If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you know your agency can do a better job of practicing what it preaches when it comes to social media. It’s easy to spot inconsistencies and paths to improvement when designing social media strategies for clients, so why is your agency lagging?
There is one game-changing move that marketing agencies can make when it comes to developing an internal social media strategy that is results-oriented, actionable, and measurable. Ready for it? Create an internal social media champion.
Find - Or Create - Your Internal Social Media Champion
This step may seem like an easy one, but it is the most important decision you will make during this process - and with good reason. This person is the project manager for every action that is taken on your social media platforms regarding strategy. This doesn’t mean they will be in charge of writing every single post, liking each comment, or even determining the content that will be shared. It does mean the individual selected should be organized, able to set and meet deadlines, and able to assign tasks to other team members (such as graphics, copywriting, etc.).
A main objective of this role is to follow best practices across the social media platforms that your agency has a presence on and, more importantly, track the outcomes of these practices. For all intents and purposes, the individual placed in the role of internal social media champion will act as if the agency is their social media client. They will more than likely need the contributions of several, if not all, team members - on everything from determining strategy and deciding on which tactics will move that strategy forward the most efficiently all the way to copywriting and graphic design.
You’ve Identified Your Social Champion - Now What?
Once you have selected the individual that you think best embodies the characteristics described above, there are a few additional considerations to factor in that can offer the best chance for success for the internal champion AND the agency.
Treat Yourself, Don’t Cheat Yourself
We get it - client needs come first. There are only so many hours in a day, and most agencies loathe putting their needs before that of the clients. Here is where an important distinction should be made: you aren’t putting the agency first, you are letting your staff and clients know that you take your business seriously, and will do the same for theirs.
By having that internal champion (who may or may not be responsible for other clients), you are visibly demonstrating that you value the agency’s success as much as that of your clients, and are giving substance to any requests the internal champion will make. When other team members have tasks to do that are for the agency, make it clear that those tasks have just as much weight as any other tasks, and are no less important. Empower your internal champion to assign tasks and move items forward to ensure deadlines are met in order to keep the focus on what’s next.
Know Your Audience
Quite a bit of time will be spent by the internal champion analyzing the various audiences that can be found across your various social media platforms. While there are some general rules specific to each platform that can be followed (ie., LinkedIn is largely for business, Facebook is less formal than LinkedIn but more formal than Instagram), it’s important to remember that the audiences your agency will be engaging with are varied in terms of demographics, geographies, and psychological motivations.
Most (if not all) agencies use their social media channels as a source of lead generation. This is a great goal, but to paraphrase Simon Sinek, people don’t do business with companies - people do business with people. How does this impact the role of your social media champion? In short, your internal champion should be the person ensuring not only that the agency’s messages are reaching the intended audiences, but that these messages are also building authentic engagement and connections between your brand and potential clients to truly convert leads into sales.
Tools of the Trade
It should go without saying, but make sure your internal social media champion has the tools - and the training - necessary for achieving the objectives you have tasked them with. Companies such as HubSpot offer both free and paid tools, training, and resources that can help everyone on your team be a contributor to your social media strategy. If your internal champion lacks knowledge of a particular platform, make that training a part of their workday, and schedule it accordingly. HubSpot has a free social media certification course, Google offers a digital marketing certification, and even LinkedIn has courses designed specifically for knowledge of their platform.
While the above items give your internal social media champion the best springboard for success if this is the first time you’ve had someone in this position, be prepared to make adjustments to stay agile. The social media landscape changes rapidly, and it is important to keep this in mind when creating tasks for this position or considering which KPIs are most important to the agency’s overall strategic goals. Finally, and most importantly, leave yourself and your team with room to grow and adapt by extending a healthy amount of grace during the initial implementation to your entire team. Mistakes will be made, but it will be how the agency’s team responds to those mistakes that will make all the difference when it comes to seeing results.
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