Guest post by Danna Vetter, VP, Consumer Strategies, ARAMARK

You’ve heard it all before. You do your research. You write the strategy. You set the goals and objectives. You train your community managers. You go live in two weeks.

Facebook announces Timeline.

You kick [insert EVERYTHING].

There is only one thing that can be done in situations such as these – control what you can control. As marketers, we have all come to rely on these external social platforms, of which we do not own, control, or lead. There is obviously a certain compromise that we all must accept in this new world – we don’t make the rules. It’s not our code. It’s not our functions. It’s not ours.

Welcome to Digital Marketing 2013.

But here’s what you can control – always preparing your organization. Give them the tools and resources they need to be successful in social media every single day.

Training is a fundamental part of getting your users ready for managing social media. But learning can’t end there. The industry evolves and changes too much. Education and knowledge need to be a continuous process. What they learned yesterday is already the past. And by continually providing the right tools and resources to your managers, you can ensure they are prepared in the best ways possible.

Get your team the technology to manage social media. At ARAMARK, we started with a social media management system (SMMS). This gave us a place to corral all of our company’s social accounts, and just as importantly, it gave our community managers a one-stop shop where they can manage multiple social channels and campaigns. They can schedule, publish, and track content, as well as measure analytics. Most SMMS providers now even have functionality for ads buys on Facebook as well as targeting your content’s audience and promoting your posts.

Also, we kept our social managers up to speed on the latest developments through topical resource guides, mini playbooks, and even infographics. Be creative. Collaborate. Communicate. Share knowledge. Hear what your team needs, what they want, and what they are missing. Then provide it back to them.

Learn from each other. If you don’t have an internal collaboration network, consider cloud versions like Yammer or Chatter. If your company wants to keep everything in-house, use email. Or pass notes. Maybe shout. Find anyway possible to share information and experiences. If you don’t have the answer for a community manager, maybe one of their peers does.

There’s so much out of our control today as marketers. But no matter what, at a company, you win and you lose together. So stay ahead of the game and keep your company prepared. And look out – Facebook just changed how people access and use newsfeed!

Part of an ongoing series…

They All Laughed – The Road to Becoming a Social Enterprise

The 5th P of Marketing is People – Engagement begins within

 Mitigating Risk in Social Media Engagement

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