How to Build an In-House Social Media Team

Last year, you educated yourself about social media and the opportunities that it offers you as a business owner. Your efforts and needs have grown dramatically since then. You now need a team of social media experts in-house.Your team needs to be chosen very carefully and very deliberately. The team will represent your business and getting this type of team together can be very tricky. Remember to identify which social media channels you feel will be most effective for your business. Before you actually target and contact any of the people whom you want as part of your social media team, you should answer a few questions.

What is the ultimate goal of your social media team?
Should you use people who are already working for you or should you hire from outside of your business?
Which qualities should you look for in a social media expert?
Establishing finite goalsBefore you can figure out whom you want as part of your team, you need to figure out why you need a social media team. Perhaps you are aiming to entertain and excite people. Maybe you want to use social media as a sales tool for your business offerings. It is also very important that you have a definitive idea about which results you wish to concentrate on, such as levels of engagement with your online connections, amount of buzz you are generating and/or how much your sales have increased.In addition to your team of experts using social media in the most effective manner for your business, they also need to interact with and assist your prospective and existing customers. Your team members may very well be the point people for prospects and customers when they need something.Have a social media policy in place from the beginningAny business that is involved with social media on any level at all should have a policy. The length and amount of detail of your policy may be as short as a few lines or may be much longer and more comprehensive. In any case, the premise of your policy should be a statement of how you want your employees to reference your brand anytime they are interacting online. If you have a policy in place before you have put your team together, it will help you to decide who to choose for your team.It is critical that you know up front how you want your brand to be conveyed by your team. The team will be the voice of your brand and it is essential that all of their communications reflect the personality of you and your business.Should you choose your team among already existing employees or hire from the outside?When you sit down and actually give that question some thought, the first thing that you need to identify is whether any of your existing employees have the skills and talents that are necessary for your social media team. One very positive attribute is that your employees really know your brand. On the other hand, if you choose people from the outside, you will be hiring people who have excellent knowledge of social media and its many facets.In the best of all possible worlds, you will find everything that you need when it comes to your team in your employees. Whether this is reality or not really depends on the individuals and on their involvement with social media, whether that means when they are working for you or on their own time. If you end up choosing people from outside of the company, you must make sure that those people have been fans of your business for a substantial amount of time. You wouldn’t want to choose someone who has no idea about your offerings. If the people you hire love what your company represents and what it offers, there is also a great chance that those people will appropriately communicate your branding online at every opportunity.Which skills should you look for when putting together a team?

An understanding of numbers and statistics: Statistics are critical for many reasons, including measuring performance and return on investment, being knowledgeable about your community, and being able to anticipate what those people responds to and what excites them.
A combination of business, communication and social skills: All three of these skills are necessary in whomever you choose to be a part of your social media team. They are all skills that will be used on a very regular basis. The concept brings multitasking to a whole new level.
Attention to detail: Your people need to be extremely detail oriented and efficient and productive at the same time. It is not so easy to find all of those qualities in one individual, however, there certainly are people who possess those qualities.
A firm sense of commitment: Social media requires a great deal of commitment, persistence and consistency. Once you are connected, you must stay connected. You need to remember that once you start using social media, you will be in it for the long haul. Because of the fact that the success of your business through social media is dependent on interactions with others, your commitment to interact with them very frequently is key. You need to make sure that your human side remains intact and is visible at all times.
ConclusionChoosing an in-house social media team is a great idea as long as you are at that point in your business. You will know when it is the correct time to start doing that. If you are still in an early stage with your business and haven’t grown large enough yet to need an entire team, it is recommended that you hire an outside company to build your web presence and help you to increase your online exposure and reputation. Once you have moved to the next level, it is an excellent idea to hire a team so that you can enjoy the benefits that social media will continue to give your business.