How to Master Being a One Person Social Media Team

Being a one person social media team can be overwhelming. As a one person social media team, you need to wear multiple hats ranging from editorial planning as an editor, content collaboration as a program manager, social media outreach as a marcom person to analytics as a data analyst. Is it possible to do it all? I spotted him right away at the Social Media Strategies Summit.

Daniel certainly stood out in the crowd with his green hair. I was wondering what the dude with the green hair was all about. We happened to sit at the same table in one of the sessions. After a brief introduction, he told me he is the social media manager for an antivirus and security software company. I discovered that he was a one person social media team. How is he effective at being a one person social media team?

According to Daniel, it’s hard to be a one person social media team (of course, he wants to have more headcount and budget. Who doesn’t?); the trick is to leverage others’ skills, expertise, and resources whenever you can. Here are some tips he shared with me:

Continuously educate other teams on what social media marketing can offer

In big enterprises, not every marketer or stakeholder fully understands the value of social media and the way to do it right and efficiently. Continuous education is still necessary. Cyber security is a technical and popular topic; blogging is an ideal way to communicate the potential threats and proposed solutions. Most companies have their blog site as part of their main sites; this company created a separate blog site to address antivirus and cyber security topics.  11 technical experts regularly blog on various security-related topics. According to Daniel, their main website focuses on making it easy for customers to “buy” products and customer support. A separate site with security as part of domain name not only solely showcases their technical experts, but also serves well for the organic search purposes. Educating and promoting social media marketing never stops.

Integrate yourself into various marketing functions

Daniel is part of the PR team. The PR team understands how fast news (especially bad news) spread across social media channels. PR and social media go hand-in-hand. Daniel is also fully integrated with other marketing functions such as media, event, marcom etc., The event team invites Daniel to their planning forums, so Daniel is the amplifier for their events prior to, during and after the event.

The content creators invite Daniel to their meetings so Daniel can provide feedback on the ideal formats for outbound social media communications before content formats are finalized. The social media team can’t function as an island; social media marketing works the best when it’s fully integrated into other marketing efforts.

Editorial planning is key When You’re a One Person Social Media Team

You can’t do social media without editorial planning. This company has offices in the US, Canada, Singapore, Brazil and London. Daniel manages social media for the US, but he works closely with the corporate team. A centralized editorial calendar (yes, it’s in Excel. He is looking for other tools.) is established; everyone who is interested in social media communications, content creation, and promotion can access and update the editorial calendar.

A regular meeting is also set up to ensure close communications between the headquarters and regions. Daniel also works with technical experts to put out timely posts to reflect real-time events. When the customer data from Anthem, the 2nd largest health insurer in the US, was breached, their subject matter expert immediately crafted a post with information about the breach and 5 defensive tips everyone can take. Editorial serves as a catalyst to engage or converse with your audience. Editorial plans also need to be fluid, to “hijack” real-time events to provide timely and informative content to your audience.

One format of content doesn’t fit all

Daniel stresses that it’s important to put content in the right context. Copywriting for Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn is slightly different, that’s why social media marketing is time-consuming and hard to do right. Promotion-centric may work well on Twitter, but it does not necessary work well on LinkedIn. Thought leadership content may work better on LinkedIn, while humorous posts or infographics work better on Facebook.

Even though you have buyers personas, the same buyer persons use each social media channel differently. Same copy, same content or even the same image may not work across all channels. You need to tweak based on what you want to communicate and how your audiences use the respective channels. Your audience uses different social media channels for different reasons.

It takes time to get management buy-in

When I was talking to Daniel, he told me that management is finally considering hiring more social media managers. He won’t be a lone ranger for long. His close alliance with various marketing functions, the sales team, and technical experts helps management see the value of social media communications. He lets other employees talk about the value of social media. Besides, it helps that Twitter and Facebook also serve as a customer service channel. The essence of social media marketing is to help your customers first. Marketing comes after being helpful to them.

Data and analytics are your BFF’s

He uses various analytics to monitor qualitative and quantitative data. A lot of social media management or syndication tools have embedded analytics. He emphasizes: “Know your tools and their features!” Numbers of views, likes and shares are important, but he focused on comments and the persons who made comments.  He made an effort to correlate the names with his company’s CRM database and share comments and other intelligence with the sales team.

Be a One Person Social Media Team

Daniel can’t do it all; he relies on a virtual team and tools to bring the company’s social media efforts to live. By talking to my industry peers, I also realized that most companies’ social media teams are small with limited budgets and lack of processes and tools. The trick is to build alliances with other stakeholders, create value for them and leverage their resources to help them to help you steadily build a one person social media team.

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