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.
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