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.
What are the best tips you can get from a professional social media manager?
The Social Media Industry has become a huge employer in a short period of time. Job titles vary as much as the tasks, clients and working environments. While there are tons of best practices to follow, the actual jobs are as different as the people doing the work.
That’s why we’re starting a new “Agency Interviews” post series on the blog today. To get a better idea of the different roles inside digital agencies, and to get some insider tips and best practices from the professionals of the industry.
Let’s start with Alessandra, a Social Media & Digital PR Manager.
My name is Alessandra and I am head of the Social Media and Digital PR team at 77Agency. In brief, my job includes managing several key clients from very different backgrounds and sectors, all at once. It is a very dynamic and stimulating work, which also requires heavy multitasking and the ability to switch quickly between channels, languages, brands and competences in a fast paced digital environment.
So what’s the best way to manage multiple social media accounts effectively and successfully without getting too stressed?
Here are my tips:
Set a clear schedule of what and when you are going to post and prepare everything ahead so you have spare time for unexpected events that are the daily bread of the social media work.
Have a global overview
Use a tool that lets you monitor all the accounts and channels at one glance, making it easy to moderate comments and messages and set alerts for critical issues, so that you are ready to anticipate a community crisis when you see one rising.
Tracking metrics and KPIs is fundamental to learn about your successes as well as your mistakes. Good analytics also provide interesting insights and help you understand what your audience is like, when they are online and what their habits are. The tracked metrics should also be beautifully presented to clients. That’s why I use a social media tool that let’s me download visually pretty and detailed reports that I can send directly to my clients.
Study your competition and beyond
Measure your activities against your industry competitors, but also keep an eye on successful pages and accounts from totally different sectors: best ideas arise from the fusion of examples and thinking outside the box!
Love what you do
Last but not least, get the right attitude: be curious, search, get inspired from latest trends and news, experiment! Being a social media manager can be a stressful job and the best way to stand out is to put your passion into it!
Great tips, thank you Alessandra! Social media management includes so many different aspects that staying in control requires both tools & dashboards, as well as passion and a creative mind.
The creativity and passion need to come from within, but we can help with the organization part.
Just like Alessandra, several top agencies worldwide have chosen to use Allin1Social to help manage the chaos of managing multiple clients & social media accounts. Automating some time-consuming manual tasks, like scheduling & publishing content across different channels, getting performance analytics and reports, and monitoring competition and other top brands of the industry, frees a lot of time for writing new content, optimizing the social media strategy and communicating with clients.
Where do you get your inspiration from? And what tips do you have for staying organized?
Social media management is messy. When you manage social media for several brands and clients, things get even messier – so many channels, accounts, platforms, posts, image specs and length restrictions to keep in mind.
One of the key skills that agencies and social media professionals managing multiple client’s social presence are required to have is time management. Allocating time for each client’s social activities is essential, so each account gets the attention it deserves. However, you also need to be careful when switching from one client to another: each one has a different audience, tone of voice and identity. Getting confused and mixing things up in the process could be extremely dangerous, both for you and for the client.
Everyone has their own way to organize their day and mind around the thousands of tasks to do, but here’s a checklist with some useful tips on how to handle the main struggles – assuming you have your strategy & content calendar all figured out already, of course.
Main struggles when managing multiple social media clients – and how to handle them like a pro
1. Time-consuming and messy reporting & analytics
Most social media agencies are expected to send weekly, monthly and yearly reports to their clients. When reporting, it’s important to break down the data and stats in a way that your clients can understand them easily. One client may prefer beautiful graphs, while another wants clean excels with just numbers. Stats may include clicks, followers, traffic, engagement rate, ROI, etc. But most of all, they should focus on real results and highlight the results that are important to your clients based on what theirs goals and objectives are. Your reports should also highlight growth by comparing current status to a previous period.
Reporting for multiple clients that have multiple channels can take up a huge chunk of your time. Using each social media channel’s own reporting is time-consuming, and the reports show very different metrics and look completely different too. That’s why you should invest in a good social media reporting tool that helps by dividing your clients into separate accounts and views, and lets you manage multiple channels on one single dashboard. This way also reporting can be easily automated and done simultaneously for several channels, and sent to your clients for a review in no time.
Professional reports look good and can be customized with e.g. your client’s logo & and the desired metrics. This means you don’t need to manually work with Excel and PowerPoint to unify the files you’ll send out to the client. Click, click, download and forward – it doesn’t get much easier than that.
2.Lack of Social Media Policy
Do your best to avoid common mistakes that sometimes happen when brands work with external partners and social media agencies: slow response time, inaccurate information when replying to questions and comments and inappropriate messaging are just a few of them.
Establishing a protocol as to how fast to respond, when you will respond to a message or comment directly and when you should ask for approval first, etc. will help to avoid these blunders. A good social media management platform will have a social media team feature, which allows you to get notifications for comments, assign tasks, add notes and set access levels so that the social media team leader stays in control on everything that’s being published – this way all issues should be easily avoided completely.
3. Little communication with the client
Keeping updated or communicating regularly with each of your clients helps you learn about the latest news and happenings in their businesses. These could include upcoming events, new product launches, change of target audience, new goals and anything in between. In turn, it helps you adjust your strategy and stay relevant. It’s also good to keep an open relationship with your client that goes beyond just social media reporting. After all, we’re all human and a genuine relationship will benefit both parties in many ways, from direct feedback to a more honest communication and a better business relationship.
4. Multiple everything means messy organization
So many brands and clients, all with different channels and login passwords, can cause a real digital chaos if you don’t stay organized. Social media management platforms let you log into multiple channels at once, and help even further by dividing your clients into separate accounts and views, so that you can effectively manage multiple channels on one single dashboard. On top of that, you also get a lot of other useful features like analytics, post scheduling and reporting, which enhances your efficiency even further. This is not just ideal, but an obligatory tool for agencies managing multiple clients. The only way to stay in control, is to create organization with a help of a dashboard divided by client, channels and social media team. Tame that chaos!
5. Losing the brand voice
Once you’ve identified your client’s brand voice, make sure to stay consistent across all channels and campaigns. Not only that, but you also have to maintain a consistent brand image including tone of voice, images and hashtags. Make a mental note every time you switch over from one client to another – you need to adapt a different brand identity and think and act like the brand you’re talking about every time you switch over. Double-check every word and image before hitting that “publish” button. The little details can end up making the difference.
Overall, it comes down to being organized and working as efficiently as possible with the help of a good social media tool, and in maintaining a good, open relationship with all your clients. That’s all social media and communication are about, don’t you think?
How are you handling multiple clients’ social media management? Do you have some other struggles you keep encountering daily?
Every company needs to invest in social media these days; the benefits are too many to list. The same can also be said for every company having their own social media team working for them in-house, as opposed to outsourcing the work to an agency or some other company.
If it’s time you took your business to social media, here’s how you can efficiently set up the team it will take to do so successfully.
Pick Someone to Run Point
As with just about any new initiative for your company, someone needs to run point for you on this project. Unless you have the time necessary to commit to such a large undertaking, you need to put someone else in charge of the process. This person should be someone who has an understanding of and passion for social media. Even if you do have enough time, then, it might make sense to delegate this responsibility to someone in your organization who simply appreciates this form of engagement better than you.
A lot of times, the best way to find people you already employ to play a central role in this process, is simply by finding those who have already proven what they can do with social media. Look for those who have a sizable Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. network and are active on their platform. The more accounts they’re familiar with, the better.
Design a Social Media Policy
The first thing this person should do is get busy constructing a social media policy. This policy will serve to guide your staff in using social media for the betterment of the company. However, more than anything, it will also lay out the rules for doing so. Such a policy is essentially designed to help protect you, your company and your staff as social media is leveraged for business purposes.
One of the defining features of social media is how readily accessible it makes your market to your company and vice-versa. This is both an unprecedented advantage and a potentially terrifying variable. Countless companies have suffered from social media because employees of theirs — often even seasoned marketers — used a platform to express an offensive opinion or otherwise reflect poorly on their employer.
A comprehensive social media policy will help everyone you employ understand the rules of engagement. This means everything from, which words aren’t appropriate, which subject matter is taboo, and even whom people are allowed to respond to (e.g. many companies don’t let their social media managers respond or talk to competitors).
There is no boilerplate social media policy, as each one must be customized for your specific company’s needs. However, you can search out and find examples of the kinds other businesses — many similar to yours — have used in order to get started.
Chances are, too, that you’ll need to come back and update this policy when you’ve completed the rest of the steps. This will allow you to stipulate the body of the team, who answers to whom and how communication will be handled.
Begin Setting Goals
The next step after forming a social media policy will be understanding the reasons you are building a social media team. Of course, some of your goals will be obvious and without knowing them, you’d never have made it this far in the process. For most companies, social media will be about better engagement and converting more customers.
That being said, you should also have specific goals for your business that will help guide those who are handling social media. For example, maybe you want to use your Twitter account to develop a personality your market will come to associate with your company. This voice may be a humorous one or the type people will learn to rely on for free help.
On the other hand, you may be hoping to leverage Facebook for the purpose of simply letting people know your company exists and why they should be interested in your product.
Fortunately, you don’t need to shy away from mixing your goals up. Some may have no choice but to be vague, like saying, “establish a voice customers come to trust.” However, you can also supplement your list with objective metrics too like, “gain 100 new followers every month” or “post articles that no less than 10 people share on average.”
Without a doubt, your goals for social media will change over time. You’ll also get better at realizing what kinds of goals to set and what good targets are to aim for. That’s why it’s important to revisit them regularly. However, without some goals early on, your social media team will never get off the ground.
By now, you should have a much clearer idea of what your company’s social media ambitions will entail. As such, you can begin allocating resources to the cause. Part of this may mean equipment and materials, office space, etc.
However, this also means the employees you will have to have dedicated for the job. For most companies, the best option is to use employees you already have. The in-house solution will save you time and money, while ensuring your company stays in control of all aspects of any social media campaign.
Depending on your goals, you may only need one employee to handle your needs. You may not even need them dedicated full-time to social media. Whatever the case, you need to look at your social media team as you would any other and give them the resources they will need if they are to succeed.
Design Your Team
While we’re on the subject, now is the time to start thinking about a team, if that’s what your needs and goals demand. Like with the social media policy, there’s no way to know what exactly your company will demand from a team. However, we can absolutely look at some common roles found on the teams of many other companies.
- The Expert: this is someone who is already active on social media and won’t need a lot of time familiarizing themselves with the various platforms out there. They will be instrumental in helping the rest of the team learn the ropes. Generally, this is the person you’ll have running point in the team’s design.
- The Coordinator: this individual needs to be extremely responsible and good at management. They’ll be in charge of helping the social media team communicate with the rest of the company, so the more departments they’re familiar with, the better. The coordinator is also in charge of making sure queries from the public or other companies get to the right team member.
- The Communicator: PR types are generally the best people to put in charge of communicating through the social media platforms. This is the person who will actually be typing up the tweets, updating Facebook, etc. Good writing abilities are important, but so is the ability to remain calm and use good judgment when communicating to the public.
- The Company Expert: you’ll also need someone who can supply all the answers your communicator will need. Someone may ask about a certain product you make or about the likelihood of providing a service that isn’t currently available. You don’t want that person having to wait forever, meaning you need someone with the knowledge and authority to provide the communicator with the correct information.
- The Analyst: Lastly, as you should always be looking to refine your company’s social media performance, you need someone who is great with analytics to do the heavy lifting. Their job will be reviewing all the data you can find in relation to your social media campaigns and finding ways to improve performance. This will also mean reviewing the massive amount of literature out there about getting more from social media platforms. Recommendations from them will range from what platforms to use and avoid to when it makes the most sense to post updates.
Again, there’s no perfect team makeup for every company. For your unique business, some of the above roles may be combined. Your “expert” may simply be a veteran employee who keeps their current role and takes on this extra responsibility. Remember that you can always revise your team down the line.
The sixth member of your team should be software. Running social media manually is already an old-fashioned prospect. Instead, take advantage of a social media platform, like Allin1Social. Doing so will mean leveraging the abilities of each of your team members by allowing them to do more. You can automate your communicator’s updates, schedule posts, assign tasks, moderate all different social media channels on one page, provide your analyst with competitor analyses, industry reports, social mentions and so much more. A social media management software is the biggest help you can get in your in-house social media team.
Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account isn’t enough when it comes to your company’s social media needs. Instead, take the time to design and build a team that will be capable of taking this aspect of your business seriously. The above advice, combined with a social media management software should be enough to get you started and secure early success.