What could you do with a larger social media department?
If you said “a lot”, you are not alone. In the ever-expanding world of the social world, there is a lot of land to cover. Companies are finally waking up to the fact that sending the same message to a few platforms is over. When social comes primary communication channel for multiple brands, the average social media team structure needs to change quickly.
In a big attitude, the social media profession is relatively new. Leaders who have worked in society since the beginning are now mapping out unknown waters by answering critical questions such as: How do I prevent burns? What career paths can I create for my team? What comes next?
If you ask similar questions, it may be time to expand your social team. Keep reading the signs, it’s time to grow your department, and advice on how you can build a stable enclosure for your new lease.
3 characters is the time to expand the social media department
Hiring is a big decision. Recruitment is often a long and expensive process that takes time from multiple parties. However, the cost of waiting can be higher than the cost of a leap. If you’re debating whether it’s time to publish this description, here are some of the characters you’re looking for:
1. Growth stops
Your results are consistent and you maintain the quality of your content, but you no longer see growth toward your own target information. The silence of growth can be due to many basic reasons, but if your team is stuck in one you can’t shake, bandwidth can be to blame.
How this will help your case
Social is constantly evolving, and what is needed to achieve your goals today can be a fraction of what it will take tomorrow. Consumer social media use grows explosively, making a brand the market leader will only become more competitive.
To maintain momentum, marketers need to spend even more time crippling social information to get information about what resonates with customers. If there is no time, expanding the social media department is the only path towards ensuring that you have resources dedicated to both strategy and implementation.
2. You lack commitment
On average, brands get 129 incoming social dialogues per day. The more people you reach, the more you attract. Responding to every interaction may feel like an uphill battle, but commitment is too important to crash. If you don’t respond to your audience, building loyalty is much harder.
How this will help your case
Customers have several ways interact with your brand with social. In addition to the usual likes and comments, they can leave reviews, distribute support requests, and mark brands as thanks (or worse, complaints).
By 2021 Sprout Social Index ™, consumers say that strong customer service and public engagement are the two most important factors that make a brand the best social in its class. As more and more consumers take their events online, the responsiveness of social media continues to play a greater role in customer satisfaction.
3. No time for cooperation
Social media is a collaborative profession in nature. Social information can talk about marketing, product plans, competitive analysis, sales tactics and more. In the same way, team members outside of marketing can broaden their perspective to refine your message and content decisions.
How this will help your case
By 72% of managers surveyed, social data is already the main source of information used to inform business decisions, even more so than market research. If your insights live in a marketing silo, your business may forget the interests of consumers.
Social can be changeable when managers have time to share their reports and collaborate with other managers throughout the company.
Questions to guide your growth strategy
There are many aspects to expanding a team. When it comes to social media departments, where career paths are often unclear, there are even more questions. New employees are changing team dynamics, opening pathways to specialization and creating new interest in career development.
But growth is not a normal process. The expansion strategy should be strictly in line with the current and future needs of your company and industry. For example, the growth path of the social department of an e-commerce brand looks completely different from a team working in a college. Where to look for strategy planning social trade initiatives, the other is likely to see a greater need for a community leader to connect with current and future students.
Ask the following questions to find out which roles can have the biggest impact on your business:
- What is the biggest opportunity you are not currently using? A visible item in your to-do list. A project you want to start if you just had the time. The changes you know would give KPI a boost. As a social media leader, your answer to this question is likely to be a mile long, so focus on what you believe will make the biggest impact on your brand.
- How would you like to expand your skills? Planning to expand your social media department can start a new interest in your own career development. A picture where you want to see yourself in three to five years. Your answers will help identify key areas for growth as well as some responsibilities that may make sense to transfer to a new employee.
- Where do you think the social future is going? The only standard on social media is change. Platforms, features, and trends can rise overnight, which means social marketers must always be one step ahead of the curve. If you have big bets on how social development is evolving – and how it can affect your brand – be sure to consider them.
- Where is your business going? Hire with the future in mind. Product launches, market expansion and new business opportunities affect the future of social strategy. As business continues all-in social, marketers are increasingly involved in strategic initiatives that drive brands forward, which can lead to new or changing priorities.
Once you have answered these questions, ask the rest of your team. Nor is it limited to direct reports. Often partners (or those you wish you had time to collaborate) offers new perspectives that can create a more holistic way of expanding.
A case for leadership
Justifying an increase in the number of people is always difficult, especially when you reach your goal. Between salaries, benefits and equipment, staff costs are rising rapidly. To get the green light, marketers need to sell an informed view of what your team could achieve more on hand on deck. Here’s how to do it:
Don’t let that be a surprise
Expanding the social media department is not a one-of-a-kind discussion. It is very unlikely that you will be able to start a meeting with a survey of a similar size so that you answer yes.
Instead, build your case over time with multiple stakeholders. When talking to top management, make sure they are aware of the business implications of a lack of bandwidth. This makes hiring a natural ongoing debate rather than an unexpected request.
Paint a certain vision
Instead of focusing on what your team has been able to achieve so far, share what you could achieve by adding staff. Use your answers to the questions above and tell us what your team is doing with the extra 40 hours of dedicated resources.
This is where your social information comes into play. If you understand how your team’s KPIs rise to broader marketing and company goals, you’ll probably know which drivers will help you achieve those goals. For example, if you’re trying to increase website traffic, you know what levers you can pull to increase visitors.
Use this top-down method to justify the increase in staff numbers so that managers have a better understanding of the value of the business generated by the new salary.
Highlight the risks
Due to the nature of the work, social media professionals are at high risk burnout. Burns cause flight risks. Studies show it the cost of replacing an experienced worker can vary by half or twice the employee’s annual salary. Simply put: ignoring the problem can and will pay in the long run.
Social media leaders are your company’s digital bodyguards. They take all the hits of your brand, from the misuse of driven trolls to a meaningful counterattack when your company makes a bad decision.
– ella Dawson (@brosandprose) June 16, 2020
If you and your team have been fighting an unsustainable workload for some time, give your management team some idea of the situation. Walk them through the steps you took to solve the problem and explain why hiring is the only viable path to balance.
Build your dream team
There’s no social media team structure that works for everyone, but if you have the vision, strategic planning, and leadership buying, you can achieve it in the state of your dreams. Now that you know how to make your case expandable, it’s time to plan for a role that will make an impact.
If you need inspiration, check it out this guide to social media organization charts. Inside, you’ll find insights from social marketing leaders behind Kaplan, Cielo Talent, and VMWare, as well as their insights into future social media organization charts.