The following post is written by Rachel Go at Hubstaff — a company that really makes social media management work as a remote team.
Social media is an online realm in itself, so it makes sense that a completely virtual team can manage a brand’s social media presence. At Hubstaff, we’re a 100% distributed team with a great audience on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s how we tackle social media management with our remote team.
Day-to-day social media management
In a remote team, the keys to success are accountability and ownership. This holds true for how we handle social media management as well.
In the early days, and when the responsibility of maintaining our social media profiles was a shared one, there was a lot of confusion. No one really understood who was the best person to respond to messages and Tweets, or who should have been looking out for spam.
Once the role of social media coordinator fell squarely to one person, things got much simpler. If someone wanted to post something, there was now one go-to person to reach out to. Instead of checking the schedule every day to make sure we weren’t posting an update too closely to another one, one person knew everything that had to go out, by when, and whether it would conflict with another post.
Not only was it simpler, it was more efficient. Since everything related to social media fell to me, I could create a daily checklist of things to do, complete the checklist twice a day, and keep everything up-to-date myself. It saves both me and my teammates time and effort.
Here are a few things that should be on your social media checklist;
- Check for spam on your Facebook page
- Check all Facebook notifications
- Like or respond to all Facebook wall posts, mentions, and replies to your posts
- Look through your Twitter notifications and like and/or respond to all your mentions
- Take a look at your home feeds on Twitter and Facebook to see if there are any opportunities to engage
- Check your Facebook insights and Twitter analytics for best times to post
- Take a quick look at some of your competitor’s profiles
How we encourage engagement
We show personality
Social media is all online, but in order to truly engage your followers you have to understand the offline aspects as well. For example, it’s hard to get a sense of what our remote team’s personality is like, so we posted some photos of what each of our workstations looks like. This helps us show our followers that we aren’t just a voice on the Internet, but real people behind our product.
More than just sending out an endless stream of links to our blog, we try to share useful tips that we get from around the web, snippets of interesting info, and more. We also respond to people who speak to us, and that generates a lot of engagement in itself. When it comes to Twitter, we see great people sharing our articles every day, and some of them tag us. When someone shares our content, we reach out with a thank you, which opens up opportunities to connect and engage with them further.
We ask questions
We love hearing from our followers! It’s always interesting to see where different people come from, the range of professions, and all the different uses people have for Hubstaff. However, most of our followers wouldn’t know how to interact with us if we didn’t make the first move. We regularly ask questions like; where are you working from today, what are your best freelancing tips, and what’s your favorite perk of remote work.
— Hubstaff.com (@Hubstaff) April 28, 2016
And when people take the time to answer our question, we take the time to read what they say and respond.
We address problems
Social media is an excellent marketing tool, but it also flows into the realm of customer service. Many people reach out on social media if they’re having problems with our tool, because they know social media is a 24/7 channel with almost immediate results. If they want to get a hold of someone quickly, social media is a great go-to (even though it isn’t always in the company’s best interests to have issues out in a public space).
So we respond to any complaints, problems, or questions on our social media channels as quickly as possible. In fact, we integrated our Facebook messages with Intercom, so that the messages go directly to our support team for faster responses. Even if we don’t have an answer right then, we still respond to let them know we’ve heard them and are going to investigate.
Is there a point in putting time and effort into something when you don’t see results. Well, this is debatable, but we try to make sure we have ROI measures in place to make sure we can identify what is working well, and what isn’t.
Here’s what I measure to track the success of our social efforts.
- Number of visitors sent to our main website
- Number of visitors sent to our blog
- Overall Twitter and Facebook followers
- Engagement on Twitter; likes, retweets, replies
- Mentions on Twitter and Facebook
- Engagement on Facebook; comments, reactions, shares
- Link clicks on Twitter and Facebook (this is different from the number of visitors sent to our website, because often we share links to other websites)
We look at growth over time, tracking these numbers month-to-month. No one expects giant leaps in engagement every week (although they are nice every now and then), we need to see steady growth. If engagement falls, or stagnates for too long, we take a look at what we’ve been posting recently versus what we posted in the past, and analyze what might be happening.
Managing social media with a remote team makes sense, and can be incredibly efficient when you understand the strategy of it and employ the right tools. It doesn’t need to be much different from a co-located social media team, just continue to engage your followers, measure results, and consistently share useful, relevant information.
Are you part of a remote team? How do you manage your social? Let us know in the comments!