Building a social media team is not easy. Budgets are squeezed, stakeholders are many, and complicated job titles are everywhere (here’s just 42).
We’ve been working with clients on social since we started seven years ago, and like everyone had to adapt to its changing trends. So far, 2017 is seeing an increase in video, a decrease in organic reach, and even more conversation with audiences through direct chat and live video.
All of which need investment in specialist social skills to get the best from.
We’ve invested, and created a dedicated three-person team that now accounts for 10% of our agency brainpower.
Finding the normal team structure of account directors, account managers, community managers and all sorts of project managers and content producers a bit… hierarchical, our approach is flat, scalable, develops specialisms, and promotes teamwork. It’s well suited for a small but perfectly formed team, one that can’t afford any slack.
It delivers value for the client too, because everything passes through three areas of expertise before going live. As a bonus, full ownership over each part makes this a republic, not an empire.
In fact, feel free to use it as a blueprint for your own social team building.
Here’s how it breaks down.
Strategy – the role we call ‘Social Media Strategist’
A clear, worthwhile aim is the core of social strategy. The role of the Social Media Strategist is to keep this aim in the front of the development teams’ mind as they support projects through production to delivery. They should know platforms and audience demographics like the back of their smartphone, with bonus points for linking social with the wider digital sphere, and beyond. They are, however, nothing without…
Creativity – the role we call ‘Social Media Creative’
The bit where knowledge of the target audience hones the creative magic. Whether it’s a lateral leap that connects ideas, or the hard-earned craft that makes a perfect post, this bit is vital in catching your audience’s eye. Forget 8, 6, or even 3 seconds – on social media a person’s attention span is practically zero unless something special stops them scrolling. Creativity is the best tool in doing this. But it’s amazing what can be done in just a moment by those who specialise in…
The final vital role – the ‘Community Manager’
The final piece of the puzzle. Without one-on-one conversation and great customer service, day-to-day growth strategies, analysis and intimate knowledge of audience behaviours and trends, social is just another delivery method for shiny artwork. Everyone in social should understand audiences, but only community managers can get under the skin of your specific audience.
They’re responsible for everything after content production and their role as publisher is vital, as a perfect post going out at the wrong time will never perform. And that’s just one facet of knowing every single platform absolutely inside out.
Here’s how it looks in person – meet Nick, Blaise and, err, Nick.
Confusion over names aside, we think we’ve cracked it. Let us know what you think.
Consider one last thing – LinkedIn have shown it can take up to nine months from a candidate first showing interest in a company to joining it. You’ll need a lot of budget to reach candidates for that long through ‘traditional’ methods.
Yet it’s easy enough with good social content and a strategy that provides engagement all year round.
It’s why we’ve invested so heavily in this medium – for its real world impact, it’s tough to beat.