Any business owner, small or large, can tell you how vital it is to have a social media presence in the 2020s. Social media has entirely taken the place of the corporate website for many companies, serving as a conduit for customer service, marketing, and communicating with the outside world at large.
But social media takes a lot of time, work, and energy to maintain, especially across multiple platforms. That's why many businesses, small or large, don't have just one intern or employee working on the social media front — they have entire teams.
But building a team isn't just a matter of hiring a handful of freelancers and calling it good — you need a plan and a cohesive strategy for getting the most out of your social media department.
How to Build the Most Effective Social Media Team
The most popular social media sites all work very differently, because they serve different purposes and demographics: TikTok appeals to younger audiences, while Facebook is the destination for older customers. Posting a photo on Instagram may have a very different effect than posting it elsewhere.
That's why you need a team of people with diverse talents and specialties. But we'll get to that a little later.
Assess your current situation.
Your social media presence may have been laying fallow for months or even years, but it's not too late to change all that.
Take stock of where you are in terms of social media. Do you have any presence at all? (If not, get one!) Are you on every popular platform? Are your accounts active and engaged, or do you have one tweet from 2013 that got no views?
Most of all, determine where you want to focus your energies (marketing, customer service, etc.) and start working on a budget. This will help inform how big your team will be later on.
Determine Your Goals
Running Twitter for a business is much different than having a personal account. While some brands have a strategy that makes them look like just another user, even that is a product of a calculated strategy.
You should also further shape your strategy when it comes to how you'll use social media. There are a number of strategies to focus on:
Decide how you want your social media to align with your company's brand, reputation, and online image. Will you present yourself as a more traditional brand, or take a more unorthodox route?
Find the right tools.
One of the things you'll want to be diligent about in expanding your social media presence is presenting a consistent vision across a variety of platforms. The larger and more sophisticated your social media strategy gets (and the larger your team), the more you'll need the right tools — digital management software, all-in-one suites, and organizational software to keep it all straight.
Decide on roles.
Now that you have a solid strategy and approach, it's time to figure out how you'll implement it. Before you get as far as the hiring process, decide on what kind of roles you want your social media managers to play. Will you have one person concentrate on marketing while another does customer service DMs on Twitter? The bigger your business and the more platforms you choose to embrace, the greater the need to have roles with clearly drawn boundaries, so no one gets confused.
Assemble Your Team
Now that you've completed the important step of determining exactly what you want from your social media, it's time to start hiring. Decide whether you're going to assign people in-house, bring in new hires from outside, work with freelancers, or a combination of all three. Obviously, you should look for the most qualified, educated social media managers you can, and if your needs are large and diverse enough, hire one or more specialists with extra experience in specific platforms.
Metrics, Metrics, Metrics
In business, there's no better way to determine how well you're doing than with hard data. Fortunately, the nature of social media makes it easy to collect a lot of data about engagement with your content, audience demographics, and more. It will be important to set aside something in your budget to analyze those metrics and put them to use in your future strategies.