10 (more) must-have social media traits

More essential attributes for online networking.


Last week, I posted 10 must-have traits for working in social media. Ragan readers jumped right in with their opinions about what other traits are needed to work in social media. Here’s my compilation of their thoughts, with a few of my own mixed in. Thanks so much to all who contributed to this follow-up post!

1. Balanced

Yes, social media’s a 24×7 job. However, to keep fresh (and sane), you need to set a clear work/life balance and remember to unplug regularly to recharge your own batteries.

2. Cautious

If you’re handling many social media accounts at once, including your personal accounts, don’t get them mixed up or you could be tweeting about unemployment.

3. Measured

Social conversations evolve quickly. Take an extra minute to think about your response. Say it out loud first; that helps make it real.

4. Humble

No one is the “end all, be all” social media expert. We can learn from each other and collectively take social media to the next level. Just look at this post. It’s a collection of your thoughts. We make each other better.

5. Progressive

Instead of always catching up to your competitors, be a trendsetter.

6. Patient

We all want to see our social media posts explode, but it doesn’t always happen. Take the time to listen to your audience, learn from them, and engage in ways that provide value to your followers.

7. Well informed

Know more about your industry than your followers. You don’t want to be a social media manager who can’t talk the talk.

8. Witty

Know your audience and what hits their funny bones. Let your guard down (appropriately), and show that you are a living, breathing person behind the brand.

9. Prepared

Be ready to combat negative press or circumstances at all times. Have a crisis plan in place on how to respond on social media if things go south.

10. Intelligent

Use social channels to educate your fans and customers on the basic principles and capabilities of social media. As the channels evolve and push out new updates, be the authority they turn to when learning how to navigate the latest social platform.

Carrie Peterson in the social media director at Internet Marketing Inc. in San Diego.

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