All signs are that 2015 will see social media having an even bigger impact on organisations – which means more decisions about resources. So here are four options and some Top Tips, to help you think about managing your social media successfully in 2015 .
Many organisations, large and small, reach the point where they decide that they can’t manage their social media in-house, but obviously don’t want to give up. Sometimes that’s because they don’t know how to get a strategy together, don’t know where to start, don’t have the skills in-house, or have simply become so busy their social media is suffering.
This is a difficult issue as your social media should represent your organisation’s personality and voice and thus is best done in-house. According to a study by BrandFog in 2012, people want to see CEOs actively using social media and have more trust in those that do.
As a social media trainer who also provides a social media management service, I know most of the of issues that arise for people and in this post I will help you to explore your options and raise things you need to consider.
What are the options?
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1.The Whole Team Approach
Train everyone in the team to use it and make it a team responsibility. This is increasingly the way of forward thinking organisations. It shares the load, keeps it real and is empowering to staff. Making the whole team the eyes and ears of your organisation is certainly the way of the future.
You can read an example of this approach by Safety Management UK here
If that isn’t an option right now then you may be considering
This can be a temporary, or long term solution. For example, I often provide 3 to 6 months management to build the following on dormant or new accounts and create a consistent presence whilst training the team. I can then hand over healthy active accounts.
But how do you decide who to take on? and what questions should you be asking?
Can you just do it for me? is the most common question, but you are handing over the public voice of your organisation and you need to be very clear what it is exactly that you want.
What questions do you need to ask yourself?
Well, what do you want them to do?…
Manage your customer care?
Increase followers? …….
Do you want them to write your strategy? Will you be involved?
Frequently the expectations of the client are not realistic. Good social networking on line and off line takes time, so if you end the contract after two months because sales haven’t doubled you are just wasting everyone’s time.
Will you make yourself available?
I have sacked more than 1 client who couldn’t /wouldn’t make time to send me content or commit to a weekly catch up phone call. This is your company’s public voice, you need to take an interest in what is happening.
3.Employ a social media manager in house.
If you are creating a new job you need to create a job spec’. Do our social media isn’t really a job description.
I have delivered coaching sessions to a number of social media managers who have no brief and no support, or supervision. I don’t know many jobs of such importance where this is the case. (see training your social media manager)
If you employ someone to manage your company’s voice, take time to research so that you know what it is that you want them to do and how you will know if they are doing it well.
How will you know if they are doing a good job?
What are you measuring ?
Who will manage them?
What support will they get?
What skills do they need?
Often social media is handed over to the IT team, or the youngest person in the office, as they have the most experience of social media.
This may be spot on if that individual has the right skills for the job, however social media is not about IT, it’s about good communication. Being young, or being a tech’ expert does not necessarily mean those individuals understand your organisation/ marketing/ sales, or customer care.
This is a good option for many organisations. Your social media manager (internal, or outsourced) can create and post content, increase your followers etc and you can talk to people and do the engagement side of things.
So what to do?
Whatever route you choose, the first issue that needs to be addressed is that YOU have an adequate grasp of social media yourself. Far too often the voice of the company is given to someone else and with little, or no, guidance. It’s just handed over and not given another thought … until it all goes horribly wrong.
The next step…
- Skill your self up. You do not have to become an expert but you do need to have an essential knowledge of the job you ‘re handing over to someone. In fact run training for the whole team so that they all have an awareness of it.This will keep your organisation much safer on-line too.
- Get help to write a realistic job description. What is it that you want your social media bod to achieve? Social media is so new that this is inevitably being neglected, but if you’re going to put your organisation’s time and money into this you may as well do it right.
What do you think? I’d love to know, so leave a comment below.