Top Building Blocks to Create the Perfect Large Social Media Team

By: Kate Zimmerman

September 17, 2015

Sentiment Analysis
Social Customer Care
Social Engagement
social listening
social media
Speech Analytics
text analytics

In order to handle all customer queries on social media, you need to have the right resources to be able to manage all mentions. Needless to say, your social media team is an integral, essential part of your company’s success to drive and improve customer satisfaction. Your social media team members are the voice of your brand and have a huge responsibility to deliver on a consistent, honest message.

What makes up a great social media team and helps you be successful? Which building blocks are key to be able to create the perfect, large social media team?

Here’s an overview of the building blocks we’ve learned about by talking to our users. Use them to your advantage to help you create the perfect social media team:

Create a Plan for Crisis Situations & Volume Peaks
Preparing for a crisis situation is not typically the first thing that comes to mind when you are starting to create your social media team.

However, the biggest test for large social media teams really is when there’s a big peak in volume. This is the moment you need to be able to call upon an extra pair of hands or you need to have a plan in place to help you handle a significantly higher workload. You can either predict them (e.g. when you just launched a killer marketing campaign that’s getting a lot of buzz) or they happen completely out of the blue. To help you prepare for the latter, you need to have a plan in place to take control of the situation and manage customer sentiment.

So how do you make sure your team is up for the challenge?

Here’s a list of elements to include in your plan to smoothly deal with volume peaks and trulywow your customers:

  • Make a list of responses for a wide variety of scenarios (e.g. strike, network deficiency, deadly accidents, etc.). Save these messages as drafts in your social media tool or create Canned Responses.
  • To quickly pass on information, create a status page you can easily direct your customers to update them with information.
  • Set up alerts/alarms to help you notify when, for example, there are over 50 messages landing in your social media inbox in just 15 minutes.
  • Enable team chat to have your social media team members quickly pass on key information internally to make sure you’re not sending out contradictory information.

Delegate: Give Every Team Member Their Own Responsibilities
Most social media teams make the distinction between social media operators and social media team leaders. Operators have granular access to a social media tool whereas team leaders are usually the administrators of a social media team. Their job is to make sure social media operators are successful at their job and are responsible to pass on key, relevant information within the entire organization and report, in most situations, to the Director of Customer Service or Customer Experience.

In order to truly become successful at social media engagement and providing social customer service on a large scale, capitalize on your employees’ individual strengths. Determine these strengths based on product knowledge, language capabilities, etc.

To get a better understanding of this, let’s take the example of an organization that has multiple brands. To reply seamlessly to mentions, you need to determine for each mention (or conversation) which brand they’re actually talking about. To do so you can use a tagging system that allows you to direct specific mentions to a dedicated mailbox. Each social media operator that has product knowledge about a couple of brands within your organization will then be responsible to respond to this mailbox.

Another question that pops up is, how do you make the distinction between a social media operator and leader and provide them with the right access?

The answer is easy: introduce User Roles to be able to identify what their roles are within your social media team. Beyond creating the typical User Roles like ‘Administrator’ or ‘Contributor, you also have the ability to improve flexibility within your tool and make sure each user is a Custom User Role, based on your company’s preferences.

Host Frequent, Company-Wide Meetings
Do you have the feeling like you’re working in silos and are unable to share relevant information gathered through social media to the right people?

When it comes to your social media team and their activities, it’s not only key to involve the marketing and customer service team in your company, it’s also key to include any department (e.g. R&D, HR, Sales, Customer Success, etc.).

To make sure you’re on the same page in the entire organization and closely align your goals with the other departments, host regular meetings to discuss your activities. A key example of a meeting you can host is to sit down on a monthly base with your marketing team and communicate when you expect peaks in volume to help your social media team prepare for this.

Make the exercise for your company. Keep in mind:

  • Which department has a direct impact on your social media team?
  • How often should you sit together? (e.g. on a weekly, monthly basis)
  • Which type of information should you share?

One thing that’s sure is that it would be unfortunate to let the wealth of information you gather about your product or service go to waste. In the Age of the Customer, it’s key to implement the feedback you collect on social media and actually listen to your customers and share it across the company to help you improve your product and service – beyond simply handling customer queries.

Establish Clear Goals & Streamline Your Use of A Tool
What makes a team successful? It would appear pretty obvious that you cannot even begin to answer this question without knowing what the team’s goals are.

However, in reality, when you’re working with a large social media team, things can start to get a little messy, especially when you’re growing fast, need to train people in a short time span, and just kicked off social media engagement. That’s why you need consistency and clear guidelines to help streamline your use of a tool.

No matter how flexible your social media tool is, this often gets overlooked.

Here are some items you should definitely consider including:

  • Manage your social media team members’ expectations and give them an overview of the goals they need to achieve.
  • Do you plan on working with a reward system for individual team members?
  • Get into the nitty gritty and focus on the small details too.

Do you want to learn more on how you can build your social media team and make it successful? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Kate Zimmerman is a Product Marketing Associate at Clarabridge. Kate focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.