Though we talk a good deal about how to fine-tune your customer-facing social media strategy, how you staff and organize your social media team is just as important. Wondering how the most successful social teams are constructed, we turned to Alex Parker, CEO of media company Brand Strategix, who explained how he sets up clients with the right social teams.
“When prospective clients first come to us, a lot of times they don’t know exactly where they should be,” explains Parker. “So we do an analysis of their business and determine the right social channels to be transmitting on.” Once Brand Strategix has figured that out, it’s time to pick the right social staff to meet their client’s needs.
“There are people on specific accounts that specialize in certain social media platforms, because each platform is obviously very different,” says Parker. “When clients have specific goals as far as Facebook or LinkedIn, we’ll assign someone who specializes in that particular area so we can be sure they get the best results possible.”
This process isn’t very different from what any company should do when creating — and staffing for — its own social strategy. Here are some best practices to help you find the right solution for your business.
Organizing a Social Team for Business Success
Faith Driven Business maintains seven social media accounts and tries to post new content multiple times a day — a tough order for a start-up with a small staff. Why so many social presences? “I’ve found that different people prefer different social media platforms,” explains Cat Knarr, who serves as Editor and Community Manager. “Having a presence on each gives us access to every type of social media user, whether they’re passionate about Twitter or Pinterest. Most people find us because we were active on a particular platform that they love using — without multiple presences, we miss part of our potential audience.”
To get the social media reach it wanted, Faith Driven Business brought in an outside firm to do the heavy lifting while a smaller internal staff stays on top of things. “I’m responsible for tweeting 5+ times a day and monitoring all of the online communities,” says Knarr. That’s no small job. Knarr responds to tweets and Facebook comments, approves LinkedIn group posts, and engages in LinkedIn discussions to keep up a lively community presence.
But even for a small business, a single person participating isn’t enough. “Our Founder Steve Hoeft does a daily post, ensuring our social media reflects his voice, and he also comments on discussions in our LinkedIn group, getting to know our members,” says Knarr.
ePromos takes a very different approach, with just a single content manager in charge of all of its social media efforts. “It allows for us to maintain a consistent brand voice across each channel,” explains CEO Jason Robbins. “Our content manager is in the marketing department and works closely with the marketing team, but also has meetings with sales, looks into interesting new projects we’re doing for our customers, and has a pulse in general on the social media world.”
Having a single person running social media doesn’t imply that social isn’t important for ePromos — in fact, it’s so crucial that the content manager reports directly to Robbins.
“As CEO, I feel it’s important to ensure that our brand message and personality is on point all the time,” says Robbins. “I’m the person with the most outward view in the company. My managers are often heads-down, but I have the opportunity to talk to fellow businesspeople, read the industry publications, even talk to competitors and bring back concepts that I think are appealing for social media. Our content manager has weekly on-on-one meetings with me so I can provide feedback and share ideas for our social sites.”
Keeping a Social Team Organized
Whether you have a large social team or just a single person running your social presence, keeping organized is key. An unorganized social team might send mixed messages or duplicate effort — so it’s important to keep everyone involved in social on top of things. Sometimes these hurdles can be overcome with the tools offered by Sprout Social, other times with business processes in tandem with those tools — but either way, you have to find a way to work around them to prevent social snafus.
“Some of our people are all over the United States,” says Parker. “That creates a challenge, because obviously they could be miles apart.” To deal with that, Parker uses a project management screen to keep everyone in the loop with each other.
“They can communicate via the project or over the phone. Clients and employees can see notes on the account, what’s currently going on, if we have a specific plan in place, and what we’ve completed.” But where clients are concerned, Brand Strategix likes to go beyond apps and focus on personal communication, “talking with them over the phone and making sure they’re happy,” Parker explains.
If there’s one thing these businesses show, it’s that the organization of the staff running your social media presence is as unique — and tailored to how your business works — as your social media strategy itself. Before deciding on staff, you need to take a hard look at your business’s social needs and then find the right people — organized in the right way — to meet those needs. Whether that’s one person or a dozen, the key is communication. Be sure your social staff communicates with one another as well as sales, marketing, and other departments so that they’re accurately representing your business on social networks.