Social media is growing up. What began as an amusing method of occasional interaction is now a mass media and marketing communications force to be reckoned with. Today’s social networks boast users from all demographics, and the net is ever widening.
Social media play huge roles in today’s marketing plan, spurred on not only by the widespread appeal of networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also by the relative inexpensiveness of using them as marketing tools. The number of employment positions dedicated solely to social media marketing and content production is surging. A company’s Twitter feed used to be an intern project. Now, in many cases, social media marketing is a team effort.
While this is an exciting shift in the marketing dynamic, it also presents its own unique set of challenges. When you’ve got a few cooks in the social media kitchen, it’s easy to step on each other’s toes, and team management becomes incredibly important. As the leader of a social media team, it becomes all too easy for other members to post content that you feel is inappropriate, inaccurate, or in some other way not in lock-step with your brand. There can be some confusion as to who should respond (or who has already responded) to which Twitter question or Facebook issue, and we’ve all heard the horror stories of company employees accidentally posting their personal tweets to their business accounts. So how do you run a tight social ship?
Whether or not you use a social media management dashboard like Gremln, it’s important to set up a concrete structure before you turn your company’s social media management into a team sport. Your team structure should answer a few basic questions:
1. Who is ultimately responsible for content?
As with any team, the social media crew needs a leader. Who in your group will be the one responsible for what the team posts? This is an especially important distinction to make when all the team members are at the same employment level, with no senior manager to assume implied responsibility.
2. Should the team members act autonomously, or should their posts require approval from the team leader?
As the team leader, how much do you trust your teammates when it comes to content? Do you trust them to protect and enhance both your brand and vision on their own, or are you more comfortable requiring moderation and approval of each post? If you do require moderation, how will you set up your message queue so that messages and responses can post in a timely manner?
3. Who will handle the various incoming messages?
A big part of social media management is customer service. Your fans and followers want to ask you questions and interact with you in the social space. But who responds to what? And how will you make sure the responsible team member receives and responds to the messages assigned to him?
4. What do you do in case of social media emergency?
Even with careful planning, mistakes happen. Unauthorized content gets posted, or tweets get sent to the wrong account, or something meant to be humorous is taken as offense. These things happen, and it’s important to be prepared. How will you handle a social media emergency? (We have a few tips of our own.)
Working on social media as a team requires a lot of organization and attention to detail, but fortunately, Gremln can help. We offer team management tools as part of our Small Business and Premium accounts, which allow you to coordinate with multiple team members, assign incoming messages, and allow you to choose whether your team’s posts need to be moderated or not. And coming soon is our Content Filtering tool; just type in a list of keywords you never want to send from your social networks, and Gremln will automatically grab any posts containing those words and make sure they don't sneak by. (Then, of course, you can either edit them and publish, or delete them forever.)
But regardless of whether or not the Gremln Small Business account is right for you, it’s vital to the success of your social campaign to consider these questions and have a solid team structure in place.
Does your company have a social media team, or is one person responsible for all the social content? If you work as a team, what other tools do you think would be helpful for your success? Tell us in the comments below!