Putting Together Your Social Media Team

When you're deciding just who you want to manage your online presence, these guidelines will help you choose wisely.
Putting Together Your Social Media Team
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Best Selling Author, CEO and Founder of Fuel Online
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In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and social media agency CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author describes the type of people and characteristics that work best in social media.

Social media teams can range from one person to hundreds of employees. They can be part of the marketing division, public relations department or a specific team hired solely to handle social media. Regardless of structure, someone needs to lead the way and take charge of social media output

Your social media manager's level of responsibility will depend on how experienced they are with social media, the size of your team, and the size and reach of the company. Obviously the one-person team has to take on the full load, so it may be smart to limit the number of platforms you can cover well so your manager can respond to people promptly and post accordingly. If you don't have the budget or manpower to be on several platforms, stick with the top one or two on your list, the ones that best meet your needs and are used by your target audience.

You need to select the right people for the right tasks and train them. People who want to work in social media must be ready, willing and enthusiastic about learning about your business, your products and your services. They'll need to absorb a lot of information about the company and be very good listeners. While they're on your platforms, each team member's social media identity must be that of your business and brand. They need to make sure your followers, fans and customers are happy.

Your dream team should include:

People who are social media savvy. You want people who are comfortable on at least one social media platform and preferably more. Because everyone claims to be an "expert" because they spend time on Facebook, ask tough how-to questions, as well as what they might do in a certain scenario. You can tell pretty quickly if someone knows about social media or is making it up as they go. For instance, if you ask the candidate what they thought of the new (and fictitious) social network "Fourblog" and they punt with something like, "I can't believe how fast it's growing!" you know they're not being honest.

Knowledgeable team members. Make sure everyone is very well versed in what your business does, its products or services, and the brand you're trying to convey. If they don't know an answer to a customer or follower's query, make sure they know where to find it quickly. Nothing is worse than giving people wrong answers or no answers. 

The right people in the right positions. Patience and the ability to remain calm even in situations where people are nasty, obnoxious or just plain rude are important attributes if you're going to handle customer service. People who aren't as comfortable engaging on a steady basis but have terrific design or graphic skills may be marvelous designing the look of your pages and choosing the best images. Utilize the skills people bring to the team accordingly.

The right people on the right platforms. Your Twitter platform will need people ready to think fast and respond quickly, because Twitter is an ongoing conversation. Facebook reps will have a little more time to respond, so you may have people who are better at research and giving more detailed answers handling your Facebook page. If someone is more visually oriented and excels in video production, put them on your YouTube platform.

Interaction and consistency. You have a brand and a social media voice (and tone) to present that brand. Some businesses are more lighthearted, others emphasize their culture and history; some are trendy, and others are more elegant or refined. The brand and voice need to be in sync and consistent from platform to platform. Therefore, your team members must interact with one another to make sure everyone's on the same page. Meetings to brief everyone on the latest news and activities are also vital so that fans and followers get the same overall message from each platform.

Out-of-the-box thinking within the box. Your style and your message are encompassed in your overall brand. But within that box, you don't want everyone saying and doing the exact same thing, reading from scripts or putting up the same posts like robots. Empower people to be creative, think out of the box, and come up with new and innovative solutions within the brand parameters.

People who help one another. Rather than throwing new employees into the fray, have them team up and work with more experienced staffers who can help them decide what to post or how to respond before they do it on their own. Encourage people to learn from one another and ask questions.

A team that knows and follows your own best practices. You may already have well-established working solutions that have served customers well. Make sure your team knows the manner in which things have been done successfully in the past so they use such solutions when necessary, because many problems and customer questions will come up again and again.

Caring and enthusiasm. You want a team who genuinely likes what they do and cares about the people with whom they're engaging. The goal of social media is engagement, and you want everyone to have a positive experience when dealing with your business and your brand. Caring and enthusiasm creates a positive experience, especially when someone on your team goes above and beyond for a customer or potential customer.

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