Schooldays. ‘The best days of your life’ they promised. Really? The epitome of extremes more like. Double maths or double games. 2 opposing lessons, 2 opposing groups. Sports jocks or chess club.
Double maths offered inspiration to one, but no real hardship to the other – just an opportunity to doze off quietly on the back row. No such luck when it came to sports. Nothing more encapsulated schooldays extremes than the confidence crushing ritual of picking teams.
It was always a cruel thing to behold, even if you liked sports. A gaggle of rain sodden kids, huddled miserably together against the wind, suffering a Lord of the Flies style popularity contest. All while the gym teacher worked through a stack of digestives and a hot brew in the staff room.
Turns out that chess club was probably more useful for a degree in economics and career in financial analytics. Double games? Good for a sterling career in the local footie 2nd team – but that’s another story.
Thankfully, this extreme probably doesn’t happen anymore. It stopped along with the abandonment of any form of competition in schools.
But is lack of selection really a good thing?
Sometimes you have to choose – that’s life.
Picking teams is important. Sometimes you do have to choose – that’s life. In this case, it can be the difference between successful social and a marcomm muddle.
In business you want your best available team on the case – especially when it comes to digital. Digital marketing offers access to a wider audience than ever before. One wayward performer can reach a lot of people and undo a lot of good work by others.
We recently highlighted the importance of recognising digital marketing as part of your marketing strategy and the marketing mix.
Social media platforms are the most common digital marketing tools used by businesses. They offer real time, two-way communication and are cost effective if used correctly.
Once you’ve put the effort into allocating budget and staff time, creating a strategy, putting in the hard yards of creating quality content – why neglect the final step of considering who is actually going to deliver?
How to Pick Your Winning Social Media Team
- Your team must understand that social represents your brand.
Social media takes time to get right. We’ve warned before about chucking out random social messages 10 times a day that don’t say anything about you. Pick team members that understand this.What is your brand image? What image do you want to portray? If your social feed is all jokes and ‘bants’, that’s what people will see you as.
How many Tweets do you send that provide something of potential value versus light-hearted fillers? There is a place for light-hearted if it encourages conversation, if it provides respite and comic relief, but count them carefully. More than two to one ratio and you’re probably out of balance…
- Your team must be worthy of your investment.
Time is money, so allocate budget – doing it right will take some time and money. If you can say: ‘Our social output only takes an hour a week’ then you’re clearly not investing in the process.
On the other hand, don’t just allocate the person deemed to be ‘least busy’, or because they’ve been around a while. There are plenty of tasks that can be delegated to staff who have spare capacity. Social should not be one of them, unless they have the skills.
If you wouldn’t let them write your corporate brochure, or leave them alone with your biggest client – then they shouldn’t be engaging with them through social.
Anything that you value takes time. Not taking time and care shows that you don’t value it. If you don’t value it, why will anyone take any notice of it?
- Your team should understand your strategy
Your social media output must have a specific aim. Every time you communicate, through whichever medium, your output needs careful thought. Hootsuite have produced a great little infographic to help you… https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-not-to-post-on-social-media/
Note that the most important question will stop you before you get started:
Does this post have value? Don’t post things because you think they are funny, or wise – post them if you can relate it to something in your business or one of your products.
- Your team needs to be able to produce great content.
To rework a common phrase: ‘If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all’.
Creating original content is hard, not everyone can do it. If you can’t, then give it to someone who can. If you can’t honestly point to anyone with the right skills, then outsource the function to a freelancer or digital agency.
Without a content focus, your output will be haphazard at best and completely meaningless at worst. Too many clever quotes or hilarious video clips, will perhaps suggest you have nothing original to say.
Meaningless, pointless messaging just irritates people – they have enough tat on their feeds as it is.
In our last blog, we warned: ‘Don’t just dump digital on Maureen – she hasn’t got the skills (because you haven’t trained her)’.
So, the ‘least busy person in the office’ is not the answer.
We also warned: ‘Don’t ask Merrill just because he’s the office Millennial’. We could add to that: ‘or Zoe because she’s Generation Z’.
Yes, they use social, but being young is not the issue – competence is. If they understand how social fits into the overall marcomm picture AND they have the ability to write great copy, THEN consider them for the role…
- Your team can be everyone!
A recent article by Essential Retail, the retail industry commentator, discussed a recent move by John Lewis to place social in the hands of all their staff, by equipping them with an app that allows them to contribute to social media output.
Their aim was to increase “brand engagement and awareness”. Luckily, we’ve pointed this out in points 1 and 2 above. Points 3 and 4 are looked after by the John Lewis marketing team, monitoring output before it is broadcast. The result? “We have seen direct correlation between activity…and appointments in-store…with our personal stylists” says Eva Bojtos, Senior Marketing Manager.
But maybe you don’t have the resources for constantly filtering staff messaging. Don’t give up just yet however!
Recently, all the staff from The Development Company attended a workshop with @Webadept, with the aim of empowering the whole team to get involved with social media. Rather than leaving it to one person, the whole team now understands their role in marketing the company.
So, it can be done – but you need to invest in your staff and empower them to deliver results. If you can’t trust your staff, then you’ve either got the wrong staff or you need to fire yourself. Sorry.
Sometimes we have to choose – that’s life…
Have we got you thinking selecting a winning social media team, but perhaps you’re not sure where to begin? If so, we can help! WebAdept have been running social media workshops and producing digital marketing solutions for over 20 yrs. Get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you!