Over the past 5 years, we’ve seen hundreds of Social Media agencies and Social Media departments within corporate emerge in commerce space. Setting up a social media agency perhaps, maybe one of the simplest business ideas – A computer, a fairly decent marketing knowledge with working knowledge of social media sites, and presto you’ve begun!
True, many agencies would have come to existence this way, but the functioning of a social media arm may not be as simple. Brands are serious about capitalizing from this medium than ever before. So, resources like college trainees and interns may be a thing of the past. It is essential that a social media team have all the capable resources and equipped well to address fun and quirky communication as well as crisis management. Here are my quick pointers to draw up a social media workforce plan.
- Leadership: A mid to senior level experienced professional gives the much needed brand and market insights for creating a social strategy that otherwise lacks in most brands on social media. It is very important that an agency understands the big picture of the brand and thereby the responsibility of brand communication that may need to be aligned to the brand objectives, voice, personality and tone. More often than not, this would be your most important hire for this division.
- The Hands: These would be the resources for day-today account management and servicing. Don’t mistake these resources to be cheap, inexperienced trainees. We have seen a large number of social media faux pas instances for some of the most famous brands and would be better off not acquiring untrained hands to manage accounts. Hires with marketing and digital education would be an advantage for these roles.
- Defined Roles: Due to low cost of client acquisition/retainer in the industry, a number of agencies assign a single resource for content creation, servicing, analyses, reporting, advertising among other functions. It is imperative that there are defined roles for each social media profile. It is absolutely fine for one executive to handle multiple clients so long as he/she specializes in one or two aspects and not all. Such a decision reduces the dependency of the account on one executive as also exposes them to multiple category clients to work with.
- Tools: Most social networks provide their own page insights with varying data. Facebook, has evolved its page insights to one of the most comprehensible yet deep data for an analyst. Seasoned brands on social media who are used to seeing the screen grabs and data points from FB and other social sites are now willing to invest in tools to see varying data points and graphical representation. It’s also mandatory to invest in a social listening tool for reputation management for any brand. Tools like Simplify360 offer the ability of reporting as well as monitoring
- The Machines: A social workforce is incomplete without the most up to date devise and gadgets in the house. Since social media is a 24 X 7 phenomena, you’d prefer to start with personalized laptops for all so that there is portability of work. You may also like to check before hiring if an individual owns smartphone and home connection. If not, the same should be arranged for them. Tablets and Ipad help greatly for LIVE events in capturing images, live tweeting and short videos. A good quality HD camera also sets the premise for the agency being perceived as progressive and initiative. Content creation is the most important fodder of a social strategy and one has to have the basics ready. A mix of android, IOS, Windows platforms under the same roof smoothens to testing of websites and applications too.
While the above pointers come from best practices, there are of course a lot more other parameters to practice to ensure smooth and successful running. Remember, Social Media needs to be given the importance and best efforts it deserves. There is also the constant learning curve that comes along with this media as it is ever changing with its features, platforms and most importantly user behavior!