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How to evolve your social media structure and team — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Don Vanderslice of SocialMedia.org. Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

9:35 — SocialMedia.org’s Kurt Vanderah introduces Grainger’s Social Business Leader, Sherri Maxson.

9:37 — As a member of SocialMedia.org for over five years, Sherri explains that she has brought three different companies on board. She says, “We’re all on this journey together.”

9:39 — Sherri: Most social media teams start out with an internal champion (a superhero).

9:40 — According to Sherri, The Champion helps the business answer the question: Who owns social? This is the first and most important question. If you’re still talking about who owns it then you’re still on the foundational level.

9:41 — Sherri: Get all the key players together to figure out a strategy and ask the question: What problem are we trying to solve?

9:42 — Sherri says every business is a snowflake — every business is different.

9:43 — The Champion asks himself/herself, “What team is needed to make this work?” The team has the following objectives:  

  1. Prioritize the work based on business needs and objectives.  
  2. Determine the functions needed to bring the work forward (internal focus / external focus / shared resources).
  3. Review your options: Most brands (59%) adopt a Hub and Spoke or a Multi Hub & Spoke model.

9:45 — See Jeremiah Owyang’s models

9:45 — Sherri share the State of the Social Business Team:

  • Only 20% of business have dedicated social teams
  • 82% of teams have less than three people
  • 42% is a one person team

9:47 — Most teams feel their efforts are intermediate level (64%) and are keeping their head above water with new tools and platforms (54%). Take heart — you are not that far behind!

9:45 — Altimeter 2013 State of Social: Most businesses feel they are still in mid-stages of their journey. Most companies are working on social customer care and getting customer care trained. Digital and social sales are becoming more formalized within social.

9:51 — This is a never ending journey! As the business gets more social, needs increase.

9:53 — Leverage other parts of the business to continue the journey (customer service, digital, research, marketing, and PR). Move forward and train so that it is more than the social media team doing social.

Q & A:

Q: Can you talk about your experience in developing an executive champion?

A: The person who hired me wanted to get everyone in the business on social. I had to put together an approach. I went to an executive and introduced myself and measured their response to social. I got our champion through that process. It was the CMO, and once that person embraced it the whole company embraced it. If you can anchor your beta test on something that is of value to the business from the executive level, then you can grow social by leaps and brands. Don’t oversell social – Never say, “It will solve ALL of our problems!” Focus on one or two issues.

Q: How do you structure a small team to focus on all the priorities of the business that social is responsible for and to do a good job?

A: Focus on the foundation, like the content calendar and engagement. Look for other parts of the business that is producing and writing content. Train other units within the organization to do social. Agencies can help. But you own the things that are important to your business: listening and responding to your customer. Do not farm these out.

Q: How do you expand social to employees that advocate social within their business units?

A: Our role is to teach the business. My role is to be an advocate: to train executives and teach them how to do social. Break it down into small beta and get it right. Your approach is critical to help train and grow executive support.

Q: In adding staff we tend to go junior … but what are the competencies we are looking for? Should we hire more seasoned employees?

A: Go senior! You need people who have been around the block — those who get business. These are the folks who can truly train other employees. The core team is the one responsible for enterprise-wide buy-in.

December 10, 2013 0 comments

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