Not so long ago, brands questioned if they actually needed a social media team. Nowadays, however, digital in general and social media, in particular, are occupying a growing share of everyone’s lives.
It’s safe to say that social media is now an integral part of a brand’s marketing efforts, with increased resource allocations and more budget, which, in turn, requires social media managers to raise their game to meet expectations.
Just like managing a website is no longer the responsibility of one person (yesteryear called “webmaster” — wink), social media management no longer falls on the lap of whoever is remotely in charge of marketing.
Instead, it requires a set of complementary skills and expertise, plus more time and effort.
So how do you start building an all-star social media team?
- What’s the purpose of your team?
- What skills does your team need?
- How should you structure the team?
- How do you hire new team members?
In this guide, you’ll discover how to build your social media team, develop a strong team culture, and measure their performance.
Define the Purpose of Your Social Media Team
Social media marketing is a team effort, but the goals, roles, responsibilities, strategy, and deliverables of each team vary from business to business.
A broad definition might be that the primary role of a social media team is to grow the business by strategically publishing content, including ads, and engaging with the target audience on various social media platforms.
Align social media with your company goals
Social media needs to align with your company goals – otherwise it has no purpose. Knowing your goals also helps you determine a suitable team size, structure, and roles.
Here are ten social media goals you might have:
- Brand awareness: Establishing a presence and increasing your reach on social media.
- Traffic: Driving traffic to your website or blog.
- Lead generation: Gathering key information from prospects.
- Revenue: Increasing sign-ups or sales.
- Engagement: Connecting and engaging your target audience.
- Community building: Gathering brand advocates.
- Customer service: Serving and helping your clients or customers.
- Public relations: Disseminating news, building relationships, and promoting thought leadership.
- Social listening: Monitoring your customers and understanding your market.
- Hiring: Recruiting top talent.
Identify the skills you need
Once you’ve established your social media goals, you’ll have a better idea of the skills required to execute your strategy. For instance, if you’re focusing on community building, you’ll need to hire people with good relationship and networking skills.
Here are some of the skills your team may require:
- Leadership, organization, and team management.
- Content creation, including writing, editing, and graphic design.
- Advertising expertise on various social platforms.
- Customer service and support.
- Communicating with internal and external stakeholders.
Review your budget and resources
You know what you want to achieve and what you’ll need to achieve it, but do you have the budget and resources to accomplish everything?
It’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve given your resources. Make sure your company is right behind your social strategy by allocating the proper budget and resources.
In-house social media teams vs social media agencies
Before we go any further, we need to distinguish between in-house and agency-driven social media teams.
Social media agencies collaborate with brands to provide social media services. Depending on the company’s size and requirements, the social media agency can scale its team accordingly. For instance, one team could serve two or three small brands, but larger accounts may require the equivalent of two or three teams.
In-house social media teams are formed according to the company’s size, structure, and emphasis on social media. For instance, a startup might have one content creator responsible for social media, email marketing, and blog content. On the other hand, a large enterprise might have multiple teams for different objectives such as brand awareness, community building, and customer success. Mid-sized companies sit somewhere in the middle and typically have one person per role.
Identify Who Should Join Your Social Media Team
When planning your social media team, you’ll need to consider the roles and responsibilities based on your business requirements, goals, and budget rather than a standard template.
Here are the main roles you may require for your social media team:
Social media manager
Depending on your organization, the social media manager may be titled brand/project manager or head of social — but the bottom line is that there’s an overall team leader.
A social media manager can wear many hats, especially if it’s a small company, where they may be involved in publishing content, replying to comments, and analyzing results.
But they also need to take a high-level view of social media when setting the strategy and planning for the team, and they need to know the brand inside out.
- Develops strategy.
- Plans campaigns and creates content briefs.
- Sets team goals and deadlines.
- Distils brand and product awareness.
- Makes sure the team functions properly.
- Keeps in touch with the key stakeholders.
Content is at the center of social media.
Depending on the company size, you may have multiple content creators such as a copywriter, a graphic designer, and a photographer. There could even be a content manager to coordinate the resources. In smaller companies, you may have to employ one multimedia content specialist who can cover copywriting, graphic design, photography, and videography.
- Collaborate with other content creators.
- Create and curate content.
- Schedule and publish the content on all applicable platforms.
- Come up with new ideas and angles.
- Stay on top of industry news.
Paid acquisition manager/advertiser
The paid acquisition manager works alongside content creators to build advertising programs on various social networks. They set, monitor, and adjust ads so that the team can maximize every campaign budget.
Your advertising specialist needs to understand how each social ad platform works, what types of content excel on those platforms, and the budget required to accomplish your goals.
- Create ad content or assign it to relevant content creators.
- Set the target goals and audience for every campaign.
- Run A/B testing to maximize ROI.
The community manager focuses on listening to and engaging with your audience and customers on social media. They are often considered the face of your company and play a strategic role in developing customer relationships, increasing brand loyalty, and fostering a community spirit with your brand’s biggest fans and advocates. They may also be responsible for organizing social media events like Twitter chats or Facebook Live sessions.
- Engage in all brand conversations.
- Manage brand advocates and fans.
- Develop and maintain customer relationships.
- Increase brand visibility and loyalty.
The data analyst supports the team with performance insights, so you’ll need someone passionate about data and stats and also understands how they impact social media and the business.
A data analyst examines your social media metrics, such as engagement rate, click-through rate, traffic, conversions, and revenue, to see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Study social media platforms, tools, and industry trends.
- Demonstrate the business impact of data.
- Measure the social media ROI.
- Provide reports when required.
Account manager (agency only)
Social media agencies will also likely have an account manager. They are responsible for managing the client relationship and providing regular updates and reports on campaigns and strategy.
The extended cross-functional team
As well as the core social media roles, the best brands work as cross-functional teams involving professionals from all company departments. These team members can play an important role in your social media workflows. For example:
- Product: to check the accuracy of product information.
- Sales: to check the correctness of any sales messages.
- HR: to ensure the updates are in line with company policy.
- Legal: to ensure there are no liability issues.
- Finance: to ensure there are no budget issues.
- Third-Parties: any clients, agencies, or contractors you may be working with.
Hire — or Consolidate — Your Social Media Team
Having identified your team structure, the next step is to either hire, redeploy, or consolidate your social media team.
If you want to attract the top talent to your team, there is one strategy you need to double down on – employer branding.
According to a LinkedIn survey, 72% of employers believe employer branding has a significant impact on the hiring process, and 75% of candidates take an employer’s brand into account before even applying.
Employer branding is how you make the prospect of working for your business truly exciting. By telling an authentic story about what it’s like to be a part of your company and work toward your mission, you can entice candidates who think, feel and strive for the same.
Social media recruiting
Social media is a simple, fast, and affordable way to target the right people and promote your employer brand.
According to Glassdoor, 79% of job candidates use social media in their job search:
(Ironically, using social media avoids “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” scenario, although you may face “the chicken and egg” conundrum).
You can use LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook to publish your job openings — or go the creative route with photo & video job listings on Instagram, YouTube & TikTok.
Set up Your Social Media Team Workflow
With your team members in place, you can start planning your workflows and processes.
Starting from the top, social media managers can create a social media calendar following these five steps:
- Define your publishing guidelines
- Fill your social media calendar with post ideas
- Create and customize posts for each social network
- Review, approve, and schedule posts
- Measure and improve on your audience engagement
A social media calendar, sometimes referred to as an editorial calendar, helps you plan and schedule your content so that you can keep your collaborators, clients, and target audience happy with high-quality and consistent content. The calendar makes it easy for everyone to see the overall timeline and bigger picture.
Loomly Tip: Custom Roles allow you to create tailor-made sets of permissions for each of your team members in a more granular and flexible way:
Not only can you decide how your collaborators can interact with features and content inside each of your calendars, you can also limit the timeframe of the posts they can see, which is particularly useful if a collaboration has a predefined end date.
Besides setting up your social media calendars, you can also map out your social media workflows.
Organizing people to create, approve, publish, monitor, and track updates is one of the most challenging aspects for a social media team manager. But a social media workflow defines people’s roles throughout the social media publishing process.
It implements repeatable steps and deadlines for each editorial period so that everyone knows what they are doing and when to complete it.
Loomly Tip: Custom Workflow allows you to automate your team workflow with assignment Triggers and consolidate your approval process with conditional Guards.
For example, you can create a trigger that automatically assigns your manager/client to posts that are Pending Approval. And you can create a guard to prevent posts from being scheduled/published unless they have been approved, for example, by your Account Manager and Chief Marketing Officer.
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Develop Your Social Media Team Culture
Aside from hiring the right team members, it’s important to develop the right team culture.
Research shows that an employee’s team is fundamental to their wellbeing, engagement, and overall work ethic. Although only 26% of employees feel their team works seamlessly together.
So, here are four ways you can develop a team culture and ensure your team members feel safe, empowered, connected, and valued.
Develop a sense of autonomy
Trusting your team is fundamental to creating a sense of autonomy. But leaders should also encourage team members to build strong relationships with each other to increase independence.
Promote transparency, openness, and team identity
When teams have more freedom and flexibility to experiment and be creative, they feel safer speaking up in their team environment and taking risks.
If teams prioritize work and tackle projects together, for example, by using workflows in a collaborative tool such as Loomly, they strengthen teamwork, purpose, and belonging, which leads to an 88% increase in the likelihood of having a psychologically safe culture.
Engage in peer-to-peer conversations
Building team culture requires peer-to-peer conversations between team members, so they can share feedback, support development, and grow together.
For example, using dedicated instant messaging channels on Slack or Microsoft Teams is a great way to foster collaboration and team spirit.
You can also create “fun” or “entertainment” channels where team members can share private jokes (think: memes and GIFs) to build team spirit.
Share the success
If you want to inspire your team to continue doing more great work, make sure you recognize their contributions by sharing success stories in team and company meetings, newsletters, emails, and social platforms.
Measure the Performance of Your Social Media Team
You can measure the performance of your social media team in two ways:
- Social media metrics
- Team metrics
Social media metrics fall under one of three categories:
- Post-level metrics: measuring the performance of each post you share.
- Account-level metrics: measuring how people interact with your account (or social media page).
- Link-level metrics: measuring the performance of a link you share on your page.
You can measure these metrics, such as reach, engagement, reactions, and comments, using each native platform or a third-party social media analytics tool like Loomly.
Generic metrics, such as efficiency, quality, and alignment, can be used to measure individual and team performance.
For instance, team success relies on resiliency, which you can measure with these five attributes:
While you can measure individual team member performance with these five metrics:
Whichever metrics you choose, also schedule regular appraisals with 360-degree feedback so that you get a more rounded performance review.
Building Your Social Media Team in a Nutshell
When you align social media with your business goals, your team can significantly impact the entire marketing funnel from top to bottom.
Identify the skills and structure you need for your social media team. Then ensure team members understand their roles and responsibilities and how they can contribute to the overall success of the business.
Remember to continually develop a team culture where your crew can grow and develop their independence and team spirit. And finally, review and measure their performance so that they can learn from their mistakes and grow stronger.