Managing social media in a large organisation

People at meeting

I was approached to join the Australian Government Social Media Toolkit event to cover ‘Managing Social Media in a Large Organisation’. Here are some notes ahead of my session in Melbourne on Monday 1 May.

A Social Media Manager is a little like the Ring Master in a circus: keep the audience enthralled, safe, and coming back for more, while letting the performers do what they do best: performing.

Let me flesh out the analogy. Social Media governance for an organisation isn’t necessarily the hub of content creation– it probably shouldn’t be. The Ring Master is there to make sure the show runs without a hitch. The Social Media Manager should be the legal, creative, and technical advisor to people who produce the content; the subject matter experts. These SMEs are your real performers.

Centralised or federal model?

Centralising social media in a large organisation becomes more complicated as the organisation grows. When the people creating your organisation’s social content are not the same people influencing or driving the business, that same content is unlikely to be responsive and transparent.

A federal model where social media accounts become managed by various business units and locations within an organisation delivers its own risk: how do you build a consistent message and keep the social experience in line with organisational marketing and communication guidelines?

Consider these four questions:

  1. Can you use third party tools to give teams within the organisation some level of access to social networks?
  2. Does your federal model of social media management mean introducing more social media assets OR better pipelines for content creators to share to existing profiles?
  3. How robust is your policy and does it outline expectations for those managing your social media assets? For example, can your teams easily defer a social asset to the media team in the event of an organisation crisis?
  4. How are your social media plans reflecting the wider organisational goals for communications? This is the big one! I’ve added it last for dramatic effect.

I’m looking forward to talking about the trends in social media and in social media policy. They help answer these questions. Strong social media governance means the audience will come back for the high-wire stunts and not just the clowns.