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Tips on Social Media for Small Business: #3 Organisation of Your Social Media Channels
Posted on November 19th 2012
All business, whatever its size, needs to be active in social media. In this third blog post in the series for small business owners (see the others listed at the bottom), I'm looking at who should be responsible for which element of your social media marketing drive.
It's best to have an ‘owner’ of each channel who can ensure consistency, quality control, manage administration, reporting, planning, and strategy. For example, you may have a pool of regular contributors to your blog, but one blog editor who manages the editorial calendar (yes, you need one of those), checks posts for quality, helps with technical issues, oversees comments and comment moderation, looks after blogger outreach, syndications and so forth. This way, everyone knows to whom they should turn for what. Sounds obvious, but if you haven't clearly allocated responsibilities, due diligence may well not happen (as the BBC Newsnight have just found out).
To avoid the headless chicken syndrome, have a ‘social media manager’ role, which is able to oversee ALL social media channels and take responsibility for the social media efforts of the company. Ideally this role will have access to company strategy, control over budget, be aware of client and partner relationships and have an eye to the big picture. Bear in mind that in a really small organisation it may well be that the best structure is one full time social media manager who ‘owns’ all channels, with other staff as contributors.
If the channels are organised so that they are in fact allocated each to a different person, it is hugely important that you hold regular frequent planning sessions with all channel owners to talk about your editorial calendar, tone of voice, results and social network relationships. As you'll probably already have found, learning best practice, experimenting with tools, content types, reporting, is time-consuming. Each channel manager needs to specialise in their own channel, but share knowledge where it can benefit the others.
Ensure consistency in how you represent your organisation (the copy, tone and images) between the channels and your website/blog and be sure to cross-pollinate the channels with links and ‘follow’ buttons.
Despite this though, be aware of the differences between the channels in terms of audience/style/tone/frequency and subject matter. One size (content-wise) does not fit all. What makes a good Facebook update, or response, wouldn't necessarily work on Twitter or LinkedIn. Try not to duplicate content between your Facebook and your Google+ pages: it's not good for SEO and you may well find that your audiences are rather different.
Does this correspond with how your social media marketing is organised?
Other posts in this series: