The marketing journey isn’t always a linear one for most team managers and many gain experience by rising through the ranks and learning through different roles over the years. Roles like public relations, content creation, creative or account services all serve as invaluable real-world experiences that allow for great social media marketing to take place.
The responsibility of leading a social team often comes as a result of hard work and dedication that leads to a promotion. But in these unusual times, this process may have been accelerated by restructuring or downsizing due to Covid19.
Some marketing department employees may have been let go in an effort to save businesses and this means that marketers will have to begin taking on new, additional roles as a result. Like the management of a social media team for the first time.
If you are one of those marketing people who has found themselves having to manage a social media team with not much to go on, the first thing you should do is to try and understand what the social media team is all about.
Make an effort to observe the many demands that they are faced with on a day to day basis. This will provide you with some insight into the many valuable, challenging and growing responsibilities that social media teams take on every day.
Social media can be a powerful tool for business growth when used in the right way and leading a team will mean that you will need to get up to speed quickly. Aim to have a good understanding in a short space of time of what it means to be helpful to your social team to advance your social strategy and overall marketing goals.
Below are some tools that you can use to effectively gain a brief understanding of what social media is, how it should be used, and what to consider when working with your team. These tools will also help you to align business and social goals, protect your team’s mental health and encourage a productive working relationship.
Get to know your social team
This step is crucial. If you are not familiar with how social media teams work, think and feel then ask them. Genuine curiosity will go a long way and will be appreciated.
Getting to know your social team and how they work means asking questions like:
- Who is our target audience?
- Which social platforms are we focusing on and why?
- If a new brand finds itself with a limited budget, how can we get this brand discovered and increase its visibility and voice on social?
- How are we using social media data? Is there a system in place to track and report on metrics? If not, what do we need to do to put one in place?
- What metrics are we reporting on and what do those metrics mean? Ask for specific definitions if you need them.
- How can I make your job easier and help you achieve your social goals?
Find ways to collaborate with your social media team
As a team leader, you may have different directives from higher up, maybe ones that focus more on growing the business rather than increasing engagement on social. Collaborate with your team to see how those different goals can be achieved in unison.
For example, as a team leader, you may feel that growing the social audience should be a primary goal while the social team might be more focused on increasing brand awareness. The good news, one goal helps achieve the other because growing your audience shows that you have increased brand awareness.
Acknowledge that you are not the expert
Part of the social media team’s job is to spend time interacting, communicating and catering to their audience every day. By doing this, they are able to gather a wealth of valuable information that will help to inform their strategy down the line.
They rely on and use details like:
- Who their audience is
- What type of content their audience enjoys
- What their audience expects from a certain brand on social
Team leaders, such as yourself, should be more focused on bigger picture goals, right? Goals that usually involve finding ways to support other departments. Rather than concerning yourself with more nuanced social media details that your social team needs to consider in order to fulfil their goals, choose to focus on the bigger picture and let your team take care of the finer details.
Being a team leader means acknowledging and respecting that your social team is made up of experts and trusting them to come up with appropriate campaigns, strategies and tactics based on their extensive knowledge. Give them the much-needed space to be creative to do what they do best.