Enterprise organisations are increasingly managing multiple social media accounts, with multiple objectives to deliver a mix of marketing, communications, community engagement and customer service results. The complexity associated with this type of social media environment requires close collaboration between all employees with access to corporate social media accounts, regardless of which team they reside in.
Yet in many cases, social media is still driven entirely by the marketing team, with little involvement or collaboration with other stakeholder teams or departments. Sound familiar?
One critical factor in successfully adopting enterprise social media across a complex organisation is therefore related to people – identifying and enabling the right people to deliver social media for the organisation. This can often be a collaboration of marketing teams, agency personnel, business unit managers, customer service advisors, as well as other interested stakeholders from HR, IT, Legal and Compliance. Coordinating these different groups of people each with different agendas and motivations can often be a challenging task. It is essential that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what their role is in delivering the social media plan to achieve its objectives.
Interested to read more about social media teams? Download a copy of The Complete Guide to Enterprise Social Media.
Identifying the right teams
It is important to map out which employees or departments should have access to corporate social media accounts, for what purpose, and what level of training and resources they require. Understanding the organisation’s objectives for using social media is a helpful step in the first instance in identifying who should be involved.
In enterprise environments social media typically brings together different teams that each have an important role to play, such as:
- Marketing – To deliver social media campaigns and branded content, and engage with the target audience.
- Customer Service – To answer customer questions or complaints received via social media.
- Sales – To respond to sales enquiries and manage leads that are generated on social media.
- HR – To promote and manage new career opportunities or recruitment activities.
- IT – To ensure compliance with internal technology standards or processes.
- Regional Managers – To oversee social activity or results associated with specific accounts or locations.
As well as defining “who” in the organisation is involved in delivering social media, it is important to understand “where” those employees will be delivering social media and “how” it will be delivered.
There are several different scenarios to consider depending upon the organisation’s infrastructure, its objectives for social media and its target audience. Social media teams can adopt one of several structures, or a hybrid approach:
Taking a centralised approach to social media
For organisations with national brands, products, customers or audiences, a more centralised approach to social media can often deliver the best results.
For example, a housing association may have several different corporate social media accounts across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc as well as one dedicated account to specifically provide customer service support for all of its residents. Both the marketing and customer support teams are located at Head Office from where they deliver social media campaigns and engagement and respond to all customer service enquiries.
This approach allows the organisation to coordinate all social media delivery from a central collaborative team.
Taking a localised approach to social media
For organisations that have multiple physical stores or sites, or have customers or audiences that are in distinct geographical locations, a localised approach can often deliver the best results, as it can provide tailored information and content for its local customers.
For example, a leisure centre operator with multiple locations across the UK, the organisation may create social media accounts for each leisure centre and allow the centre managers to access those accounts and post content. As well as having national marketing campaigns coordinated and delivered by the marketing team at Head Office through the local accounts.
This approach allows the team to respond quickly to customer questions or complaints they receive and provide the best possible customer service experience, engaging with their local community.
Choosing the right approach for your organisation is dependent on your objectives, however it is also fundamental to take into consideration the resourcing of your social media accounts. The worst-case scenario is setting up multiple local accounts for your customers to engage with, and then not being able to manage them all effectively.
This post is an excerpt from The Complete Guide to Enterprise Social Media. Download a free copy to read more about identifying the right people for your social media team and adopting the right team structure.