As more and more businesses begin to accept the fact that they can no longer avoid implementing a Social Media Component to their operations, many are left guessing or are improperly advised as to how to structure and roll out this Transformation. If you understand your industry, the task of assembling your Corporate Social Media team becomes increasingly easier(refer to chart) to build out.[Hewko]
When you and your Company decide to incorporate a Social Media Strategy for your Organization, there are a few things you should first consider and plan before you take the plunge… and “yes,” in some instances, there may be no need to build out a Social Media presence at all. These situations are few and far between and almost every business can benefit from some sort of Social Media exposure.
Do this First!
- Aligning your Corporate Goals and not your Social Media Goals = targeting the right audience and increasing the Breadth and Depth of your messaging as it relates to your business objectives and not your ego.
- Be prepared – take the time to consult with an Agency or Professional service to Plan, Structure, Create, Educate and then Deploy your Social Media efforts. There are many things to consider before you haphazardly enter the Social Media Arena and they look exactly like the “Best Practices” you would expect to see in your regular day to day operations. Governance, education (all staff), policies etc should all be seen to first if you want to roll out a professional presence.
- Trust your team – Things move very fast in Social Media and if you have taken the above steps first and are starting to see the results you have been told to expect, NOW would be a good time to scale this effort to all other areas of your business. Well chosen and trained staff will be able to not only synchronize this effort to all areas of your business but they will effectively grow your Frequency, Reach and Yield far beyond your expectations, if left to do their jobs.[Owyang]
If your Organization has the ability to assemble a Social Media team (in this case we are looking at 5 people), then the following team structures should be considered for your course of business. It is important to note that 5 people or more is an above average number for most businesses today that are compiling a Social Media team and most businesses will have to work with a much smaller number. In any case, at the core of our three industries – Businesses, Government Organizations and Non-Profits there are two common positions that should be enlisted.
- Social Strategist: This is not a job for a junior person in your organization that happens to know about Social Media. This may seem obvious but we see it all too often. This is a critical “Top Down” role for some one that is a Leader, understands business (more importantly your business) and is accountable to the goals and targets of moving your organization forward. This person must be able to communicate with your executive team(s) and relay the business objectives to the balance of the Social Media team.
- Community Manager: This person should be your strongest asset for “customer-facing” roles who understands your Brand and your Social Media Community. Often times this person will be juggling multiple tasks and has to do so balancing “customer needs” with “business needs”. A combination of soft and hard skills are required to pull this position off effectively and if your organization is successful in developing such an asset, you would be wise to train as many people on your team or in your Organization to carry out the tasks your Community Manager.[Owyang]
Now that we have taken a quick look at the two essential roles that should be at the core of your team, let’s take a look at some more specific positions you need to consider when hiring for your respective industry. And for the purpose of this article, the assumption has been made that there is already an in-house person or team to attend to you Web Development needs as most businesses today operate with some sort of web presence and internal tech to support your day to day business operations.
Businesses: Will want to have a Business Unit Liason – some one that can speak to and interact with the various departments in your company to plan, develop and carry out each of the various departments’ specific needs. This person will be responsible for making sure your Social Media plan is in line with what your company’s objectives. You will also want a Social Analyst to track and measure your Social Media efforts. It is vital to know the effect and reach your Social Media presence is having on your business. This role will allow you to know exactly what is or is not working so you can either fix or push in the appropriate areas. Lastly, you will want to consider an Agency Partner to assist you in areas you are not equipped to handle. This industry is in a constant state of flux and aligning yourself with an Agency Partner will give your company an edge over your competition. Agencies come fully equipped to deliver in all areas of your business needs and if you can find an agency that produces your desired results on time and on budget they are an invaluable component to your organization.
Non-Profits: Will want to enroll the services of a Content Strategist that will be responsible for streamlining and coordinating a uniform message and strategy across all areas of your organization. A consistent delivery of your content that has been well planned will help lead your audience through your funnel producing your desired effect of your organizations objectives. Add to this grouping a Social Media Manager who will be the driving force of your Social Media plan that is responsible implementing the projects laid out by your Content Strategist… think of the two positions as Architect and Foreman – your Social Media Manager is the Foreman that gets the project built and implemented utilizing your team members and the plan that has been created. And the same core members of the team are also essential in planning a Social Media Team for Non-Profits – Social Strategist, Community Manager and Agency Partners for the same reason previously mentioned.
Government Organizations: When we look at the graph above, the position of Education Manager is the only unique position we have not discussed. Your Education Manager’s job in your organization is to build, train, instruct the various personnel/assets within your organization to carry out your Social Media efforts. Systematically training and developing your staff to take on and participate in a meaningful way within your Social Media efforts. Please note the other overlapping members of this team from the graph above.
As the need to address Social Media Implementation grows, more and more employers will be looking for candidates that come to market with some if not most of the skills and tools discussed in the above mentioned roles and positions. In a very short period of time it is likely that the roles discussed above will be titled in a very different way as Social Media practices become a core set of skills everyone will be accustom to. I hope your organization can utilize the outline for building out your respective Social Media Team.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use the message box below.
Hewko, G. Img. Social Media Team, Web. 21, November 2013
“Jeremiah Owyang.” Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang Social Media Web Marketing Breakdown Corporate Social Media Team Comments. Web-strategist.com, 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
With a little attention to Social Media Management you will have no problem defining your audience in Social Media.
Let’s take a look at three things a Business, Government Organization and Not for Profit should consider as they enter the world of Social Media Marketing…
Who Are They Already?
In an order to define your audience in Social Media Marketing it is necessary to first be able to identify them. Traditionally, in whatever business segment your organization falls into, you already know or have a very good idea of who your audience is and it’s demographic. This is an excellent place to start for any Organization to begin monitoring the various platforms in Social Media to know where and to understand how your target audience chooses to participate in Social Media. By calling for your audience and identifying their choice of platform you can then identify and segment the level at which each member fits into your Social Media hierarchy. Defining your overall audience also includes your community which are your strongest Relationships, Evangelists and your “who are these people” people. From there you will also have Connections, Acquaintances and Followers. In my opinion, it is necessary to spend some time working on building a connection with these last three because you never know where your next major influencer is going to come from.(Jennex)(McKinsey)
Social Media Management calls for a clearly defined Social Media Policy in an effort to keep both Company and Participant engaged effectively…
Your Social Media Policy will guide you and your Organization in accomplishing its mission. It is important to define your goals and objectives so you can lead the conversation in your Social Media Campaign. Your audience wants leadership. They have identified themselves as either “interested” in what you are doing or are already “buyers” of your ideology, product or service. Your Policy should also provide transparency, privacy and security for all of its users. And let us not forget to have measurable Analytics and Metrics to clearly identify areas that need improving or areas that are working well and need to amplified.(Macy)
Be prepared for the possibility of your audience defining or redefining you…
It is part of the implied deal you agree to when you transition from conventional marketing to electing to participate in what is to be a two way conversation (if you are listening to your audience) in Social Media Marketing. Your audience should be seen as your partner in all that you do from here on out. You and your organization can benefit in all areas of your business ranging from product development, better customer service, to what your position at the polls are or how you can make your next charity fundraiser better. If you fail to pay attention to or acknowledge your audience, you run the risk of your audience determining your fate online in Social Media… It does happen. Embrace the conversation and show your audience you are listening and do care. Remember, you need them. They will tell you what they want and if you are not prepared to give it to them they will go somewhere else to get what they need.
When Companies look to bring their presence to Social Media Platforms in an effort to keep up with today’s changing times, it is important to understand the basics we have gone through in the above Infograph. This graph is by no means a comprehensive evaluation of all of the areas that need to be addressed but it is certainly a decent place for you to start. If you have vetted your industry and qualified your intentions to be active in Social Media and are not already participating, then it is time for you join the conversation. Your customers, constituents and contributors are already there and there is a good chance your competitors are too.
The truth is, if you are in business at any level, you cannot afford to not figure out a way to be present on one Social Media Platform or another. There is probably ample reason for you to be present on several but it is for you to determine and decide which one(s) will be most effective. Set Measurable goals. Identify a core team within your organization to build from that is already active on Social Media. Enroll those people in your organization that may not be on Social Media… provide training or in some cases be prepared to be trained yourself by those you least expect. Just because it is called “Social Media”, doesn’t mean that those that participate in it have a clue as to what it means to be social.
Developing a Social Media Policy for you and your organization to follow will help to ensure continuity, good etiquette, positive and successful engagement. Not having a Social Media Policy in place may leave the flood gates open to disaster from anyone in your organization. Equally as important is a method or means to analyze your effectiveness online. There are many ways to measure your success in Social Media, so setting clearly defined targets and measuring your performance in achieving them is vital. There is always room for improvement. The trick is to know what needs to be improved upon and doing it and what is working and amplifying it.
I hope this sheds some light on bringing your organization into the arena of Social Media Marketing and if I could leave you with just one more piece of information to consider it would be this, “Social Media is simple, but not easy!” But who ever said maintaining any relationship was easy.
 MarketingSavant Group. “Digital and Social Media Marketing Planning Workbook”. N.d. Web. 13/10/13
What is the effect on Business, Government and Not-For-Profits in the Age of Social Networking Platforms?
Not-for-Profits take the lead… “Well, they do have the easiest hand to play.”
Now that Not-for-Profits have a very cost effective way to enroll and engage with an even larger number of potential donors, their understanding of how to use social media to its fullest has given them the opportunity to play to all of our most basic emotions and capitalize on our altruistic behaviour. Simple public displays of appreciation on our favourite Social Media Platforms by Charities, to its Donors, for their efforts, feeds the Charity’s bottom line and our egos.
Pretty fair trade, don’t you think?
Charities beware, step out of line with your reporting or let Joe Public find out how much of what you raise actually gets paid to your cause and it might just be the last dollar you take.
Businesses jumping on the Social Media Band Wagon… “More may not be better.”
Yes, yes, we get it. It’s new and you think you need to be there because maybe, just maybe, you might have a potential customer there. NO! This is neither a “strategy” nor a “tactic” to follow for any business looking to try their hand at Social Media. Surely you know who your customers are, so please do some research to see what Social Media Platforms they use are and be present there. Be helpful there. Know that this is no longer a one way street, your customer, believe it or not, is now your partner and you would be wise to listen to what your partners are trying to tell you. Although you may believe that your product or service should be used by everyone, not everyone is going to be your customer. So why don’t you treat your customers that you do have, like they are the ones writing your paycheck and keeping the lights on… Oh wait, they are.
Treat your customers like the human beings they are and maybe they will see a face of a friend behind that expense corporate logo of yours… and who knows, if you’re lucky, they might tell a friend or two on that Social Network thingy, site, stuff your kids are always talking to you about.
Governments… “Not as clever as Not-for-Profits, not as Clueless as most Businesses.”
Democratization and transparency of real-time information in the hands of everyone has put Governments Worldwide on notice as they adopt and implement the use of Social Media. It is actually fascinating. Their public embrace of this new medium fuels the “wag the dog machine” at the same time lets the world see things from many different vantage points with the illusion of no filters or staging. “Reaching a tentative partnership” is putting it lightly. More like, “Oh wait, they might actually figure out they are the majority.”
As Governments try to not only catch up but get ahead of the Social Media curve, you, the average citizen, now has the responsibility of disseminating even more news, noise and nonsense than before.
Our World today is a very interesting place with all of this Social Media buzz. I hope we are all responsible with our actions on Social Media Platforms. Be helpful, inspire, educate, and treat each other like we all want to be treated. Let’s put an end to all of the behaviours that are objectionable to us. It can all start with a simple “Like”.