How to take your social media team to the next level

Success on social media starts with a solid strategy, but what else? As our Digital & Social Practice Director, Sarah Blower, says social function transformation is also crucial.

That’s because a brand’s social presence should, ideally, no longer be determined and run by a single voice within an organisation; as this setup leads to potential risk, especially as social has become a business function within its own right – on par with marketing or PR teams. And with this level of standing, the social media team now needs to reflect the needs of internal and external stakeholders right across the business, and all around the world.

So, what do we mean by ‘social function transformation’? Why should organisations consider it? And how can they get started? We spoke to Sarah to find out.

Realising the value of investing

When it comes to business success in our digital world, having a strong online presence, as well as a strong internal setup is vital. And there are a few sure-fire signs that a social function transformation could positively impact your business:

  • If you’re struggling to identify, create, and execute social content at speed, this could be a symptom of an ill-structured social function that limits your potential results.
  • Do you have tangible objectives for your social programmes and are you hitting them? Think about where there are gaps.
  • Do you feel like your voice on social is different to your brand voice? If so, do you feel like this issue has a clear solution?
  • Is there a lack of social expertise or resource at the right levels of your business, so communications are never elevated beyond the day-to-day?
  • Does your social strategy perform well, but the execution of it seems to be missing something extra to put you above competitors?
  • Are there issues with streamlining the way your markets work with a centralised global team, which holds you back from truly measuring your impact?

If any of these ring true, by committing to a social media function transformation and setting clear objectives – tailored to your goals – you can maximise the impact of social for your business, while increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

Bringing your transformation to life

Having established why a social function transformation could be needed, the next question is: how can your organisation make this a reality? Sarah’s step-by-step guide can help get the best results.

  • Step #1: Conduct immersive internal research

It all starts with getting a good understanding of your business landscape through immersion interviews with key social stakeholders. This can be anyone from the CEO to the community manager, as well as taking in a total cross-section of your business. Anyone who relies on your brand’s social presence as part of their job should be considered at this information-gathering phase.

During this session, make sure to cover bespoke questions tailored to your business’ pain points, and encourage open sharing in a completely confidential setting.

  • Step #2: Benchmark against best practice

Then step back and analyse the information to benchmark how your social function currently operates against best practice performance seen in advanced social teams. This process will help you find common themes and anomalies, before assessing the information against key elements of high-performing social functions to supply an overall rating.

  • Step #3: Highlight areas of priority

Next, take a completely honest and objective look at where this rating places your team, and group priorities to guide initial change. Here, keep in mind your business’ short and long-term goals to identify the most important challenges that, when overcome, will bring the best results. And don’t forget to collect metrics along the way, as these will help you monitor progress and make the case for investment.

  • Step #4: Recommend actions to be taken

Finally, use all the information gathered to develop a roadmap with tangible solutions to transform your social function long-term, while also addressing current issues quickly.

Turning an idea into a success story

Although businesses can take on this challenge internally, it’s best to seek an impartial external perspective to enable benchmarking, as this creates room for honest discussions about how to improve performance and, therefore, leads to greater, more beneficial change.

Sarah put it simply: “we’re confident in our process because we’ve done this before – and we’ve seen our clients’ outstanding results. We don’t simply work with clients to ensure success, we become a strategic partner – an extension of their social function – and our work has enabled them to move forward with a defined internal structure for social management. In many cases, helping clients show other stakeholders in the business the transformation’s necessary, when thoughts of social function refinement had never previously progressed beyond a circular discussion.”

Every client and challenge is different, but our team of experts have the in-depth knowledge to share a completely honest view of your situation, as well as the practical, transformational changes we can help you implement.

Taking the first step

Social function transformation is varied for every business, and can be structured to work with the practicalities and policies within any organisation – all to supercharge performance and business results.

Social media is only growing, so there’s no better time to invest. If you’re ready to relook at your social strategy (or start defining it), this comes hand in hand with ensuring you have a strong social function. After all, when put together, this is key to unlocking success and outperforming competitors.

And we aren’t limited to social. If your comms, marketing or PR function could do with a refresh, we’ve got the skills to help. We have internal specialists, like Sarah, with the know-how to understand what you want to achieve and help you take steps to get there.

Have questions? Email [email protected] to find out more.