When going behind the scenes of the processes and systems we set up when marketing teams grow and evolve, there are so many misconceptions. In order to effectively collaborate as a social media team, planning is essential.
On the Alt Marketing School podcast, we had the pleasure to chat with Miruna Dragomir from Planable. We look at scaling social media efforts with a team. Learn about the areas that take up the most time for social media teams and what happens when teams grow.
Dragomir is the Head of Marketing at Planable, a content collaboration platform for social media teams. They’ve grown 30X in revenue in these past three years and continue going up. She was previously a part of Uber’s Marketing Team and Oracle’s Social Media team.
Streaming communication is one of the most challenging aspects of managing marketing teams. You may assume that planning is a linear process because you see a post on social media. Rarely someone had a creative idea and ran with it.
“Most often ten people were involved in one social media post, including many stakeholders from the marketing department and more”.
Sometimes legal may be involved if you work in an industry that’s more strict on regulations. Alternatively, it can be PR and other people within or outside the company.
“Often when people hear about so many stakeholders being involved, they get scared about what that could mean.” Another misconception is that it only applies to corporate businesses engaging in lengthy processes, so most small teams have this belief that “that it’s not our case, and it will never be our case”.
She brings up the example of HR being involved in social media when looking at employer branding guidelines and ideas. Another instance is when legal should be consulted when posting sensitive content. This is something at Planable they have been able to implement effectively to collaborate as a social media team.
“I think you should invite as many people in the room”, she points out. However, the ownership should be clear for the social media manager or the brand owner.
Yet, the downside of this is that collaboration takes the most time. Primarily when teams rely on emails, documents and spreadsheets. “Spreadsheets are not a place to collaborate with 20+ people”, Dragomir adds.
How to optimise communication
It all comes back to setting better systems and optimising communication. The optimisation works well for social, but it should also apply to how your work. Especially if you collaborate as a social media team. A critical skill for marketers is to learn how to audit processes to assess whether what you are doing and carrying out is proving efficient.
“You should start by first drafting the ideal process if you were to start a new company today, starting from scratch and having an entirely new team. What would that process look like?”
After this, you can define stages that naturally occur and those that may be missing. “You have this process in front of you”, she continues, “you should start to draw who is involved, and what their roles are, and where does collaboration take place.” Dragomir outlines the whole process as it follows:
- brainstorming stage
- the curation of the content
- the research phase
- plan and create posts
- Share with the team and other people involved
- tweak the post or each platform, add the hashtags
- give it to the last stakeholders that need to review
- schedule your content
If it’s multiple environments, you can pin down these like Zoom, meetings, phone calls, WhatsApp, email, spreadsheets. When you have all of these, you should start thinking about what is redundant and where you are wasting time.
“For this stage, I recommend tracking your time. I’m always wary of tracking your time because people may run from it. After all, it can feel controlling. But I think you can do it even for a small part, and you can see exactly where your time goes”.
Master controlled flexibility
One more critical aspect of collaboration, especially for marketing teams, is real-time and authentic reactions through content.
Let’s say your weekly content calendar goes through four levels of approval. You want your team manager, line manager and the client to approve the content. However, if it’s a real-time reaction, and it’s 10 pm on a Friday, then you need to have a clause in your social media playbook.
If something huge just happened and you have a fantastic idea, a shortcut is needed to react to it, but something has to be in place to allow you to follow that lead. Otherwise, the social media manager will get that idea and forget about it three seconds later because they’ll think, “okay, this is going to be too complicated to get approved. I’ll have my cocktail.”
How can you react to something timely online when you have approvals and reviews to go through on any given day?
” Controlled flexibility allows for reactive content to happen. Have some rules in place and be aware of how you can work around them.”
Managing pains as teams grow
What happens when your team grow? It can be hard to keep up good practices as a team grows in numbers and evolves, and more often than not, processes will need to change.
“It’s not feasible to assume that a process that works for two people will work for 20”. It’s essential to set the scene right and then audit your process every once in a while.
“We do this internally. We’re now a team of five people. So every three months, and when we do the quarterly planning, we have a slot for a team workshop. We go in there, rant about our problems, and vent about whatever annoyed us when a colleague texted us, and it wasn’t clear. Then we started brainstorming about making each other’s lives easier. We talk about the meetings, the planning, the content, how we do each of those things.”
They then leave three months for new systems to settle in and discuss it again. “We discuss how it has been so far, what has changed, and what we can adapt along the way.”
By collaborating, marketing and social teams can massively shift and improve the way they work online.
A straightforward way is to create flows that allow people to foster their creativity. “So many ideas could come up if you have a dedicated workflow that allows for ideas and input across all stages”.
However, as teams collaborate online, it’s crucial to prevent frustrations that can arise in your group. “Marketers don’t choose this job, in particular, to play around with spreadsheets all the time. It’s not their passion”.
Tapping into passion
It can be frustrating to get creative if you don’t have a practical framework to work together. “It’s about encouraging auditing time” as well as making room for your team and for yourself to do what you do best.
The best way to save that time is to eliminate the parts that don’t shine, the manual components, the tedious ones. The bonus of being more efficient is that as a marketing team you can then charge more for your efforts.
If you are struggling to price your efforts, you can use Planable’s pricing calculator. The calculator uses data from 3 sources to determine an optimum interval for the rates you could be charging. It takes into account your costs, the quality of the work you provide, value perceived, and competition.
Collaborations and systems are two crucial parts of your internal strategy that can help your team become more efficient as it grows.