Where to Start, What to Consider, and How to Get Organized
Many companies want to build social media teams. But where to start?
This e-book is a collection of posts that I wrote about building a social media team. I put the series together to try and help businesses of all sizes sort out the wheat from the chaff and understand what it takes to really properlystaff and deploy human resources to build and guide social media efforts. It’s my hope that this is helpful to you, perhaps even prompting some more questions and ideas for what you’re already doing. Want to share your feedback? Email me or send me a ping on Twitter. What Do you Mean A Social Media Team? Let’s assume for a minute that you’re already convinced that social media is something you needto be integrating into your work. (If you still need convincing on this front, sift through my archives or any of the myriad blogs on
social media out there right now).
When I refer to a team, I mean exactly that. A group of people inside your organization that are tasked with strategizing, executing, and stewarding social media initiatives inside your company. Those initiatives can beanything from just listening and mining social media conversations for insights about your brand presence to participating actively through blogs, Twitter, forums, or other social networks to engage with your customers. So, Who Should Be Involved? I’m going to get into specifics about recruiting, skills/attributes and succession planning later on, but for now, suffice it to say that if you’re onlyconsidering adding people to your social media team from your communications department, please stop there, and let’s chat about this for a minute.
I know we communication types think that since the word “media ” is involved, it should live exclusively with the communication department. And I think that’s selling it all very short. Your customer service, product development, and businessdevelopment teams really have stakes in this game, and you ought to consider a cross-disciplinary group that includes people from all of these departments. Why? The information you glean from social media is going to affect more than the way you talk to your customers. If you’re really integrating it, it should be affecting the decisions you make about how you help those customers, and ultimately informthe products and services you provide to them. So my team would have folks from: • • • • • • • PR and Corporate Communications Marketing Customer and/or Client Service Business Development or Sales Brand Management Product Development Executive Team
If you’ve got multiple people in each department, select a point person or two for each to help streamline internal communication, but everyone needsto be engaged and involved. Team members are responsible for strategizing and executing the social media initiatives that are relative to their department function (which sometimes means active social media participation and sometimes implementing internally), communicating back to the team and management about results and challenges, educating and training internally about social mediainitiatives, and finding ways to integrate the learnings from social media into their work. We’ll dive more into specifics on that later, too.
Why Do I Need a Team?
Socially charged communication is changing expectations in business, both for customers and potential customers alike. It’s seeping in around and among us. There’s no backwards now. So given that, you need a social media team becausehaving one champion in your office forever doesn’t scale. You cannot conceivably manage a comprehensive and properly integrated social media presence with one guy (or girl). And done right, social media bleeds into almost every aspect of the business. That doesn’t mean that everyone gets on Twitter, but it does mean that what you learn through social customer engagement can and will inform decisions...