5 Communication Tips for Social Media Marketing Teams

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Because of the fluid nature of social media and the fact that content typically needs to be posted within a short timeframe to be successful, there are often communication issues between social media managers, marketers, designers, and company decision makers when it comes to handling particular issues.

The Hybrid Nature of Social Media Marketing Teams

As a social media marketer, it’s relatively easy to feel like you’re being bullied around or continually told what to do. And while “bullied” may not be the most accurate word, it’s true – you enjoy the job description of doing what others tell you. This has nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the fact that social media is an incredibly valuable tool for so many aspects of a business.

The larger marketing department uses social media as a critical component of the overall marketing strategy. The PR department uses social media to drum up buzz surrounding a new launch or event. The sales team likes social media for its ability to attract leads and convert sales. Designers like to use social media to get feedback on new projects and showcase their work. Company decision makers and upper management constantly want to see data and analytics. The list goes on and on.

Instead of being overwhelmed, you should be flattered. Everything the average 21st century business does touches social media in some way. That’s a great responsibility on your part, but leads to a vital question: How can you effectively communicate with so many different groups and still produce results?

5 Valuable Communication Tips

While it’s impossible to address the concerns of every business, the following communication tips have helped many businesses improve communications between social media marketing teams and other internal departments.

1. Use Task Management Tools and Software

If you’re not taking full advantage of the available technology you have at your fingertips, you’re probably not maximizing your full communication potential. There are plenty of task management tools and software available today that allow large groups to share ideas, post files, assign tasks, and collaborate from virtually anywhere. Even if everyone is in a single office, having a task management program allows you to eliminate confusion and consolidate ideas.

According to this blog post from Invision, an app that uses social media to facilitate interactions between stakeholders, communication is changing in just about every industry – including social media. “I’ve seen solid designers and developers botch a project through miscommunication alone, and develop poor relationships as a consequence. I’ve also seen novice designer-developer teams work together to deliver amazing results,” Nick Schaden writes.

When choosing a task management platform, you’ll have to consider all your individual and personal business needs. Ultimately it will come down to one thing: How it works with your current structure and setup. As Mike Vardy, Founder and President of Productivityist, writes, “The solution you choose needs to respond well to your existing workflow environment, so you can quickly and easily achieve your desired workflow, with the least amount of interruption to your activity.”

2. Have Two Regular Meetings Per Day

One of the more practical pieces of advice is to hold two regular meetings each day. These meetings should involve one person from each department that you interact with on a regular basis and should be held in the early morning and late afternoon. Limit the meetings to 15 or 20-minutes, in order to cut back on small talk and instill a sense of urgency.

Morning meetings should be used to brief everyone on what you’ll be doing for the day, as well as share details with other departments. Make it clear that, unless something extremely timely and critical pops up in the course of the day, all major requests must be brought up during this meeting. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until the afternoon meeting to bring up new ideas. It’s during this later meeting that you wrap up the day’s activities and prepare for the next day’s tasks and projects.

3. Agree on Terminology

It may not seem like anything major, but something as small as terminology can make or break communication. All parties need to agree upon and use the same vocabulary and language in order to avoid confusion and keep things moving. For example, are potential customers referred to as “leads” or “opportunities?” Will you call dedicated sales pages “landing pages” or “squeeze pages?” Consistent terminology can greatly diminish the likelihood of making costly mistakes.

4. Have a Clear Chain of Command

Does everyone know who they report to when it comes to social media? There needs to be a clear chain of command, otherwise people will delegate tasks and take control of certain projects without any rhyme or reason.

If you have a large enough social media marketing team, you may want to delegate one “point person” to communicate with each department. This ensures that when the sales department has a request, they know who to report to, and when the design team has a question, they understand where to go, as well. This helps everyone stay organized and on-track.

5. Build a Smarketing Team

The fifth and final tip is to build what’s commonly referred to as a “smarketing” team. This is simply a hybrid between the sales and marketing department. The goal of this group is to achieve big-picture company goals, as opposed to smaller departmental goals. Ask upper management whether this is an option and try to include at least two or three members of each department on the team.

While it sounds simple and neat on paper, building a valuable smarketing team takes careful planning and an ounce or two of patience. “These two groups are accustomed to working separately and blaming their faults on each other’s job performance, whether or not it is the truth,” writes Laura Sievert of SyneCore, an online marketing and digital technology company. Once you find a way to get past this, you’ll discover the true value of this team.

Learn to Love Communication

If there’s one thing you have to learn to love when working on a social media marketing team, it’s communication. Some days you’ll feel like you’re being pulled in every direction, but most of the time you’ll feel important and needed. By using these five communication tips, you can enhance cross-departmental interactions and ensure everyone is on the same page.

 

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