Building a Great Social Media Team
Here is your million-dollar question for the day – how many people are in your social media department? I sincerely hope, for your sake and for the sanity of your employees, that you have more than one. And that it isn’t just some college kid you nabbed as an unpaid intern.
Before I hired our current social media manager, we didn’t have a very strong department because everything rested on the shoulders of one guy. He wasn’t some poor college student I suckered into an unpaid internship, but I now realize he had way more work than he could handle. Social media is so much more than just plugging products on Facebook – it’s about maintaining a conversation, building organic relationships, and making sure the social media department isn’t veering off course and one person can’t shoulder that responsibility alone. If you’re office is still expecting the world from one person, here are some tips on who to hire for a top social media team.
Duh, right? Even though the little tidbit of advice to “hire a manager” seems painfully obvious, there are plenty of social media departments that don’t have one. They may have a couple of employees who write blog posts and send funny cat pictures to the office, but those employees need direction. Social media is not self-directing – you can’t just tell your employees that they need to have X amount of Facebook followers or they’ll have to stay late. A manager that has experience in running social media campaigns has a good idea of what a strong campaign looks like, and what needs to get done. They can translate those ideas into jobs for your employees, and help ensure everything tweeted/blogged/written is worthy of bearing your company’s name.
Notice that I said team member(s). As in, more than one person. The company I own has three members in its social media department, and I’ve noticed that seems to be a great amount for a medium sized business like ours. If you just have a manager and just one person under them, that employee may begin to feel unappreciated or overworked. Three people can divide work and bring their own perspectives as to how your company should approach social media. Like I said, social media is an organic experience – it is constantly growing and changing. You need to have more than one voice in your department, or your campaigns will stagnate. If you are big enough to have a social media department at all, you are big enough to have at least three employees in it.
An Analyst…or something like one
ROI can make your social media employees very touchy. Working within this field requires that you have a creative mind, and creativity hates being constrained to a numerical value. But you need something quantifiable to make sure your social marketing is headed in the right direction. Hundreds of Facebook followers are great, but if none of them are buying anything then what’s the point? ROI of social media is a growing field, and it can be difficult to judge social media engagement and any outcomes from it adequately.
Recognition, however, is widely agreed to lead to sales. We have a great PR team that keeps an eye on our social media engagement, and lets us know if they see social marketing bleed into our traditional marketing. You don’t even have to have a PR team – just have some basis to judge your growth on. You, as the CEO, can be the voice of analysis simply by judging if you like what is happening and then communicating what you’d like to see changed to your social media manager. It’s a little unscientific, but it can work if you’re willing to be hands-on.
But the person who oversees blogging shouldn’t oversee analytics, and that intern who fetched your coffee this morning should not be given the keys to your social media campaign. Don’t waste any time or money on a subpar department – build a good team, give them a goal, and let them build your company’s social presence.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation. MyCorporation provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation and Deborah at @deborahsweeney and on Google+.
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