In just a few years, social media has become one of the most important avenues to connect with potential customers online…
In fact, 70% of the US population has at least one social networking profile.
But new social networks are popping up all the time. More than half of Americans use two or more. And the “old school” social networks like Facebook and Twitter are constantly rolling out new features.
If you want your business to take full advantage of everything social media has to offer, you need a social media team that works like a well-oiled machine. Here’s how to grow one.
Set your goals and budget
Social media is one of those marketing channels where more investment almost always yields better results – as long as you are appropriately focused. But before you dream up the perfect social media team for your business, you need to look at the logistics:
1. What do you actually hope to accomplish with your social media marketing?
Social media can help you achieve many different business goals. Here are a few you may want to focus on:
- Building brand awareness
- Attracting traffic to your site
- Improving customer retention
- Providing customer service
- Encouraging sales
Here are some of the most important objectives of social media marketing for different businesses:
The goals that are most important to you will determine how much you’ll invest in the different roles and responsibilities of social media marketing.
2. How much can you invest in it?
Next, you need to determine how much of your budget you can allocate to social. This will also depend on your goals. For example, you want to drive sales directly from social media, then a paid promotion strategy is a must. If your focus is customer service, then you’ll need to invest in a full-time social media monitor.
Get a general idea of which areas you can reasonably invest in, based on your budget, before moving forward.
Identify the skills you need
The rest of this post discusses 7 different roles that make up a fully functional social media team. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily need to hire 7 different people to achieve the outcomes you are looking for. If you’re a small business (on a budget), one person may cover multiple roles to flesh out your strategy on a smaller scale.
Here are some of the skills your team will need to fulfil these responsibilities:
- Organization and team management
- Writing and editing
- Networking skills
- Customer service
- Advertising expertise
As you learn more about the roles you need to fill, you may find other skills your internal team lacks. You can outsource to freelancers to fill these gaps and develop a full-fledged strategy.
Let’s take a closer look at the key roles your social strategy needs to be successful:
1. Social media manager
The social media manager oversees the whole process and sets the strategy that others will contribute to. For many small businesses, the owner serves as the ultimate overseer. However, you may delegate this task to a designated on-staff person or freelancer. This is advantageous if they already have an intimate working knowledge of social media and you don’t.
The social media manager will make important decisions like:
- Which platforms to use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- What kind of content you’ll create and promote
- How frequently you’ll post and share on each platform
- Analysis and strategy adjustment as needed.
Here’s an example of a basic Facebook posting strategy your social media manager might put together:
2. Content creator
Content creation is probably the most time-consuming aspect of social media management and requires the widest skill set. Even the smallest of businesses usually resort to more than one person to create content.
Here are some of the different kinds of content you may choose to create for social media:
- Blog posts
- Memes, GIFs, and quote cards
- Video content
And there will always be new and popular types of content to keep up on:
If you want your content to really be impactful on social media, you’ll likely need content creation specialists to create each type. Because blogging is a focus for FlypChart, I like to use a writer as our main content creator, and then outsource when we need infographics, videos, and other visual content.
3. Content curator
76% of Facebook users visit the site daily. So if you want your brand to appear in their newsfeeds even semi-regularly, you’re going to have to look outside of sharing only your own content. Plus people grow tiresome of constant self-promotion on social media.
Curating and promoting other content that interests your target audience is a great way to attract new followers and engage your current ones. Here are some strategies your content curator will need to be comfortable doing:
- Following blogs that would interest your target audience (Use a tool like Feedly to aggregate blog feeds and monitor blogs all in one place)
- Joining groups and monitoring online discussions with your target audience (Following Facebook Groups, Twitter hashtag conversations, popular Pinterest boards, etc.)
- Monitoring trending topics online (using Google Trends or another tool)
Your content curator gets to decide which content (other than your own) might interest your audience most.
4. Community manager
Your community manager is the person in charge of actually building relationships on social media. They will log right into each platform to engage with your audience directly by responding to comments on your posts and engaging with what others share.
If you plan to use Twitter Chats, Facebook Live, or host an #AMA, your community manager will run it. This person is the face of the company – a person that people actually get to know online. Your community manager will need to be comfortable using each social media platform and have the interpersonal skills to build relationships online.
5. Social media monitor
59% of Americans with social media accounts say customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved.
And if you have a disgruntled customer, social media is usually the first place they turn to complain. You don’t want to leave these tweets/posts unanswered – it looks bad to your other customers. That’s what your social media monitor is for. Their job is to respond to complaints and try to resolve them publicly on social media as quickly as possible. This will show you actually care about your customers and improve your brand image online.
Twitter, in particular, is a great platform for this. They offer a variety of services for businesses (Fabric, Gnip, etc.) to help them provide customer support:
In addition to providing customer support, your social media monitor will also have the unhappy task of handling online trolls. This task requires social finesse, and it’s one that most small businesses struggle with as they grow.
6. Influencer Manager
Your influencer manager is someone who finds, nurtures and leverages relationships with influencers.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a social media personality with a lot of prestige. They have a big audience of engaged fans and a lot of reach when they share social content. Influencers can be celebrity personalities, other businesses with an audience similar to yours, or simply popular social media users.
Why do you need them?
People take brands promoting their own content with a grain of salt. They know you have an agenda (promoting your business). But other people, even someone online they have never met, are a different story. People trust recommendations from people over brands. Simple as that.
It’s the job of your influencer manager to find these influencers and encourage them to share your content. They should:
- Share influencer content to build a relationship
- Engage on their social profiles
- @mention them in your own posts
- Reach out by email and other means asking them to share
Here are some quick tips from The Shelf about influencer marketing:
7. Social media advertiser
2 million businesses already use Facebook for advertising. If you want to join them, then you’ll need someone in charge of your social media advertising strategy.
Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest also have paid advertising options your business can take advantage of. If driving customer acquisition is an important goal for your business, then paid social media is a must:
Your social media advertiser will be responsible for:
- Identifying your target audience using Facebook Audience Insights, Twitter Audiences, etc.
- Creating ad copy for display ads (or outsourcing it to content creators)
- Deciding which content to promote with paid advertising
- A/B testing different ad components to optimize your strategy
- Monitoring advertising progress for your overall business goals and bottom line
Social media is a rapidly changing arena for marketing your business, and it requires a diverse set of skills to build a social media team that will deliver results.
- Content creation and sharing
- Engagement and relationship building
- Customer service
- Influencer nurturing
- Overall management
But if you strategically build a team to complement these necessary skills, you’ll have a scalable strategy that can drive growth in your business. Just remember that as social media continues to evolve, there may be more roles to fill in the future.
Just take a step back, identify the skills you need to fill these responsibilities and keep the wheels rolling.