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Keep Your Social Circle – and Team – Small

By October 12, 2020October 13th, 2020CommLinks Blog

The concept of social media is here to stay. It is not a fad. It is not just for Millennials to update their friends on what they ate for dinner. And regardless of your personal opinions on each individual platform, social marketing is an integral part of any business – and cousin, business is a-boomin’.

In just 2019 alone, Facebook – and its network which includes Instagram and a proverbial cornucopia of other under-the-radar acquisitions – generated nearly $70 billion in advertising revenue, more than 98 percent of its total revenue for the year. That’s 70 billion with a B – some serious cheese. It’s not as though, however, Facebook or social media advertising in general, just takes cash and walks away with it. Advertisers, of course, get something for their money. What do they get? For one, the most cost-effective advertising opportunities of all time and admission to the world’s largest human-behavior data cache. And in this marketer’s opinion, they also get ground-floor access to the first real human-mapping program in history – something out of science fiction folklore. But that’s for another decade.

So, if Facebook, other social media giants and their advertisers are making money hand over fist with very little waste and extremely low costs, it stands to reason a huge chunk of your brand’s allocated marketing dollars should fall in that line-item of the budget. And not just in hard advertising dollars, either. You need a team, don’t you? And your team needs a team! And you need managers and VPs and directors and on and on. Makes all the sense in the world to create a sophisticated employment hierarchy to manage this process. Right? Not really. Facebook isn’t Texas and bigger ain’t always better.

Here are five reasons your social media team should stay small.

Specialists Are Not Special

The very first thing that happens when you create a large social media team (between 10-50 individuals) is you produce specialists. We’re not talking about professionals who specialize in social media, but rather one, extremely specific part of social media. A 15-person social team will have a poster, a copywriter, an image curator, a graphic designer – no, they’re not the same thing – an advertising audience creator, an executor and so on. Welcome to information-silo Hell, only accessible via “not my job” road. Good luck getting all those people to stay on task, let alone execute your brand’s vision.

Ticket Taking Takes Time

So, you’ve completed your make-or-buy analysis and determined it’s better to pay an agency to do your social media work. Fantastic. Great choice. Agency X has bean bag chairs, a foosball table and 25 dedicated social media professionals. As the client, you have a single point person. Let’s say you want to take advantage of local news that impacts your business. You ask your representative to whip something up. He says he’ll put in a ticket.

What on earth does that mean? In a nutshell, he speaks to his team who speaks to their team who speaks to a specialist who has 90 other things to do. By the time you get any kind of mock or proof of what you want to accomplish, it’s been four days and the news cycle has passed you by. Another opportunity missed. Damn. Don’t you wish you could have just talked to the specialist directly? Not gonna happen at Agency X.

Now that we’ve identified some of the biggest issues with a bloated social team, let’s examine the benefits of keeping your social circle small.

The Lean, Mean, Social Team Machine

Smaller social media teams don’t have the benefit of hiring specialists, which means every team member knows every platform inside and out. They know when to post, how to post, how to create and identify successful audiences, how to engage and – most importantly – how to talk to you, the client. You get real-time, in person discussions with the entire team as a team. No playing telephone, no ticket taking, no information silos and ESPECIALLY none of that “not my job” crap. Better already!

Maintaining an Authentic Voice

Specialists and managers are people and people have opinions. The last thing you want as a brand is for your agency’s opinions to creep into your social voice and how you communicate online. With a small, dedicated social team who has constant interaction with you, the client, you can rest easy knowing your team fully understands the nuances of your brand. How do you know? You told them directly. No guess work, no restless nights, no typos, no gaffs. No problem.

Pride a Sin No Longer

You either started this business or you’re responsible for its success. You take pride in your job as a steward of your brand. Is that so bad? Of course not! And with a small social media team who has real, attainable goals and a vested interest in seeing your brand grow on social, you can bet your bottom dollar your small social team will not only reflect your pride, but also feel it within themselves. At their core, small social media teams are, well, teams. And teams want to win You play to win the game. It’s that simple. It’s a pretty stark contrast from the clock-in-clock-out unskilled social specialist work from overstuffed agencies and internal departments. Pride is good. It should be echoed by your agency.