Saturday, August 20, 2022

Lessons from a Reformed ‘Yes Woman’

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Beth Trejo is a speaker, brand attorney and founder CEO of chatter kicka digital marketing agency in the Midwest.

Ever seen one of those “one man band” performers, like the talented musician who seems to play all the instruments at once? They may have a guitar in hand, a harmonica around their neck, and a foot tapping the drum beat. At first glance it is quite astonishing, even impressive. But after a while the novelty wears off and you realize it would probably sound better if that poor guy just had someone play with him. He may even have more fun.

There’s a whole population of people who are familiar with that juggling – and the fear of missing a beat. They are called social media managers.

In my experience as a CEO of a digital marketing agency, nowadays it is rare to find a social media manager who only needs to manage social campaigns. Once charged with customer engagement, social media teams now touch almost every aspect of a business: sales, customer service, human resources, public relations, investor audience, compliance and more. And many are being asked to do it with a fraction of the information, resources and support – and without an actual seat at ‘the table’.

Social media consultant Ella Dawson described the difficult but important role social media plays in a Digiday article. Social media “should be considered an integral part of your company’s strategy,” Dawson said. “And yet, how often do social media employees get involved in conversations about a company’s strategy and goals? Almost never. It’s demoralizing.”

Business owners are often oblivious to what they are asking of their under-equipped, small social media teams, while downplaying their critical role in business outcomes. And the sobering fact is that if entrepreneurs don’t act quickly, they might even end up lose the team they currently have.

Saad Khan, senior social lead at Shopify, thinks we may not see any more job openings this year “that ask social media executives to do anything and everything,” according to Shoot Social. Khan said: “There will likely be realizations that one person social teams are not sustainable and you need a team of dedicated craftsmen – ideally resulting in much more specific jobs and growth opportunities.”

Think about it: you wouldn’t ask your data analysts to write a copy or your CX team to design graphics, and yet social media managers are often asked to fill all these roles and more, while they are available around the clock. There are no set hours for people to scroll through their feeds, so keeping their current customers and prospects happy, in addition to keeping the comments on-brand and managing the emotional toll, can be a huge challenge.

Four simple steps can help social media entrepreneurs and managers understand realistic expectations and workloads:

1. Evaluate. Leading teams should reach out to their social media managers and get a temperature reading on how things are going. Assess your current process, output and analyses. What are your strengths, and where are your weaknesses? Can the team benefit from a division of labor? If so, who could take on those tasks?

2. Question. What is the hardest part of the job and what is the most fun? Tailor job descriptions to their skills and hire new people to fill the gaps. By doing this, you will definitely get better results. How many channels do they manage, how often do they post and how much engagement do they get? How does it affect the mental and emotional health of the team? How much visibility does the social media team have within the company?

3. Understand. Wrap your head around all aspects of the job. How much time is spent on creative execution, planning organization (often up to eight different channels per day), customer service responses, data analysis, and strategic follow-up? How much is too much and how much is not enough? How can you measure success and hold on to responsibility?

4. Take action. Senior leadership may rethink roles they might have considered a one-person show. In addition, social media managers can approach their management team by giving them an overview of all the different hats they wear and recommendations for what can be done to solve the problem.

Whether you’re a social media executive or an executive who’s overlooked this potential pain point for too long, these conversations are key to preventing burnout, building loyalty, improving performance, and building strong engagement. – not only on social media but also within your organization. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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