Seven Habits of Highly Effective Social Marketers

If you were a human being capable of reading in the ‘90s, then chances are you have heard of (or have been given) this book:

There were several iterations including Highly Effective Teens and Highly Effective Leaders. 

Today, we’d like to revisit this model, but discuss what makes an effective social marketer. Though we all have our personal stamp on the content we create and share, there are a few qualities that all great social marketers possess.

1. They brainstorm—all the time

Effective social marketers know that they don’t always have the best answer or the best idea in the room—hell, even the building. And since many of them work on multiple clients for extended periods of time, it’s easy to get writers’ block. That’s when they utilize their teams and networks to brainstorm. There’s always a better slogan, a more streamlined process, a more concise tweet. Brainstorming for new ideas is one of the most important qualities they possess.

2. They look for inspiration

Great ideas don’t just happen. The best social marketers know that inspiration is around every corner and they know where to look. Just because a message is being written for Facebook or Instagram doesn’t mean the Internet is going to hold all the tools for inspiration. Sometimes it takes a stroll around town, a conversation with friends, a TV commercial or even—gasp—reading a novel for inspiration to strike. Effective marketers don’t let their content grow stale and have a notebook full of sketches, ideas, slogans and clippings that will get their creative juices flowing when needed.

3. They love to learn

The best content teaches us something. Maybe it helps us grow our empathy, teaches us a term we didn’t know, educates us on a political matter, or informs us of a cause that needs attention. But the creators of that content need to first learn about it in order to communicate it to others effectively. That means that social marketers must be ready and willing to learn about all kinds of things for all kinds of clients. Flexing that brain muscle day in and day out requires a serious commitment and a love of learning.

4. They live in the metrics

There’s not only learning the business, but learning what works best for each platform, each client, each demographic, each market, and—well, you get the picture. For effective social strategies, marketers must conduct a lot of testing. That means living in the metrics—any numbers that tell us whether or not the client’s goals are being achieved. 

5. They’re great communicators

Effective communication cannot be overemphasized, but I don’t just mean communicating on-platform. It’s true that an effective social marketer needs to be able to concisely express an idea in 140 characters or less, but it’s also true that they need to communicate well with clients. The business’s success or failure hinges upon client satisfaction. It’s not just about the wins, either. When things aren’t going as planned, they communicate why and what they’re going to do to make it better. When things are going very well, they communicate that. And throughout everything, they remain enthusiastic.

6. They can write

Now, this one may seem like a no-brainer, but we see too many grammar, syntax and spelling faux pas DAILY on social media for it not to be mentioned. When it comes to writing, many adults have already solidified bad habits, so it’s important to employ only social marketers who can write well. Tip: check out their current clients’ pages and check for writing issues. Also, you could ask for content samples prior to signing an agreement. Effective social marketers will be happy to oblige.

7. They keep up with trends

The landscape of social marketing is ever-changing. New platforms come along every few weeks now and established platforms (ahem, Facebook) make changes just as often. Effective social marketers know that as quickly as one learns a “best practice,” it can be obsolete. Keeping up with trends is important—not only to be an early adopter and to expose clients to the new latest and greatest thing—but also to know what is worth trying and what is bound to fizzle out. Knowing what not to participate in is sometimes even more important than knowing what to try. It saves clients a lot of time (and therefore, money and energy).

Got another habit of highly effective social marketers to share? Tweet us: @matchstickscl.

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Matchstick Social is a social marketing + advertising firm headquartered in Charleston, SC with a satellite office in Oklahoma City, OK. Matchstick specializes in social media marketing, optimized social advertising, effective measurement of social initiatives and helping start-ups gain social currency by establishing their digital brands.