September 11th, 2012 by Lloyd Gofton
Jeremiah introduced the post as follows: “The purpose of this post is to be a living document and industry reference on the topic of social media teams, as part as my ongoing coverage of corporate social media programs. This perspective stems from industry research and deeper client engagements.”
He also offered the following definition of a corporate social media team: “The Corporate Social Media team is business program lead by a corporate social strategist that achieves business goals using social tools by coordinating with multiple business units across the enterprise.”
As you can see from the image below, Jeremiah has defined the average team size as 11. Now before you comment that a social media team of that size is very rare, please note in the definition above, and throughout the piece, that the team is rightly made up of the coordination with multiple business units across the organisation.
As he notes: “In most cases, we see this team as a centralized resource that’s often cross-functional working closely with a number of corporate functions as well as business units ranging from product teams, geographies, the field, and departments.”
This the reality of the social media team, and although current actual team size is not as big as it is likely to become, we need these cross-function and cross-discipline teams to pull together the disparate elements and departments affected by social.
Jeremiah’s breakdown of the corporate social media team is one of the better resources that I’ve seen, covering: strategy, anatomy, matrix breakdown by role, team characteristics and a selection of resources and further research.
This post equips any organisation to not only begin developing a social media team, but re-work an often shambolic internal communications process and introduce socially-motivated conversations and connections between teams that would otherwise repeat or contradict each other.
Our recent whitepaper on Social CRM touched on this issue and contains further useful information on the types of information that should be shared and which departments should be involved.
The reasons for this approach and the cultural change required are summarised in this post.
Furthermore, if you’re not part of a corporate and don’t have the capacity to put all of the recommendations into action, the social media for Start-ups post that I wrote recently for TechCrunch should also be helpful.