling on a social media manager’s shoulders and sometimes you’ll feel like progress is slow or non-existent. It will come – trust in yourself and your fabulous abilities.

But remember… Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  • Reactive superpower

We mentioned having good planning and organisation skills but let’s hone in on a specific area.

There will be times when all that hard work and months of planning has to be changed in an instant.

An event has occurred and posting your planned content is no longer the appropriate thing to do. 

The death of Queen Elizabeth II of course stands out as a prime example.

On the evening of 8th September, before the official announcement from Buckingham Palace, comms professionals were quickly logging into their scheduling tools and hitting the pause button.

Nobody wanted to be that person who posted something insensitive at such a historic moment (although a few did…)


Most inappropriate brands responding to the death of the Queen #comms #commscreatives #socialmediamarketing #socialmediamanager #thequeen #queenelizabeth

♬ People People – Just Jack

If you’re about to go live on a new campaign or product launch it can be really disheartening to have to pause, and possibly cancel, months of your hard work.

You might even have to commit to rewriting a whole new batch of content.

Either way – it’s a skill to own.

  • To educate or entertain? That is the question (and the skill!)

Social media is all about being social, and another great skill is knowing when and how to not only educate your audience but entertain them too.

And of course there’s so many ways to be able to do that (trust us… we have created many courses teaching how!)

There’s no right or wrong way – it’s all about what’s relevant to your audience.

And who knows your audience best? YOU.

We had SO many great responses to this question – you can view them all here… and add your own.


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Gemma Warren

Gemma Warren

Author of this post

Gemma runs Beautiful Client Comms, and creates engaging content for us at Comms Creatives. She excels in all things social media marketing - and is an alumni of the Comms Creatives Social Media Expert Course 2018 cohort!

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