In our first installment of Hiring Your Social Media Dream Team, we talked about the importance of having an organized plan in place to help your team be as successful as possible and start you on the right track. Our second installment described the various team members and positions that can make up a Dream Team. Today, we’re helping you make sure your newly-assembled team rises to the occasion and propels your company’s social media efforts to the next level.
Determine Team Structure
Now that you’ve determined the positions that will make up your team, it’s important to structure a hierarchy. Outlining the operations so that teams know how they can share their progress, to whom they can ask questions, and have an understanding of the level of accountability that exists on the team will help keep operations moving fluidly. It’s not about having a boss and determining underlings – it’s about providing support. A true internal team atmosphere – where information is shared openly and goals are regularly discussed with proper processes in place to meet them – will foster a positive environment. Having a leader who has the team’s back and who is ultimately responsible for sharing team activities with the rest of the company will take pressure off the other team members so they can focus where their skills are most useful. The Social Media Manager, (or Director, depending on how you’ve structured things), is often the one who holds the responsibility of leading the team and reporting to other department leaders and the head of the company. This is also the person who your content manager and contributors can reach out to if they have a question as to whether something is appropriate to share with your audience. The Social Media Strategist and Content Manager can work together to create campaigns that will achieve team goals, and can collaborate to bounce ideas off of each other. Both these team members often directly report to the social media manager, who would have ultimate say as to whether a piece of content moves forward or a strategy is put in place. Community Managers and Content Contributors can always connect with the Content Manager for an extra set of editing eyes. The content contributor reports directly to the content manager, making sure he or she is on track with deliverables and meeting benchmarks for the team goals. Depending on how involved your Community Manager’s role is with answering customer support questions and how much experience he or she has within the company can determine who he or she reports to. Because of the various arms of the job, your Community Manager may report directly to the Social Media Manager, but also have check points with someone from Human Resources and/or Marketing.
Monitor Your Team’s Activities
No matter how you’ve structured your team, one of the most important precautionary steps you can take is to set up a “checks and balance” system to help ensure you don’t wind up in the news for an inappropriate tweet. By using a social media management platform like Gremlin Social Guardian, your team can work together in a common space to alert each other of customer comments, monitor particular keyword searches or hashtags, assign each other messages, and view your account reports and analytics. This shared space can also allow you to protect your company’s social media passwords, as you can give access to various accounts without sharing login information. Not only that, you can assign different levels of access – meaning your intern may be able to view messages and assign them to team members, but not be able to post anything to a particular social media account on his or her own without getting approval from another team member first. No matter the level of experience or trust you may have with your employees, mistakes happen. Requiring a second set of eyes to see each and every post that goes live may add an additional layer of time to your social media activities, but it certainly decreases the likelihood of a public relations nightmare. You can upload a list of sensitive keywords and phrases and either block or restrict them from posting to your accounts. For more information on how Gremlin Social Guardian’s dashboard can help your social media team work together and stay out of hot water, check out our how-to videos!
Build Individual and Team Goals
We can’t stress the importance of goals enough. Knowing what you are working toward helps the minutia of every day social media tasks (and trust us, there’s a lot to do!) make more sense. If you know why it’s important to generate more conversations with your audience, and why responding quickly helps the company’s bottom line, the impetus for succeeding is stronger.
Your team members each have assigned tasks, and hopefully they have the skills needed to accomplish them. But they’re going to have questions along the way – and it’s important that they know who they can talk to in order to address these questions without feeling embarrassed that they don’t have all the answers, or worried that their question is going to infer a lack of knowledge. If you create an environment where it’s safe to ask questions and work with other team members to accomplish each goal, you’ll build a strong bond between employees and drive that team mentality forward.
Meet Regularly, and With Purpose
One of the best ways to have a successful team is to meet regularly to keep everyone on the same page, and offer an opportunity for employees to ask questions and share their recent successes and challenges. These meetings should provide a safe, motivating space where your team members can realign their current tasks with their goals and keep their collective eyes on the prize – as well as stay up to date on the company news and what the rest of the team is working on.
Teams work better when they know what each member is up to, and when they have a place where they can workshop ideas and get advice. As busy as the workweek may get, be sure to make regular meetings a priority for your team. One of the most important aspects of any team workflow – whether it’s social media-related or not – is communication. Providing your team members with the opportunity to share their ideas, understand what they’re working toward, learn more about the company and its overall business model, and know who they can ask questions to will boost your team’s morale (not to mention effectiveness!). So as you work to build your company’s social media dream team, remember to keep the conversation channels open. It will help the team grow closer and more trusting of each other, help you reach goals faster, and bring your social media marketing efforts to a new level.