Few would argue that social media is a quickly evolving space. But this fast pace means the knowledge base necessary to succeed as a social media marketer is also undergoing rapid change. In fact, LinkedIn predicts that the top skills required for a career in social media marketing, whether its Facebook know-how or photo editing expertise, will undergo a 50% changeover in the next five years. Meaning, half of what you’re an expert in today could soon be irrelevant.
This insight is based on research reports and data discovery tools released by LinkedIn within its Workforce data center, which aggregates user data to help paint a clear picture of how the global workforce has transformed over the past few years.
The data in relation to social media marketing is eye-opening. For example, a social media director in the U.S., seven out of the top 10 skills listed for this role in 2021 did not appear on a similar list for 2015.
The job of a social media director requires a general understanding of digital brand management and public relations, with social media strategy being the key focus and skill to develop. Although the purpose of this role remains the same, we can see here how priorities are shifting along with changing consumer expectations and our overall social climate.
Social media directors, on average, listed Facebook Business Suite, event planning, blogging and public speaking as noteworthy skills in 2015. By 2021 certain skills such as ‘public speaking’ were replaced by ‘social media communication’, highlighting the change in how brands are approaching their marketing. Hard skills underwent their own transformation as well, with graphic design and Instagram rising to the top of the list and Facebook falling off the Top 10 rank entirely.
Over the years, social media has increasingly proven its value as a powerful vehicle for connection and communication. So what do brands need in order to compete in this space? What is the key to social media communication today?
Creativity and aptitude for entertaining video content are now becoming key strengths in the field. As we enter 2023, we expect to see TikTok, short-form video and creative storytelling rise to the top of our social media leadership priorities.
In the United States, TikTok and YouTube are now more popular than Netlifx for people under 35, according to the latest research. So it’s probably fair to say that if your social media team can create relatable, visually appealing, informative and entertaining video content, you’re already set up for success.
Below, Social Media Today has gathered the top skills for today’s social media team leaders and compared them to the skills in demand five years ago, based on data from LinkedIn’s Future of Skills report. We hope this serves as a useful guide for which skills to stay on top of and which ones may be lower in priority when looking forward on one’s career path.