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Arkansas State University

What Makes a Great Social Media Manager?

You are sure you could be a great social media manager. After all, you are an ace at Facebook, proficient in Twitter and use Instagram every day. You love communicating via social media for the immediacy, excitement and feedback. The idea of working with online communities to let them know about ideas, products and services sounds great. You could definitely be a social media manager, but could you be a great one?

According to Stuart J. Davidson, an expert on social media management, the key to being a great social media manager is, “Firstly, you have to want it. Second, you have to love it. Third, you have to learn it.”

You may want it and love it already. And you can learn it via the online Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication with Social Media Management Certification program at Arkansas State University. Here are five major skills you will need to be a great social media manager.


You should enjoy communicating with people to be great at social media management and respond to their needs with patience and empathy. You need to work with online communities outside your organization as well as different internal groups like marketing, sales and creative, each with their own constraints and concerns. Your communications with these groups should be rooted in empathy.

You need to feel comfortable talking to diverse groups of people. The demands and characteristics of creatives are very different from those of the sales force. You need to be comfortable with all the groups that make up the social media world. Your empathy for others will inform the content you create for social media platforms, as well, which will help forge connections with customers and community. Your ability to listen and connect will determine your level of success.


An extraordinarily high number of businesses use social media; 92% of marketers in companies with over 100 employees use social media channels, while 97% of Fortune 500 companies use them to reach roughly 4.20 billion people around the world. Even the vast majority of small businesses credit social media platforms with being effective marketing tools.

The above data points to a major opportunity for social media managers. Key components of the job include creating brand awareness, driving sales leads and knowing which metrics to use to track target audience utilization and return on investment.

As you pursue a bachelor’s degree focused on social media management, you will gain knowledge and skills in all these components. Unlike graduates of many other programs, you will start your new career with experience. In these types of roles, you’ll use a great deal of persuasion and strategic thinking, and being able to create and talk through multiple strategies is crucial to doing well.


In social media management, you need to know how to create an effective marketing campaign. The job involves reading marketing and business reports, as well as a grasp of front-end analytics platforms such as Google Analytics. Knowing how to target potential customers is important to success in social media management.

Your skills must include the ability to write content and create images. You should also know how to manage your team and delegate responsibilities to other members of an organization.


Social media exists online so digital fluency is crucial. It includes proficiency in working with and understanding digital media. To be digitally fluent you must know the cutting-edge practices used today and a sense of how social media and the digital world might evolve in the future.

One of the defining elements of social media is that it evolves rapidly and sometimes unexpectedly. Although Pinterest and Instagram are riding high today, they could be replaced tomorrow. You need to know enough about the digital world to have a sense of what the new social media landscape will be, and get those elements into your media plan early.


The benefit to getting a social media degree is that you will gain plenty of experience before you start your first job as a social media manager.

While earning your degree online from Arkansas State, you will create social media campaigns. You will get experience in integrating the campaigns with larger marketing initiatives, including print and broadcast marketing. You will also take courses that give you hands-on experience with Google Analytics and the social media tool Hootsuite.

You will gain an understanding of social media theory. You will know the history and principles of advertising, and you will be able to cite specific cases of what worked in social media campaigns in the past and what did not.

The social media degree program includes courses on business etiquette and best practices as well as ways to develop and manage your career. You will learn to listen as part of the communication process, so that you hear all of what is said and the context in which the person can be heard.

The Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication with Social Media Management Certification at Arkansas State can prepare you to be a competent social media manager.

Learn more about the A-State online B.S. in Strategic Communication with Social Media Management Certification program.


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