With social media constantly changing, it’s easy for community managers to fall into the trap of dealing with the task ahead of them rather than the big picture that determines cross-departmental strategy. The fact is – social media needs other departments to build a rock star multi-dimension campaign for the client or company. A successful social media department or campaign requires the insight and assistance from the PR, MarComm, design, customer service, advertising, SEO and legal teams.
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In effort to break out of the silos, we’ve provided a guide of how and why social media and community managers should reach out to other departments to get the assistance they need:
1. PR Team
- Editorial Calendar: Know what time of the year the PR team is working to promote certain products, services, themes or events so you can match your content calendars with the editorial calendar.
- Press Releases: Use ideas and keywords from content calendars on the day they are going out, to assist with buzz and SEO.
- Response Triage Chart: Your social media team should be familiar with how the PR department has required that the company respond to certain situations. Since many different types of conversations or questions can pop up on social media, you will need to know how to respond, and when/how to escalate if needed.
- Crisis Communication Plan for Social Media: Ask the PR team if they have a crisis communication plan for the company as a whole, or even better, one for social media specifically. A crisis can break out at any hour on social media, so don’t get caught unprepared.
- Branding Guidelines: If your team will be responsible for creating content or creative assets, be sure to get the guidelines from the MarComm team, or get their approval before any such work gets published to ensure that it matches the overall branding of your client or company.
- Logos: These are a must for properly setting-up and branding your social media channels. Make sure you use the right logos, and the right sizes, as profile images or other designs on all your social properties.
- Photos/Images: Social Media Managers are always in need of great photos for social media posts, and this department is where you will probably find most of them!
- Design Help: Unless you or your social media staff have design skills, you may need to lean on your graphic designers to help you create clever images and designs for your social media sweepstakes/contests, apps, posts, advertisements, blog and more.
4. Customer Service
- FAQs: You customer service team probably gets asked the same questions all the time. Get a list of these questions and answers so that you can provide the correct information when people ask you them on your social media channels.
- A Customer Service Mini-Training: Ask your customer service team to schedule a CSR (customer service representative) training with your team so that you know how to best handle customer service complaints, questions and praise via social. This could be anything from a one-hour meeting to a one-day training.
- Current and Future Ad Campaigns: Figure out what your ad team is doing both off and online. You can use this information to socialize print advertisements (QR codes or CTAs to your social channels…) or to figure out how you can work together to re-target on FBX, for example.
- Keyword Lists: Chat with your SEO team to gather a list of the keywords they are targeting this month and next (both fat head and long tail), then use that to tailor your content calendar. (But of course – do this lightly! Do not write keyword dense by un-engaging social media posts.)
- Upcoming Blog Posts: If your SEO team is in charge of this, ask them for their upcoming posts and incorporate them into social posts so that you can boost their exposure while providing interesting information to your fans!
- Future Infographics, e-Books, White Books, etc.: These are perfect examples of sharable content (especially infographics) so share, share, share!
- Copyright Infringement Training: Almost every social media manager has run into a question or an issue with copyright – especially when it comes to sharing images. Ask your legal team for a Copyright 101 and email them when you are unsure of something before posting.
- Sweepstake/Contest Terms & Conditions: If you are running a social media promotion, you should have a legally written/reviewed T & C that participants can refer back to. This should be an easy document for your legal team to assist you with.
- Contracts: If you are working on a promotion with another influential social media personality or blogger, a contract may come into play – so make sure to have your legal team review before you sign anything!
- Client Goals: Before launching any social media campaign, it’s vital that the social media and analytics departments discuss the ultimate client goals and how they fit in to the campaign. These two teams should then meet regularly to check-in on the progress and re-align strategies as needed to achieve the goals.