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.
Summary of 3 Videos From HootSuite University Lectures Series:
The three videos I chose to watch from the Hootsuite University Lecture series were:
- “Be Local Everywhere – Grow Your Online Community Globally” with Dave Olson.
- “5 Decisions that Drive Customer Loyalty” with Jeanne Bliss
- “Where Context Meets Content” with Gary Vaynerchuk
Be Local Everywhere – is a great place to start when you are trying to learn and understand the importance of connecting with your potential audience on a Global scale. Here are some excellent tips to follow as you attempt to make those connections.
- Always start with listening – you want to find as many mentions of you or your company as possible – including all misspellings or other possible references
- Look for who the influencers or animators of those conversations are and connect with them by identifying who you are in relation to the conversation
- Before you ask for anything it is important to start by giving something that is helpful or is something of value that contributes to the conversation
- Always be respectful
- Geo target your audience to ensure that you are going to be relevant to them
- Be aware of the Time Zones, Cultural Differences and any other Social Differences that could affect how you and your message is perceived
Our customers are no longer anonymous today. If you take the time, you can find out everything you need to know to about your customer in order to better serve them which ultimately will better serve you and your business.
5 Decisions That Drive Customer Loyalty – teaches us or should I say “reminds us” of what it truly means to be authentic. When 22% of buyers today are influenced by traditional advertising and 78% from Social Media, this boils down to “How They Felt”. Following these 5 tips will help you and your Business deliver your message authentically and build life time customer relationships by connecting with the emotionally.
- Believe – in your customer first and they will believe in you. Start your relationship with trusting the fact that your customer is on your side as opposed to you convincing them why they should believe you.
- Clarity – we are all in business to make money but why are we in the businesses that we are in. There is a higher purpose or reason behind why we choose our particular business and when you can clearly convey this sentiment to your customer you can truly make an authentic connection.
- Real – By being real or genuine and dropping your attempts to be slick or everything to everyone you will yield your true customers. You are not going to have everyone as a customer… ever. It is better to identify who your real customers are and serve them better.
- Be there – You have to be committed to your responsibility of servicing your customers. On Social Media platforms today, it is imperative to be timely with customers trying to connect with you. You aren’t always going to be able to solve their problem on the spot but the quicker you can acknowledge their attempt to connect with you shows them that you are there and are listening.
- Saying your sorry – Truly apologize when there has been a problem. Do so with humility and remorse. People can tell when you are not sincere. Solve the problem and thank your customer for pointing out this issue.
A couple of other interesting take a ways from this lecture were to hire “memory makers” and not necessarily the most skilled or highest educated employees. People truly connect with other people and not systems or procedures. Put yourself through your company’s process first so you know exactly what your customer is seeing first hand. And finally, get rid of all the things that just don’t work anymore or that don’t make sense.
Where Context meets Content – This video lecture echoes human kinds history of communicating through storytelling and how it translates into today’s role in Social Media. We are witnessing the end of Traditional Media’s strangle hold it had on all of us in one-way conversations from advertisers to consumers. Today’s marketplace revolves around a two-way conversation between advertiser and consumer and Gary’s analogy of “the deer having shotguns” sums this point up the best. What is important to understand now is that each and every different Social Media Platform calls for a unique approach to the kinds of actions we take there. What you do and say on Facebook would not be what you would do on Linkedin for example.
Understanding how your customers use each of these platforms and adopting an appropriate delivery for your message to them on each platform is vital. The truth is that Social Media is still a relatively new medium of communication (about 10 years) but communication from one person to another has not changed. Word of mouth marketing has historically been the best way grow your business over the centuries. It is as true today with the only difference being that your reach which may have only been a neighbourhood or city just a few short years ago has now become the entire planet if you so choose.
I hope you have found these short summaries useful and are now ready to take on a new approach to interacting with your audience and communities on all the various Social Media Platforms that best suit you. Practicing these simple techniques will undoubtedly set you apart from your competition and become easier to do as you grow your Social Media Presence.
If there is something I have missed that you would like to add, please feel free to comment below.
Jeanne Bliss. 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty . Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. May 2012. 28/10/2013
Gary Vaynerchuk. Where Context Meets Content. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. November 2012. 28/10/2013
Dave Olson. Be Local Everywhere: Growing Your Online Community. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. July 2012. 28/10/2013
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.