The 7 Personalities Every Successful Social Media Manager Has

John Bonini
John Bonini



multiple-personalitiesThere aren't many instances in our professional lives where having multiple personalities is seen as a positive trait.

After all, it spawns dishonesty, deceit, and fosters a tense environment often filled with animosity.

But hold the phone there ya negative Nancy -- there are times when conveying multiple personalities is not only encouraged, but also essential to the success of your marketing efforts. We're talking social media marketing, where executing a strategy that successfully engages and proves value lies in your ability to satisfy a variety of needs and personalities. In fact, our guide on Social Media Marketing details how different platforms require different voices.

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We all have very different agendas when logging in to our social platform of choice; therefore, shouldn't we as marketers possess the ability to recognize and speak to them?

7 Personalities Every Social Media Marketer Should Have

Remember Eddie Murphy's The Nutty Professor? In the film, he portrayed both Professor Klump, the responsible, well-respected gentleman of a scientist, as well as Buddy Love, his genetically created alter ego who was a skinny, loud-mouthed womanizer.

Completely different personalities, yet both appealed to Miss Purdy in different ways. Sometimes she wanted to be engaged intellectually. Other times, she wanted to hit the comedy club for a few drinks. 

The way in which we interact and engage with others in real life is dependent on different factors. After all, you wouldn't interact with your co-workers in the office the same way you would at happy hour on Friday afternoon.

It's for this reason that your social media marketing strategy should have the ability to speak to a diverse audience in a variety of ways in order to appeal to all of their needs. So let's dive in to the seven personalities every successful social media manager has.

1) The Informant

With so much content and information at our disposal, our first inclination as buyers is to find resources that assist in our decision-making process. It's why Google -- and sometimes even your Twitter feed -- is your Yellow Pages. Buyers are looking for information. Marketers are breaking their necks to create and provide it in high volume. And you know what else is crazy? Buyers are taking to social media almost as much as search engines in order to find that information.

Takeaway: Spend as much -- if not more -- time strengthening your social strategy as you do conducting and implementing keyword research. Focus on being an informant. Share your resources as they become available so your followers have easy access. Share other industry related resources as well, even if published by others. If it's resourceful to you, it's resourceful for your audience as well. Don't worry about directing followers elsewhere, as sharing resources builds authority and trust. After all, the outdoor cat always goes back to where they know they're being fed.

2) The Inquirer

A successful social strategy is more walkie talkie than it is megaphone. If you're always promoting something and pushing your message across, you'll drastically see a decrease in engagement and, ultimately, value. Don't be that guy who loves to tell you about his day but could give a crap about yours. Nobody likes that guy.

That feeling you get when someone asks how your day was, and genuinely cares ... well, your followers feel that too. Consider the value of engaging a large following in the form of questions in order to show you care, and also, to learn more about them. The benefit is two-fold: relationships development as well as more defined buyer personas.

Takeaway: Not sure what content your audience craves? Or what product update would make their lives easier? Ask! There's no greater resource for inspiration than by staying plugged in to your target audience. Make it a habit of working questions in on a daily basis. A great social media manager understands the importance of customer feedback and its effect on improving the product/service and/or customer experience. Start by understanding what answers your key team members would find most helpful in improving their job. Craft your questions around this. Rinse. Repeat. 

3) The Helper 

Similar to #2, this is more about answering questions than it is about asking them. Too many companies have a static social presence, which harkens back to my point earlier: Think walkie-talkie, not megaphone.

Nothing allows for direct access to a brand quite like social media. Consumers often take to social to find out answers to their questions they can't get from a website or advertisement. It's the brands supplying them with these answers that develop relationships that often will result in a purchase.

Takeaway: Actively monitor your social accounts for any questions and/or comments regarding your company, and make it a daily habit to respond to them. Focus on being friendly, responsive, prompt, and most of all -- helpful! As consumers, we're often drawn to brands that have gone above and beyond to assist us. It's why I frequent the same pizza place in my town fairly often. They always tell me to grab a free soda on the way out. You help me once; I come back for years.

4) The Thought Provoker

Aah, the elusive "thought leader." Why is it so coveted a title?

Well, for starters, it's extremely rewarding to earn the respect of followers and other industry influencers. More importantly, though, is what spawns from that type of respect: customers. We all want to do business with people who know what the hell they're talking about. Who are the best at what they do. So ... how do we find those people/companies? They're actually pretty easy to find. 

Takeaway: All thought leaders share a common trait: They don't rely on other people or resources in order to be resourceful themselves. They're simply resourceful by nature. By way of experience. Who are the leaders at your company? Keep an open dialogue -- whether it's with a lead product designer or C-level executives -- and let their expertise be the basis for some of your posts. There's undoubtedly someone at your company who knows the industry like no other. Their type of expertise should be broadcasted, not hidden on their resume some place. Start quoting them in social media updates. Conduct and post interviews. However you can, make sure you're establishing your company as a thought leader rather than a piggy-backer.

5) The Class Clown

The cardinal rule of online sharing is this: Nothing goes viral quite like funny. We're in the midst of a humanized marketing evolution, wherein consumers not only value seeing personality, but they often also prefer brands that display it over those that don't. Particularly through social media, consumers are often looking to watch or share the next funny tidbit they come across.

Takeaway: Consumers have a sense of humor. They'll buy tacos from a talking Chihuahua. The day after the Super Bowl, we're not talking about the commercial with the best message, but rather the one that made us laugh. Keep this in mind. Post funny pictures. Share funny videos or articles you may have come across that made you laugh. Nothing will humanize your brand more effectively than a small dose of humor every day. And as we've seen from mass media, nothing sticks in the minds of your consumers quite like a good chuckle. Don't take your brand so seriously all the time. Consumers aren't looking for a stiff. 

6) The Entertainer

Much in the same vein as having a chuckle, your followers are also looking to be entertained to some degree. Simply throwing all blog posts on all social platforms accompanied by nothing but a link and title will do one thing ... nothing. There's so much going on in social. It's information overload. If you're not considering how you can entertain and inform in order to stand out, then well, you won't.

Takeaway: Sharing content doesn't have to be boring. In fact, it shouldn't be. Don't share your content, present it. Can you film a quick one-minute video to accompany it through social media? An amazing infographic that sums up your new ebook? Consider a user’s mind frame when scrolling through social. Strip it down to bare bones. When you’re scrolling through social you're looking for one thing only -- something to click on.

Don't overthink it. Focus on getting people to click on your updates. Once they've done this, that's where the substance comes in. Think visually -- it's the most effective way to entertain.

7) The Go-Getter

If you're not using social media as a prospecting tool, you're doing it wrong. The best social media marketers recognize that there's an audience out there that needs their help, but hasn't found them yet. Specifically on Twitter, it's extremely easy to monitor hashtags of relevance in order to identify these potential prospects. 

Takeaway: Monitor Twitter hashtags in order to identify groups of people -- AKA chunks of your market -- who have similar questions. Answer them. Take part in the conversation ( or a social media monitoring tool like HubSpot's Social Inbox should be your best friend). People ask questions to get help. By reaching out, you're not only establishing your brand as a resource, but you're also positioning yourself as the likely option when it comes time to buy.

Split Personalities

The key to social media success is recognizing that your audience has varying agendas when it comes to social, and as a result, conveying multiple personalities in order to appeal to them. Being great at one isn't enough. The social media manager is quickly becoming a crucial role within any business, since it not only functions as real-time PR, but it's also quickly becoming the manner in which companies are getting found online.

The point here is not to hire seven different people. The point is to find one person who can pivot and adapt to these various personalities in order to maintain a powerful presence.

This is a guest post by John Bonini (@Bonini84), marketing director at IMPACT Branding & Design. Visit the IMPACT Blog for more content from John and the agency. 

Image Credit: hitchhicker 

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