facebook social mediatwitter social mediaAccording to CEO of Ragan Communications Mark Ragan, social media is revolutionizing communications. All of us here at Cook + Schmid completely agree! Social media differs from traditional media in its reach, timeliness and usability – simply put, it reaches a lot of people quickly and easily.

Long gone are the days of calling your friends to catch up or sending a Christmas card via snail mail (at least if you’re in Gen Y). Nowadays, it’s all about sending Facebook comments, tweeting and sending e-cards. While this is becoming the norm on a personal level, businesses and organizations are also ramping up their social media efforts to effectively communicate with their key stakeholders.But social media management is no small task. Consistently creating relevant social content, tracking interactions, and monitoring analytics can constitute a job in itself. And for smaller agencies especially,  juggling the daily tasks of emails, account coordination and social media management can seem daunting.

So how do we as PR professionals handle it all?

To answer, Cook + Schmid has devised a fool-proof plan to structuring a social media team in just five easy steps based on the recent Ragan Communications whitepaper ― Structuring a Social Media Team.

1. GOAL SETTING― First off, what is the purpose of your social media efforts?

  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Increase traffic to your website?
  • Improve corporate reputation?
  • Generate leads?
  • Increase sales?
  • Improve customer service?

By goal setting and establishing benchmarks early on, your business will be better equipped to follow through on social media management and monitoring. Plus, your social media team needs to know what they’re working towards.

2. SIZE ― Dividing the tasks associated with social media makes it a more manageable task. According to a survey conducted by Ragan Communications, 42 percent of businesses have one person working exclusively on social media, while nine percent report teams of more than six people. As PR pros, we are acutely aware of the fact that two brains are better than one. So while the size of your staff will inevitably determine the size of your social media team, it is important to understand that one person alone cannot have all the creative juice and corporate knowledge to execute comprehensive key messaging. With that in mind, social media efforts need to be a team effort. Social CRM strategist Joakim Nilsson reminds us that while PR/marketing departments may head social media efforts, thriving companies such as Dell, HP and Starbucks utilize help from various departments within their corporations to draw up a social media strategy with joint goals.

3. TEAM ― Involving the right people in your social media efforts is critical to your online success. It is critical to identify key player(s) in your agency that have the experience and social finesse to really execute top-notch posts, while collaborating with the multifaceted entities within your agency. Once key team players are identified for your social media team, they need to be assigned specific tasks related to your social media efforts (i.e. content creation, monitoring interactions, analytics, etc.).
Google  Sticker Icon resized 600
LinkedIn Sticker Icon (1) resized 600
4.CONTENT ― Content marketing is all the rage right now and this is no different with your social media pages. All social media team members must be clear on what type of content will be posted on social channels. Sometimes this involves monitoring how certain types of updates fare with your followers. For instance, blogs might not get much traction via LinkedIn, so you may consider posting on Google+ instead. Over time, you will find which types of content work on each social platform.

*To further ensure the cohesiveness and suitability of your posts, your agency can implement a social media policy. Learn more here.

5. TIME ― Not only is it time consuming to create attention-grabbing social media content, but it is equally exerting to monitor all your social analytics (i.e. Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Twitter interactions, LinkedIn statistics, etc.), as well as respond to inquiries and complaints that may arise on your page. By dividing social media assignments into more manageable tasks, your team can accomplish weekly social media efforts in a judicious manner, while also saving time. Here at Cook + Schmid, our account executive Kalie Standish manages all Twitter efforts covering industry trends and in-house updates, while account coordinator Angela Rivera coordinates Google+ efforts promoting agency blogs and media clips – both collaborate on post ideas to ensure cohesiveness across all social pages. Your agency might take a different approach to social media management, though. Your team might divide tasks by the type of social media channel used (like Cook + Schmid) or you might divide tasks on a more micro-level such as assigning one employee to content creation, publishing and/or monitoring.Often times, social media adds extra work to a PR pro’s already existing pile of tasks, but it does not have to be a daunting job if implemented in a manageable and consolidated way.

Images provided by DesignBolts

describe the image