Here at Allin1Social, we handle our own social media as a team. At any given time, you’ll find us chatting with clients, sharing advice, scheduling posts, answering questions and browsing online to see what’s new to share with our community. We love working together, and find that collaboratively we complement each other in making our social media better, thanks to Allin1Social and all the other awesome tools out there.
That is not to say that a solo social media manager cannot handle things – on the contrary, we know many people doing a fantastic job all by themselves! But working as a team is quite different, even when it comes to understanding each other. That’s why we’d like share some “secret” routines we do and some best practices and tips we know that make us an effective social media team.
Strategy & Structure – the key!
Yes, even as a social media team, it is very important to figure out the structure of the team and what the overall social media strategy is.
Altimeter ran a survey, and it found out that 11 is the average number of people in a full-time social media team at large companies (more than 1,000 employees), and they work together in a structure that is loosely based like this:
Of course, this structure varies with industry and company or agency size. On smaller teams, your structure may be very different, but regardless of team size, it always helps to have a clear structure.
Then comes the next step: how do you keep everyone on the team in sync with each other? Simple – by having a social media strategy that everyone can refer to. This document (we recommend using a software like Google Drive or Trello, so that you can all collaborate and update the document) can contain anything and everything about your social media strategy: from objectives and goals, to content & post schedule, channels, reports and analytics as well as day-to-day processes and important notes from recent meetings.
We really like Advanced Human Technologies Group’s way of building an effective social media strategy:
The fantastic five: Who, what, when, where & how
A clear structure and social media strategy help everyone in the team to understand who is managing which aspect of social media, bringing us to the other points of what, when, where and how.
When defining the roles, it helps to know which team member(s) is better at which social network(s), what types of content are going to be posted, where should each type of content be posted and how often posts will be scheduled.
Are you writing all your content, are do you consider getting external help for that? When is the best time of day to post? Who is better at contacting influencers and who loves to write their heart out?
You also want to ensure that you split management responsibilities so that no one is stepping on someone else’s toes. For example, you can have set rotational shift times for managing the social media networks, or have different people manage different networks so that all social presence responsibilities are met. Who’s the content creator? Do you need a customer support person on top of a community manager? Who takes care of analytics & strategy improvement?
Figuring this out will help the team to understand how everyone can best support each other to ensure that your community has a consistent view of what your brand is all about.
Do remember though, that all these aspects can change with time as your team and the social networks you use evolve.
Keeping up a consistent voice and tone
When you have a team managing social media, another important step to take is standardising voice and tone so that everyone understands what the brands’s voice sounds like. What is the personality of the company? How do you want to come across on social media?
This then guides the tone of the voice. A voice can have multiple tones, as long as all the tones support and refine the voice. It’s good to have the basics written down in your social media guidelines & strategy, so that it’s easy to go back and check whenever you feel lost while writing something for the brand. We’ve been quite inspired by Weber Shandwick’s advice on voice and tone:
Knowing the latest news
Being in social media also means being aware of what’s the news of the day, because the industry is constantly changing and anything can become popular or hated in a matter of seconds (except for cat videos, they never go out of style!).
We recommend constant monitoring of local and international industry websites, and even your competitors’ blogs and newsletters. Another best practice is to follow some famous social media blogs to find out the latest trends and best tips, tricks and practices that you can use in our everyday work.
Collaborating better with the right tools
As a social media team, you want to ensure you choose the right tools that enable easy responding, scheduling, analysing and communicating so that you collaborate better. To aid easy team collaboration, you should look out for a tool with characteristics such as:
– A simple dashboard that gives us an instant overview of all your social media channels
– An easy-to-use scheduling platform that allows you to post any minute you want (Did someone say 11:11? An unconventional publishing time is often better for organic reach…)
– An efficient, clear team workflow that allows you to assign tasks, different access levels, share notes and control what’s being published
– Awesome reports that can immediately be presented to the team and clients
Do take time to review and assess what’s the best solution for your team, because finding a tool for efficient social media management & team collaboration is extremely important and can end up saving tons of time for everyone in your team. For us the choice was obvious (Allin1Social, anyone?), but make sure you find the best fit for your team’s and brand’s needs. Sometimes it might mean using more than one tool, and that’s perfectly fine too.
Joining the conversation!
Work hard, play harder! That’s what many of us believe in, and we find that this applies to us as a social media team too. We take a break when we need to have a breather, and often like to have a chat or join conversations with other colleagues from other teams (sales, finance, HR, etc) or online. Commenting on blogs, articles and industry forums can bring fresh ideas, help establish new connections and even friendships. After all, who knows what inspiration you can get from fun or educational everyday chat and laughter with your colleagues?
Ps. You might be interested in reading also about the Secret Routines of a Successful Social Media Manager.