Whether you outsource your social media management or hire a dedicated employee to handle your business’s social media needs, certain practices need to be in place. The following is a list of recommended best practices that should form the basis of your organization’s social media management checklist:
- Make sure that all roles are clearly assigned and that everyone involved with your social media understands what their responsibilities are.
- Use an organizational chart so that participants, other company employees, and agents have visibility to who does what regarding social media. This chart should list and map all critical social media participants, provide a description of their role and their contact information, and be kept up to date.
- Because technology is at the center of your social media, it is the social media manager’s responsibility to work closely with the IT department and other technology partners to ensure that all technical requirements are met. All technologies—from software and interfaces to bandwidth and licenses—must also be updated, maintained, and properly deployed. This too is the social media manager’s responsibility.
- Make sure that all procedures and guidelines for social media activities and protocols are routinely reviewed and is followed by the staff. Monthly reviews will work for most organizations but be prepared to make changes to your guideline documents on the fly if need be.
- Ensure that all social media–related training for employees and outside partners is either completed or scheduled to be completed.
- Make sure that all objectives and targets are clearly outlined. Objectives should be made clear to the entire organization. Team objectives and goals should be communicated and assigned accordingly, on down to individual targets and goals.
- Project schedules should be posted and available to all employees and outside partners. The plan should include upcoming meetings, media releases, product releases, special events, editorial calendars, and all activities pertinent to the social media program.
- How to best manage communications between all elements of a social media program, including external partners and agencies, is a matter of personal choice. Three daily activities usually take care of the program’s communications planning:
- Start every day with a short team briefing. First, review the overall objectives and update everyone on where they stand concerning their individual targets.
- Second, if any events of note are coming up (such as a product launch, a magazine review, or a tradeshow), this is an excellent time to bring it up. Start with the most immediate events and work your way into what may be pertinent that week, then that month.
- Third, bring up some critical issues from the previous day. This is an excellent time to ask members of the team to talk about anything of note: how they dealt with a difficult customer, whether new software is difficult to manage, and so on. This is also an excellent time to answer questions, get some clarity or closure about something that happened the day before, and then move on.
- Lastly, state any particular kind of item you want your team to focus on that day. Wish them a great day and let them get back to work. Daily briefings should last no more than 10–15 minutes. Share notes from the meeting by either posting them to a shared file or sending via email.
As you can see, having good communication is critical to managing social media effectively. When interviewing an employee or consultant to provide social media management for your organization, you can also use this list to weed out the individuals that don’t truly know how social media needs to be managed.