The days of social media being just an auxiliary marketing tool are long gone. According to The Manifest, 85 percent of businesses with more than 51 employees have invested in social media, while another survey shows that 73 percent of small companies have dabbled in social media marketing. What’s more, 95 percent of small businesses are planning to raise their marketing budgets.
While there are many tools marketers can use to manage multiple social platforms and plan their campaigns, a full-scale social media marketing campaign is challenging for one person to manage alone. With a growing number of social media networks for marketers to manage, social media marketing is becoming an increasingly collaborative business function.
More than Just Marketing
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If you’re one of those businesses that think social media is just good for hawking your products, then it’s time to rethink your social media strategy. Today, social media is a means for building communities, providing customer support, and much more. In fact:
- Around 63 percent of social media users expect some form of customer service delivered over social media.
- Nine out of 10 users directly establish contacts with brands on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms.
- At least a third of customers go to social media to complain about or praise a brand.
There are other benefits, as well. Having a social media presence can help you become more credible. It also allows you to stretch your ad dollars because you can serve up interesting content related to your ad campaigns. As 81 percent of consumers do some research online before making a purchase, this strategy can influence buying decisions.
Plus, it’s cost-effective for many businesses. Organic social media posts are free, and advertising and other paid promotions often cost less than what you would pay for similar campaigns in traditional media. The most significant benefit of social media, however, is that you’re able to engage your customers in a way that makes it more personal and authentic.
Customer Engagement on Social Media
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Social media enables you to be closer to your customers. It’s a two-way street that enables both brands and their customers to start a conversation and develop a relationship.
Social Media Marketing Thrives on Collaboration
What’s apparent is that in 2021, social media is no longer just the responsibility of your marketing department. Every department can play a role in your social media marketing campaigns, from sales to customer service, right down to frontliners and creatives.
For instance, the American Press Institute found that more than the actual content, people on social media are more likely to trust a news item if the site loads fast, with ads that do not interfere with what they’re reading, and displays well on mobile devices. Another consideration is how your content uses visuals, such as lists, charts, and videos.
With close to eight out of every 10 users saying that visuals are essential, you will need to add them to your content, pronto, and that means leveraging graphic designers, photographers, and other professionals.
Your Social Media Team
Your social media team includes the core people who will be working on your social media profiles, ads, and overall social media campaigns. The social media manager is tasked with bringing it all together.
Most social media teams include a content creator and curator, who is responsible for all the content your brand puts out there. A community manager engages your users in all conversations and focuses on building relationships with your audience, as well as boosting your brand visibility.
Your team may also have a team member who handles all ads that you pay for on social media, while an influencer manager handles relationships with the influencers you partner with across these platforms. A social media analyst studies trends, tools, and platforms to discover what’s working and what’s not, as well as uncover potential opportunities.
Another important member of a social media team is a graphic designer or video editor who works with the content creator to create eye-catching, on-brand visuals for social media posts and ads.
These team members need to collaborate and work together to make your social media campaigns a success. But this core team will also work with stakeholders and representatives from other departments, such as:
- Brand manager
- Legal department
- Sales department
- Public relations
- Product expert
- Customer service team
The brand manager knows the business or product inside out. They will be able to give the social media team everything they need to present a consistent tone, campaign style, and brand characteristics. The brand manager should know what the social media team is doing. Consequently, the social media team should consult with the brand manager whenever there is a campaign to be launched.
Nobody knows the law better than your legal department, so it’s best to get them involved if you have social media campaigns. They will be the best people to ask if a particular campaign involves any legalities that should be considered, such as trademarks. The legal department can filter through everything that the company says publicly, including on social media. The legal department might see something in planned campaign posts or ads that could be damaging to the company, allowing you to revise your content before putting it out into the world.
Your sales team is the frontliner when it comes to customers and your products. They already know how to close a deal, they communicate with customers daily, and they’re skilled at building relationships with them. The social media team can gather insights from sales representatives on what customers want. They can also provide materials to your sales reps that can be helpful for lead generation or educating prospects at various stages in the buyer’s journey.
Your company’s public relations team is tasked with protecting the company’s reputation. They are the ones who can tell you what needs to be avoided, what can be said, and how to contain public relations nightmares. Because social media is inherently unpredictable, you will need your PR department to put out any fires and provide guidance to prevent issues from turning into a full-blown crisis.
Aside from the brand manager, you will also need the skills and knowledge of the product expert who knows everything about the products you are selling, as well as the target market. The product expert will be able to tell you which features are best promoted at a particular time and what matters most to certain target consumers or audience segments.
Customer service representatives are the best ones to handle complaints on social media, so you’ll want to have them in your corner as well.
Improving Collaboration to Boost Social Media Performance
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Each social media post, campaign, and strategy now involves a sizable team. While involving more stakeholders in your social media marketing efforts can improve your results, that happens only when the team works together cohesively. As you add each new member to the team, the dynamics change, and collaboration becomes more difficult.
The Tools You Can Use for Collaboration
The good news is that you have several tools you can fall back on to make it easier for you to work together, regardless of whether you’re all in the same office or working in different locations. Some team members might even work across the globe.
There are communication tools that allow you to brainstorm ideas, talk about strategy, or provide updates to the entire team, such as GoToMeeting, Flowdock, and Slack. There are also project management tools you can use to make sure that everybody knows their part in a campaign and if they’re delivering what’s needed. These tools, such as Monday.com, Asana, Trello, ProofHub, and many others, also provide an excellent way to organize your projects and keep up with schedules and due dates.
Furthermore, you can create content with other members using tools such as Google Docs or Quip. You can even create community forums and knowledge bases that allow you to manage product-related information all in one place, with content that’s either created by your team or by your most avid customers.
The beauty of these tools is that they are mostly found on the cloud, which means that you and your social media team can access them from any device to communicate and collaborate on campaigns. But what happens if any one of these apps fails or becomes inaccessible? That can mean a lot of headaches for you and your team. It can mean missed deadlines, failed communications, and even mishandled complaints and crises.
To avoid this, there’s another essential tool to add to the mix: application performance management (APM). APM tools allow you to detect problems with your apps and proactively address issues, resulting a positive user experience for your team members and ensuring they can access the tools they need to collaborate, develop incredible social media campaigns, and execute them flawlessly.
Social media had made it possible for consumers to initiate conversations with the brands they love. It’s different from how marketing was done just a decade ago, when companies had total control of the messaging they delivered to consumers. These changes require a new way to work that involves more people using the right collaboration tools — and making sure that these tools do not fail.
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