Successful social media team managers are a huge asset for any company, especially when managing a large social media team for an international brand. They are focused on the right priorities, know how to motivate a team, and have adopted an essential morning ritual to help them achieve success throughout the day.
Now first, let’s define a social media team manager. What does their role really look like? What are their responsibilities? A social media team manager (or leader) is someone who:
- leads a team of social media operators (who handle all incoming social media mentions and reply in the inbox)
- makes sure the social media operators are successful at their job (i.e. continuous assessment)
- reports directly to either the Head of Customer Service and Customer Experience – depending on how the business is organized
Important note: we often get the feedback from talking to our customers that the role of a social media team manager varies from company to company. This is indeed often the case. Moreover, the work structure of a social media team manager is usually ‘sort things out as they come along’. The role just doesn’t neatly fall into a job description.
Let’s take a look at the daily habits of social media team managers. What does it take for a social media team manager leading a large team to be successful?
1. Starting The Day Early
Social media managers need to make sure they can handle the workload at all times and are on top of their company’s social media presence. They are quick-witted problem solvers and troubleshooters who stay focused on the big picture.
That’s why it’s common for social media team managers to arrive early at the office to check the workload during the nightshift. If a brand doesn’t provide 24/7, round-the-clock social customer service and has specific business hours (e.g. for example, from 8am to 10pm), the social media manager checks the inbox for all the messages that have piled up during the night and early morning. It’s their duty to make sure social media operators are able to handle the volume and make it through the day.
Possible scenario: if at one point the volume is getting hard to handle, it’s the social media manager who will decide how they will handle this peak (e.g. call upon some extra pair of hands).
2. Keeping A Mobile Device Close
Let’s face it, social media never sleeps. At any given moment throughout the day, a crisis can appear – no matter how flawless and well-trained your social media team is.
Social media managers are often on the go, walking the floor and making sure the team is working like a well-oiled machine. They are true people managers who greatly focus on empowering their team members and handling interpersonal issues. If they continue to have a positive attitude throughout the day, chances are high this will wear off on the team as well.
Whether they’re in a meeting with the Head of Customer Service or involved in a one-on-one conversation with an individual social media team member, they need to stay closely connected to their mobile device. A mobile device allows them to get updated about specific situations instantly. With the help of mobile push notifications, a social media manager is able to address these issues and take action right away.
3. Staying In Close Touch With Their Social Media Team
When you’re a social media team manager and your job is fully dedicated to client support, you need to be available at all times for a quick chat with an individual team member. Due to the changing demands of customers, a social media manager needs to adapt to frequently changing priorities. That’s why a team chat application (which is usually built into your social media tool) is extremely relevant to swiftly pass on information to a social media team member, especially during peak moments. Being available at all times really is key to build a successful team.
4. Leading By Example
Social media team managers need to trust their social media team members that they can judge each situation appropriately. They should be able to know when they’re in over their head and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Anyone who works in social media needs to have a great sense of personal accountability and be able to demonstrate good judgment. That’s why good social media team managers lead by example.
Social media team managers help prioritize against the business goals and put their team members’ successes above their own. They let their team take risks. Moreover, if you want to be truly successful at social media and deliver a great customer experience, you need to actually create a culture that empowers everyone in the organization to participate. It’s the social media team manager’s responsibility to create the right environment, every day, for the social media team members to thrive in.
When it comes to daily habits, truly successful social media managers stay in close contact with their employees, play a key role in empowering the social media team members, and make sure they are always available – especially during crisis situations or volume peaks. They have a great sense of personal accountability and lead by example.
Are you managing a social media team yourself and are you looking for more inspiration and tips? Have a look at some of our social media case studies to see how other companies took on this challenge.