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[VIDEO] What Social Media Skills Should You Start to Master?

The top three social media skills you need to master in order to be effective is the understanding of data, paid media and storytelling.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Content

In this video, I talk about the three social media skills you need in order to be effective – data, paid media and you have to be a storyteller.

Now today’s video isn’t necessarily for the sophisticated marketer. It’s for my students at San Jose State University, those that are new to the industry or looking to make a career change. I get asked this question all the time: What social media skills do I need to be better than everyone else? The social media manager role is evolving. It’ more complex. Read on.

Social media skills: Stop being afraid of data

Early in my career, I was afraid of data because I could not understand it. Over the years, I have learned how to embrace content analysis and more importantly, use the social media platforms at my disposal to extract insights.

There are two ways to think about how data can be used in social media marketing. There are performance media metrics which tracks the success of a specific campaign as measured against KP eyes. For example, measuring organic content versus social media content and the reach, engagement and clicks each one provides.

The key to using this type of data is to understand what is causing an increase or decrease in the data you are tracking. Doing more of what is increasing your KPIs and less of what is decreasing your KPIs would be the way to make analytics actionable.

The second work stream is using content analytics or audience intelligence that would inform a specific program or campaign. imagine for a second that she did an analysis of a specific audience like CMO’s. Let’s say the data tells you that CMOs are talking about increasing the spend of their paid media investments into native advertising. One actionable takeaway might be for you to create content and/or a campaign that addresses the need for increased investments in paid media.

This type of insight ensures that you are meeting the demand of the audience with your supply of content marketing.

Social media skills: Paid media is no longer an option

Don’t confuse this with paid PR for earned media. This is paid media, 100%. Years ago, it was OK to post content organically and drive some level of engagement with your audience. If you had 100 fans on your Facebook page, every time you posted a piece of short form content, you would most likely reach all 100 of your fans.

Today, if you have 100 fans (or Likes), you will most likely reach two to seven of them. This is done by design because the social networks make money by selling advertising. In other words, they are requiring brands to invest in paid social in order to reach an audience that has already opted in to receive content.

It is important to understand the basics of each platform and practice the mechanics of how to create ads, campaigns and research audiences. It’s also important to understand the basic definitions like clickthrough rate, or CPM, or the difference between reach and impressions.

Social media skills: Above all else, be a storyteller

What does that mean to be a storyteller in social media? I can tell you that it is not easy because you have a limited number of characters to tell a complete story. Now, if you were writing a blog, white paper or ebook, it would be easier to tell a story because you have the intro, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion.

In social media, you have two things at your disposal that you can use to tell a story – the post copy and creative asset.

I refer to the creative asset, whether it’s an animated video, short form video, animated GIF or still image, as the lead up. I consider the post copy as being the payoff.

Let me explain.

When users are scrolling through their feeds, typically some type of creative asset will capture their attention. I call this the scroll stopper. Again, the asset can be animation or still image and have some words or phrases or messaging on it. If the shareable content is compelling so far, the user will glaze at the post copy and take some sort of action.

The creative asset is the lead up. The post copy is the payoff. The marriage of post copy and creative should complete the story with a well thought out brand message. This is not easy and takes time to build social media skills with this experience.


I really hope you enjoyed this video. I do my best to create content that’s actionable and provides value to the work you do. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel; and be sure to hit the notification button so you can be notified when new videos are uploaded. You can also connect on Michael Brito’s social media channels if you like.

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