Remote working has its pros and cons. On the upside, you can wear pyjamas without fear of judgment from your colleagues and there is zero commute. On the downside, your marketing team is spread out in different locations. Working from home offices and kitchen tables across the city. Maybe even the country.
Keeping on top of busy social media marketing activities is a delicate balancing act of time and focus at the best of times. When working as a remote team, it takes added coordination and cooperation to keep your social media workflow tight. Add in a crisis like the Covid-19 global pandemic and you are suddenly factoring in crisis management and heightened stress too.
How can you be confident that your workflow will remain efficient when your team is remote?
For an efficient social media workflow, your whole team must know what the social media strategy is. This will help them to understand the goals and purpose of their individual tasks. Keep a clearly laid out strategy document in a place that is accessible remotely. This could be your CRM, Google Drive, or workflow tool of choice.
Give the team an opportunity to discuss and understand the social media strategy. If you are at the creation stage of your strategy, invite your team to contribute.
During a crisis or ahead of a major campaign, get the whole team on a video call to discuss how the strategy and social media workflow will be impacted and what changes and additions have been made. Add these updates as an appendix to the strategy document for everyone to reference easily.
Delegate Tasks Clearly
A team that understands what is expected of them will work happily and effectively. A team that is confused about who is doing what will become demotivated and produce sub-standard work.
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the different members of your social media team. “Know your team’s strengths and dish out the tasks accordingly,” advises, Lavinia Simmons, social media marketer at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting. “Keep a record of who is doing what to prevent crossover which can create friction in a team and dysfunctional social media workflow”, adds Simmons.
On your strategy check-in calls, run through who is doing what and keep that information with your strategy too.
Create Content Ahead And In Bulk
With so many channels and platforms to use, like Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter, there is a lot of content needed. This is one of the most time consuming elements of any marketing team’s day.
Start with a calendar planner that can be made available to the whole remote team. Work out what content is needed, for when, and for which platforms. This will help you establish when content needs to be ready. Try to populate your calendar so that you are always working a minimum of two weeks ahead.
With the plan in place, the remote team can get to work creating images, videos, downloads, and everything needed for the planned content. A neat social media workflow habit to get the team into is to create bulk content.
For example, if you are creating photo content for product promotion, can you do more than one product shoot whilst the studio is set up? When your video maker is filming, have them keep rolling between takes to capture behind the scenes snippets and bloopers to use later. Create a library of the extra content to use in future weeks and encourage the team to think of ways they can create in bulk.
Use A Social Media Scheduling Tool
Time is of the essence. Since you are now planning and creating in bulk, look for a social media scheduling tool to add to your workflow. “Trying to manage content daily is inefficient and prone to error,” says Andrew Thomas, a workflow manager at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk. “A scheduling tool will allow you to upload in bulk, giving you time to check for typos and errors, and to stay ahead of schedule.”
Social media scheduling tools are useful for keeping your brand channels consistent and fresh. They allow you to pick the time and day that a particular piece of content goes out in advance of the date. Leaving you free to concentrate on live content and new ideas.
When using scheduling tools, keep in mind that you still need to check-in on your social media platforms to stay engaged and reply to comments. Schedule a set time each day to do this. Maybe delegate this task to one of the team or alternate who checks and responds each day.
Automate Social Media Reports
No campaign is complete without review. We may think our social media content is fabulous but only analytics will tell us if our audiences agree. With so many channels to check this is a task often conveniently forgotten or put on the back burner.
The value of checking your campaign’s performance cannot be overemphasized though. In your analytics, you will find trends from digital marketing experts to capitalize on and notice times or content types that need tweaking because they are not performing as expected. To make it easier, look at automating your social media reports so that the report is pulled together in one place each week or month. Just one way to ensure you remain efficient when your team is remote.
Ashley Halsey is a content creator at Luckyassignments.com Belfast and Gumessays.com who advises marketing teams on working efficiently. She enjoys traveling around Europe giving business training courses.