Characteristics of a Social Media Strategist

February 28, 2009
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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 […]

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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