So you’re fresh out of college and looking for a job in digital marketing. Armed with an addiction to Snapchat and hashtags, a job in social media is a no brainer, right? Not so fast! While having a passion for the platforms is necessary, there are several other important attributes you’ll need to dominate in the world of social media.

Before heading out on your next job interview, make sure you know what qualities agencies will be looking for in a potential social media manager.

1. Strategic Thinking

Contrary to popular belief, social media managers don’t sit around all day posting memes and cat videos, as fun as that would be! A lot of time, effort and critical thinking go into developing comprehensive campaign strategies for clients. Every post you send out must have a purpose and align with your client’s larger marketing efforts. Thinking several steps ahead will ensure you’re producing quality content, and help prevent the social media fails so many brands fall victim to.

2. Flexibility

Social media moves at break neck speed and platforms can transform overnight, literally. It’s not uncommon to come into work one morning to discover Facebook has made some major changes with no prior warning (thanks, Zuck!). That campaign strategy we just mentioned? You need to be ready to toss it out the window and start fresh at any time.

3. Drive

As the saying goes, social media never sleeps. It’s true; social media managers need to be prepared to handle a crisis at any moment…even if it’s after 5pm. Your desire to attain your goals, both for your clients and yourself, will keep you going.

4. Quick Thinking

Timing is everything in social media. One well-timed tweet can propel your client into the viral spotlight. Tracking trending topics and newsjacking when relevant is a powerful tool, but you need to act fast!

5. Creativity

It goes without saying that social media is a creative profession; it permeates every aspect of the job. From developing campaign strategies to whipping up killer graphics in Photoshop, you’ll need some out of the box thinking to make your clients stand out.

6. Analytical mind

Creating and posting content is only half the battle for social media managers. You’ll also have to prove the value of social media to your clients. This is where an analytical mind comes into play; you’ll be digging into metrics and quickly become a master of Google Analytics. But what do all these numbers mean? Your keen analysis will help decipher what caused your Facebook reach to drop or what lead to a sudden increase in Twitter followers. Your results will also determine the direction of your campaign strategies, knowing when it is time to change course is imperative to success.

7. Communication

At the heart of it all, social media is about communication. Whether it’s communicating brand messaging to your audience or working closely with your team to develop new strategies, good communication skills are a necessity. If you’re working in an integrated marketing communications agency your skills will be put to work through writing and client presentations.

Have any tips for recent grads looking to start a career in digital marketing? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @lotus823!
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