Key skills for an SMM specialist

4 min read
28 January 2021

There are key skills for a specialist to learn. It does not mean that the same person has to learn all of these skills. Most often, each specialist corresponds to several areas, however, all areas have their specificity. Let’s talk about each area in detail.

SMM strategy development

The first set of skills that every SMM specialist should learn is an SMM strategy. If an SMM-specialist does not know how to build an SMM strategy, it means that this person does not understand the sphere.

The SMM strategy includes:

  • Target audience research. An SMM specialist must be able to segment the target audience, and create an avatar of the audience with the help of the customer;
  • Competitive environment analysis;
  • SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats;
  • USP analysis: highlighting key and unique selling propositions or advantages of a product or a customer’s company.

Working with content

Every SMM-specialist should know how to do this. To work with content, the specialist should create a content plan, build content vectors. This person should also be able to adapt content for different formats, social networks, video hosting, mobile messengers, and so on.

Working with Stories and Live streams

The specialist must be able to write articles, manage Stories formats and Live streams. At least at a basic level, they should know how to work with video content. This does not mean shooting with professional lighting. At the very least, they should know how to create the technical requirement for the operator so that all-important videos are shot.

This also includes working with hashtags and geotags.

Setting up targeted advertising

This block includes working with the main systems of targeted advertising, such as a Facebook account, Instagram, a VK account, myTarget, TikTok, YouTube is classified as contextual advertising, but SMM-specialists often work with YouTube ads as well.

They must know the basic functionality, algorithms, targeting settings, choice of placement, and be able to create ads.

Setting up retargeting

SMM-specialists should also work with retargeting, look-alike, similar audiences. They must be able to work with the pixel setting and all the main betting formats, do a split test.

Mobile messenger promotion

Mobile messenger marketing means mobile messenger promotion. This is not a mandatory skill, but it is better to learn it.

The so-called MMM includes:

  • working with Telegram channels, one-way chats, WhatsApp;
  • working with chatbots;
  • working with catalogs in WhatsApp;
  • working with auto funnels in all types of messengers;
  • work with group chats.

These are the main directions of up-to-date mobile messenger marketing.

Working with interfaces

This is an optional skill. It can be delegated to a designer, but an SMM-specialist should be able to do basic things: design a teaser for targeted advertising, create an image for a post. It is ideal if an SMM-specialist knows how to create Instagram masks and implement them.


This block includes end-to-end analytics. It is mandatory to work with end-to-end analytics because it allows you to understand the sources of a new audience: actions it takes, profit, ROI – return on investment each of your promotion channels gives. This includes classic SMM KPIs such as the audience reach, engagement rate, audience growth. This also includes working with Google Analytics. SMM-specialists who don’t know how to work with Google Analytics won’t be able to adequately assess the results of their work.

Community management

Community management is about managing activities, knowing how to increase the audience’s activity. For example, organizing challenges, flash mobs, marathons. It is important to be able to work with negativity, to stimulate activity through Stories.

Working with influencers

It includes purchasing the promotion through special platforms, bloggers selection, networking, and agreements. Working with brand ambassadors means that a person constantly represents the company, besides organizing mutual PR.

Smart feed management

Any SMM-specialist needs to understand how a smart feed is formed for each user, how to make sure that the posts get there.

The specialist should also know how to make the posts appear in recommendations and get the biggest audience reach.

Setting up special services

For example, deferred posting services, monitoring services, editing services, Stories, graphics, videos, services for audience parsing.