Will you be my social media manager?

Costa, Paddington Station

Over the last couple of years I have had a good number of conversations with people who are looking to start their social media adventure; one question that crops up is who is going to look after it?

Different companies have different ideas about who is best suited internally to cover these new responsibilities – sometimes this might be a particular individual who ‘gets’ how to use Twitter or sometimes it can mean an entire army of people.

Having a team on hand to deliver your social media strategy is a good idea, especially within a large organisation, but this idea tends to fall apart when the company hasn’t planned the execution of how they are going to deliver. This is where a strategy and policy comes in.

As a team, you could choose to use your individual personalities when representing your company. For example, at the end of a tweet you could include your name or you could set up a separate account just for business purposes.  Most audience members are aware that one person can’t possible monitor one account 24/7 and this allows the company to really show off the personality and dedication of their internal team.

The other option is to use the team as one voice. This can be easier internally, if people leave or change position within the company then there is no worry about what will happen with the redundant account but remember, consistency is the key.

Having a policy in place will ensure the team working on your social media activity will know the type of language, tone and abbreviation to use. This will ensure there is no confusion to your audience and it’s clear whom they are talking too.  This also ensures a easy transition for new members of your social team.

Where do you start? With a bit of research. Like most new ventures you need to know your market first, find out what your social currency is out there. Are people talking about your company, brand or service? Is it one or two people or thousands?

The next important area to consider is why you’re doing this. This should tie into your business objectives, long-term ones. This will then give you a way to measure ROI on this activity. So, why are you here? Customer service? Product education? Brand awareness? To drive sales?

Having this information will enable you to make a decision on who will run it, how many people it will take and how much it will cost.

Being social involves being transparent, open and listening to your audience so make sure you’re involving, educating and listening internally first so you get your message right first time.

I originally posted this blog on The Wall