Characteristics of a Social Media Strategist |

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Characteristics of a Social Media Strategist


Posted by on February 28, 2009

chess_king_and_pawns

A few days ago I wrote a post about how past success is not a good metric for future success.  I was writing this in the context of a social media strategist but as so many of you have pointed out this applies to virtually any position in any industry.  Today I wanted to address what I consider to be some of the most important characterisitcs of a social media strategist.  I’m sure you will have some of your own to add.

Ability to deal with failure

The social media strategist should have some sort of failure under their belt.  They need to understand what failure feels like and how to overcome, this important for social media because note very campaign will be successful and you need to know how to deal with that; not to mention some of the negative feedback you are sure to get.

Tech savvy

Tech savvyness is crucial for a social media strategist.  This person needs to understand how to live stream from a conference, how to use twitter from a mobile device, how to upload videos, write blogs posts, etc.  This makes it sounds more laymen then it really is, but hopefully you get the point.  This person needs to understand technology and the various tools out there.

Passion

Passion for the company and for social media.  If the strategist is just going into something willy nilly then you have a problem.  There is such a thing as the right strategist for the right company, you need to make sure you find him/her.

Adaptability

A social media strategist needs to be able to adapt to different scenarios and new platforms/tools/trends that emerge.  A social media strategy is a living dynamic entity that is constantly morphing into something else.  If we were having this conversation 2 years ago, then twitter would not have existed.  Once a new tool emerges you have to be able to understand the potential for use and for integration.

Poise/charisma/and excellent communication skills, both offline and online

A lot of people think that a successful social media strategist just needs a dark room and a laptop, not so.  In addition to being able to communication online a social media strategist needs to be able to communicate offline.  This means being able to present findings and strategies to senior level execs and this also means being able to speak at a social media conference or event.  If I were hiring for this position I would want someone that is outgoing with a good sense of humor; someone that is confident and remains calm under pressure.

Creativity

Sometimes the solution to a problem requires a little bit of creativity.  I always use chess as an examples (since I love it) because it requires a good amount of strategy but also a creative mind to put together combinations and positions.  Not everything in the social media world is always logical, so a bit of a out of the box thinking helps…a lot.

Team work

Oftentimes there is more then one person working on a social media strategy, therefore teamwork is a must.  The ability to collaborate with others and clearly express ideas and strategies is going to be important for almost anyone in any career, especially a social media strategist.

These are some of the characteristics that I think are important for a social media strategist to possess, yes there are others, but I want to hear from you.

What do you think are some of the most important characterisitcs of a social media strategist?

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  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com DrewGneiser

    I would probably add (it might fit under the 'Passion' heading) is a balanced passion. I thikn social media is changing the world more than most people realize, but it is also not a end-all, silver bullet solution for every problem. I think sometimes people get so excited about social media, they forget about the other myriad of tools that should work with social media, not against it.

    Another characteristic I would suggest is patience. A social media strategist needs patience in so many areas – patience with new clients who don't know as much as you, patience with skeptics and naysayers, patience with the process of doing social media the right way, and patience for the world social media itself to develop (ie tools that are needed, more solid ways to measure social media efforts that haven't been designed/made yet). This world is still new and developing in so many ways, and patience will go a long way.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      patience is a great one. social media does take time and you are never going to see overnight results (well ok…sometimes). you are right, social media is still a baby and we are still not sure of where it is going and what will come of it, so patience is definitely key.

      thanks drew!

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com Adam Singer

    Under Tech savvy — really all marketing professionals, not just web professionals should be able to do all of these things by now. Programming is the new literacy.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hey adam,

      of course you are right. i've been debating taking a few classes on programming, perhaps php/ruby? what would you recommend?

      • AdamSinger

        not sure, i'm a self-learner and taught myself everything through personal research. Independent learning trumps institutional education: http://tinyurl.com/67lklk

  • http://www.techipedia.com Tamar Weinberg

    “If we were having this conversation 2 years ago, then twitter would not have existed. “

    Actually, my first tweet was from December 2006. ;)

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      ur evil, tamar :) ok ok, so 2 years and a few months or if you want we can even say 3 years just to be safe!

      thanks for stopping by!

      • http://www.techipedia.com Tamar Weinberg

        Yeah, you should say 3 years to be safe ;)

        • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

          heck let's do 5! hey by the way id love to write a guest for you on mashable/etc let me know if there are any opps :)

          • http://www.techipedia.com Tamar Weinberg

            I'm not on Mashable's editorial team, but the information you need to speak to the right person is on Pete's Twitter: http://twitter.com/mashable. ;)

  • http://www.womenmakingmoves.org Tiffany Winbush

    Thanks for the great post. With so many people claiming to be social media experts, this is solid information that professionals can use to hone their skills. I'll certainly share this with my Twitter network.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi tiffany,

      thanks for the kinds words, im glad you found the information valuable and decided to share it!

  • http://www.personalboardofadvisors.com David Sandusky

    Good post and all important if a strategist is going to make it.
    I would add what I see is often missing in social media strategists I meet on and offline. They don't have a business model and are not qualified to help others with social media strategy. A one-size fits all strategy. Result = building numbers only to find a big “so what” exists.

  • http://www.personalboardofadvisors.com David Sandusky

    Good post and all important if a strategist is going to make it.
    I would add what I see is often missing in social media strategists I meet on and offline. They don't have a business model and are not qualified to help others with social media strategy. A one-size fits all strategy. Result = building numbers only to find a big “so what” exists.


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