Have you ever heard the saying 'two heads are better than one'? The same holds true for social media.
Teamwork generates better ideas, but it gets difficult to pull off efficiency.
97% of employees believe a lack of alignment within the team impacts the outcome of a task or project.
If you work in a social media team, you must be aware of your team's challenges day in and day out. There is chaos and clashes happening at several stages. What's worse, all of this affects the final output, and your brand on social media is not displayed as a unified one in front of your audience.
The challenges have only increased as the COVID pandemic has led teams to work remotely. So how do you keep up with social media collaboration to work efficiently and seamlessly?
Social media collaborations require a top-notch approach as it requires people from different verticals of your brand to come together. This guide starts by diving into the root cause of problems faced in social media collaboration and goes on to describe how to tackle these problems with key solutions.
- The Problem With Social Media Collaboration
- The Solutions - Master Social Media Collaboration
- Social Media Collaboration Tools To Simplify Your Team's Efforts
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Click here to download detailed infographic on tips to master social media collaboration.
The Problem With Social Media Collaboration
1. Variability in brand's tone and voice
Your brand's tone decides how your audience perceives your brand's identity and reputation across all platforms. Tone inconsistency happens when marketing messages are created by different individuals in a team who have different and conflicting styles. An inconsistent tone results in a brand's missed opportunity to resonate with its audience.
2. Procrastination in posting
When you start posting at regular intervals, your audience is awaiting your post. This helps build trust and credibility in your audience and also increases engagements. However, if posting on social media is delayed due to internal team conflicts, it hampers your audience's trust, and engagements to decrease.
3. Replicated post or laid off reply
Even though your social media team has enough team members, some tasks may get missed. This usually happens when team members are not clear about which task falls under their scope of work. Social media engagements hardly take any time, but when your team members delay it thinking that other members might be looking into it, there are vast chances of essential posts and replies being missed out.
Similarly, when tasks are not delegated equally within the team, there are chances that the same task will be done twice (sometimes even more than that). Customer queries might get responded twice if it has not been assigned to a team member on time. And duplications are difficult to eradicate.
4. Difficulty and delays in sharing updates
Any social media updates need to be shared with your team on a priority basis. But when communication flow is not streamlined, some team members remain informed, and some don't. This communication gap comes to light when updates are not reflected in their work, thus resulting in delayed task completion and delay in posting content on social media.
5. Poor reporting plan and structure
Reporting helps to track and analyze your team’s performance. It proves the value of your social media marketing efforts with its ROI. A poor reporting structure will hurt your team's ability to maximize opportunities. Poor reporting leads to confusion and inaction within your social media team. As a result, your team will fail to develop and maintain the long-term quality of your brand.
What's worse, when your audience sees these mistakes occurring on your brand's social handles, they know that these mistakes arise due to poor communication amongst the internal team, thus hampering your brand's reputation online.
The Solutions - Master Social Media Collaboration
1. Determine your goals
Before you start planning, you need to decide your goals. Your objective will determine the direction of social media collaboration for your brand.
Word of caution: Do not enter the field of social media marketing without deciding a goal for your brand. Otherwise, it will damage your brand far more than it can help.
Setting a goal at the start eliminates any confusion later on. Social media collaborations become pointless without an appropriate goal. Moreover, it brings people together to work towards a common goal.
Rather than setting vague goals here are some tips on how you can set smart social media collaboration goals that will allow your team to work effectively.
- Be as specific as you can
- Set realistic and achievable goals
- It should be measurable
- It should support the vision or values of your brand’s social presence
- Give your goal a deadline
Document the goals achieved to date and what needs to be completed. Put it as your background somewhere so that your goal is not just packed into a pile of pages but instead remains at a place that serves as a constant reminder.
Note: Your social media collaboration goals are subject to time-oriented variations, so don't worry if you cannot meet them sometimes.
Example: See how the marketing agency, Megaphone Marketing, had set realistic goals for their client's social media account, which they could successfully achieve.
Image Source: Megaphone Marketing
2. Prepare a collaboration plan & strategy
For effective social media collaborations, you need to set a culture of accountability. Hence, it is better to assign roles to specific team members at the start itself. Then, setting some ground rules and enforcing them actively within the team helps all members to remain on the same page regarding who's responsible for what.
Never assume your team members are aware of their responsibilities, and don't leave it on their memory. Instead, prepare a clear and well-defined strategy that leaves no doubt of who is responsible for which task.
Assign specific tasks to specific teammates based on their area of expertise and minimize the dependencies. When dependencies are minimized, individual team member's productivity improves. And when the productivity of each team member proves, it results in the improvement of the team's productivity.
When tasks are equally distributed among your team, the workload is balanced off.
The major components of your collaboration plan will broadly include
- Assigning roles and delegating the task
- Setting clear expectations
- Preparing a crystal clear timeline for each task
- Documenting the above three points
To get a step ahead, prepare a guidebook that has
- Training guide for new team members
- Lists who will take on a particular team member's task and responsibilities if they urgently need a sick break
- How will the social media crisis be handled?
- Complete list of tools and assets used within your organization and how to access their credentials
3. Establish a consistent voice & tone
It only takes 7 seconds for your audience to form an opinion about your brand. - Forbes
The tone and voice for your brand are often challenging to identify because it does not rely on statistics that can speak for itself, nor is it a design element that can be tweaked. Your brand's tone and voice go deeper than that. Therefore, it needs to be planned and practiced across all social media channels.
Your brand's tone and voice should be designed keeping the following aspects in mind.
- Should be able to put up a face onto your brand
- Should allow real personality to shine through, letting people connect with your brand
- Should create a solid first impression and increase your brand recognition
- Should maintain consistency with your brand's core message
- It should be the personality of your brand
Each and every social media post created, even the emojis used, should support your brand's tone and voice. Tone and voice matter as they humanize your brand. Your brand tone should be kept consistent across all channels. And this consistency is the gate to familiarity for all your audience. When your audience reads your social media post across several channels, they should be able to reflect it with your brand's underlying message.
Example: The personal care brand, Dove, has an empowering and confident brand tone and voice. Through the brand’s messages across every channel, they empower their users to have a positive body image and to be conformable within their skin tone. All their messages are inspiring and friendly, as seen on their website and Twitter handle.
Image Source: Dove
Image Source: Dove Twitter
4. Prepare a working style guide, document it, & share it with the team
Does your brand have a style guide? If your answer is no, then here's why it should.
Anytime a document or graphic is produced for your brand, there should be uniformity.
It sets the standard and expectations for quality social media content. Preparing style guides for social media collaborations ensure that the prepared marketing assets best fit your brand, no matter how many members were involved in its creation.
Style guides set standards for writing and formatting social media content according to your brand tone and voice. Setting the style of the guide will help to improve communication and foster consistency in social media collaborations.
Your style guide should broadly include
- Brand tone and voice
- Words that best describe your brand
- Mood boards of images for inspiration
- Essential competitor's resources for inspiration
- Formatting guidelines and specifics like font, spacing, margin, alignment, filename conventions, color theme, typography
- Desired rules around photography like when and how to use images
- Policies to followed while creating social media content for avoiding to get your company into trouble
Basically, your style guide should be a repository where your team members first search for answers related to any style question. In the end, house your style guide at a place that is easily accessible to every team member and keep updating it.
If your style guide becomes challenging to navigate and access, your team members will never use it. Hence, select a platform that allows easy sharing of style with your team members and share revisions timely with them.
Example: See how Slack has listed even the slightest of detail about their brand's design in their brand guidelines.
Image Source: Slack Brand Guidelines
See how Statusbrew defines graphical resources that contain the brand's logo guidelines and official color palette.
5. Organize and maintain a social media calendar
Social media campaigns are a complex machine with several moving parts. Planning your content in advance will help you focus on other essential aspects of the campaign.
A social media calendar helps to plan content by scheduling and automating the publishing process. In addition, it makes team-wide collaboration a breeze. You can share your calendar within your social media team and assign tasks to specific team members.
Following are the advantages of using social media calendars
- Managing multiple social media account with each having its own specifications and quirks
- It makes the brand's consistency manageable
- It helps in keeping up with the posting consistency on social media
- It saves time by batching tasks and allows your social media team to focus on creating quality content
- It helps to identify the mistakes in your social media content beforehand and gives in time to rectify them. So, no last moment hiccups
- Planning out A/B test around your social media calendar will help you identify valuable metrics such as right posting frequency and the best time of day to post
Statusbrew helps organize your social campaigns by easing your ability to add tags to posts and measure marketing campaigns' performance. In addition, it allows for deeper insights, like which posts are more impactful and what time of day holds the spot for the most engagement.
6. Strengthen the review and approval process
Approvals are a big part of social media collaboration. Approval is a must when people outside your organization are involved and for new joiners as they would not be familiar with your brand initially in the social media strategy.
Approval processes are a nightmare in social media collaboration. Social media teams need to understand that approval processes are not there because of control and trust issues but because more brains add up to better results. And there are several eyes on your social accounts. Hence a tiny mistake can go up to miles. Also, no feedback means no improvement.
Publishing content on social media that revolves around some latest news, trends, and similar time-sensitive topics needs review and approval at the earliest. Hence, your team needs to prioritize this over other non-time-sensitive work.
Having too many people involved in the approval process will not give clear feedback as it will not capture all hands' inputs. Hence reduce the number of people responsible for approvals in your social media team. Only the most critical decision-makers should be involved in the approval process.
But that doesn't mean other team members cannot provide their input. A single person can collect internal feedback and share it with the approver in a document to avoid confusion.
To minimize the hassle of the approval process, give a clear context of what social media content needs to be created before your team members start creating it.
If important social media assets are not approved and rejected in time, then the team's progress is halted. Therefore, your approval and review process should be smooth and quick. This avoids running into the risk of publishing an incorrect post.
Your brand wants to make sure that the content that goes out on social media is
- Relevant and purposeful
- It matches the brand's tone and voice
- Free from mistakes and errors
- In line with the campaign's goal
- Meets the schedule
The reviewer only wants to double-check that the social media content created by junior team members meets the project scope by maintaining brand consistency.
From ideation to execution to approval, social media content goes through several stages before being out in public. Therefore, ensure that your social media content does not get stuck in the approval process due to a lack of clarity. This approval process aims to make the content on your brand’s social page as up to the mark as possible rather than just missing out on the stages of approval that do not land anywhere at the end.
Do you often remain worried about an inappropriate post being published on your brand's social account that could possibly hamper your brand’s reputation? Statusbrew's content approval workflow eliminates this risk. It creates multiple steps in your collaboration's workflow that facilitate submitting, reviewing, approving, or rejecting outgoing posts. In this manner, you can avoid publishing content on your brand's social account that has been created by junior team members without prior approval.
7. Hold regular update meetings
Holding regular update meetings will allow you to check the process of work with the team members and discuss the loopholes if any. These meetings are a must for smooth social media collaboration.
The meetings help all team members to come together and coordinate with their ideas and opinions. Weekly calls with team members also ensure the alignment of the week ahead. Meetings are an integral part of defining workflow for social media collaboration.
These meet-ups can also be used to agree on goals, set vision, align everyone's roles and responsibilities, and define creative and strategic discussions. These meetings are majorly meant to fill the gaps in miscommunication.
Create a list of social media analytics reports to be analyzed periodically. Then, share these reports with teams and use them in regular meetings to arrive at a decision.
When brainstorming ideas with your fellow teammates, your team might just get lost in a lot of confusion, which does not lead to any conclusion. Hence it is advisable to take important notes during the meeting and to keep documenting them.
This document will help to arrive at a conclusion at the end of the meeting. If you have a fixed agenda for a meeting, you can also prepare meeting notes beforehand and use them to maintain the flow of the meeting.
Protip: If you are preparing a meeting note before the meeting, make sure to note down the time of discussion to avoid having long meetings.
8. Prepare for the unforeseen days well in advance
Your team members might have a time when they need to step out of work urgently; personal illness, the birth of a baby, or an extended vacation. But should your brand’s social media activity get affected by this? Certainly not.
A team member's leave of absence should not disrupt the work balance of the entire squad. Preparing well in advance avoids affecting the momentum and quality of work.
Always have a backup team member ready to take over a team member's responsibility when they are on urgent leave. Outline a process for such crisis management that includes which team members will be responsible for which task under someone’s absence. Keep your team members informed about it.
Organization and prior planning remain the key for social media collaboration's success in the event of absence. Prepare your teams in such a way so that your team members can catch up on work without having to contact the out-of-pocket college for an update.
Social Media Collaboration Tools To Simplify Your Team's Efforts
Up to 80 percent of businesses use social collaboration tools for enhancing business processes.
Productivity in social media collaborations isn't spontaneous. It comes with integrating social media collaboration tools that allow your team members to do their work efficiently. Choose effective and efficient tools that are user-friendly, making it easy for everyone to access such as the ones given below.
Communication tool - Slack
The right communication tool will break the barriers of miscommunication and enable your team to stay connected on multiple levels. Slack allows all your team communication to happen in one place. Create Channels on slack for specific topic communication and add your team members as you need to keep the topic discussion visible to them.
Pricing: Slack offers a freemium plan with the paid plan starting at $6.57/month.
Image Source: Slack
Project management tool - Asana
Keep an eye on the team's work to achieve the optimum level of productivity using a project management tool like Asana. Organize your projects and assign them to your team with due dates with Asana. Outline the goals for your team members and provide documentation that will help them within the task. Asana also helps you to prioritize your tasks according to its urgency.
Pricing: Asana offers a free plan for 15 team members and the paid plan starts at $10.99/user/month.
Image Source: Asana
Design tool - Canva
To keep your social media posts creative and colorful, Canva will be the best design platform for your team with an interactive UI. With hundreds of templates, convert your content ideas into stunning designs using the drag and drop feature.
Pricing: Canva offers a free trial and the paid plan starts at $10/month.
Image Source: Canva
Social media management tool - Statusbrew
Social media collaboration tools will increase your team's efficiency by eliminating tedious tasks and technologies that refrain your team from keeping up with the industry's pace.
Statusbrew allows you to effectively collaborate with your team & win at social. You can manage content, engagement, marketing, and reporting on social media with your team. Handle scale and provide great customer experience at every interaction.
Statusbrew's team reports helps you measure your team's social media efforts.
Want to discuss further? Book a free demo or start your free trial today!
Statusbrew is an all in one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.
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