Sarah Best has a lot of experience working with clients to audit their operations practices for social media. She shared practical tips to get organized around your goals and vision with the SMBMad audience at its virtual May event.
The CEO of Sarah Best Strategy uses analytical skills to think through processes for clients.
“The best strategy in the world won’t work if a team is dysfunctional or if you are dealing with people problems because you won’t be able to effectively implement the strategy,” she said. “We think a lot about roadblocks and obstacles in workflow and how to overcome them so we can effectively implement our strategies.”
View the event replay on the SMBMad Facebook page.
Align your team around a shared mission and values. Culture is what you fall back on when times are tough. Crafting a clear vision helps motivate your team and helps them prioritize their time, budget and resources.
“If you have clarity in your mission and vision it makes the operations stuff go a lot more smoothly,” Sarah notes.
Operations includes all the intentional work done to make sure your workflow processes run smoothly. For a social media team, it can be helpful to audit your operations.
- What processes are involved in delivering your social media content?
- What part of your social media operations feels the most strain when you have more work?
- Have you documented key processes?
- Do you have a plan in case of an emergency? For example: Have a policy about when to go “dark”, chain of command, methods to de-escalate problems.
- What tools should you be using to increase efficiency?
Teams that don’t use tools and have to do everything manually are a lot less efficient. Tools that assist with scheduling and reporting make posting a lot more simple. Process mapping is a visual flowchart that can be easier to follow than step by step instructions. Flowcharts can also help in the decision making process. LucidChart is a good tool for creating process maps.
Tools can add capacity without adding additional staff. So what tools does Sarah’s team use?
- Having Standard Operating Procedures and templates in the cloud is essential for her remote company with staff in two states.
- Google Docs are used for anything that requires collaboration, including social media calendars.
- Dropbox helps with any static files and media/graphics. Using the cloud also ensures that documents are backed up.
- Basecamp is a project management tool that can keep track of all the information you have for any given project.
- Bamboo HR and 15Five are HR tools that can manage time. Sarah’s team uses Sprout Social for social media management.
- Reporting can be very time consuming so having a tool that helps get the data you are looking for in a presentable format is helpful.
- Canva also helps teams collaborate on graphics and their templates can create consistent branding.
- LastPass helps manage passwords and simplifies how to give access to various platforms.
Social media by nature includes a lot of graphics and options. Have a defined folder structure and naming conventions that everyone adheres to so you can find information a month later, or a year later.
Always look for ways to do things more simply. Sarah’s company holds annual project management training where they work through real cases to help identify areas for improvement. Brainstorming with your entire team can help make sure everyone is working on solutions.
Working with clients
Kickoffs are an opportunity to establish a client’s goals, understand their pain points, and identify their target audiences and communication preferences.
Flow of content can be challenging on social media. Creating content approvals through a process helps with internal marketing and client relations. It’s an opportunity to get everyone on the same page. Sarah uses a monthly planning cycle and stores content in their cloud-based calendar. Including the status of each post helps to easily identify which posts are waiting for graphics, content, or approval. Sourcing, storing, tagging, and cataloging images is important for streamlining.
Remember that companies grow and evolve. Having periodic reviews of strategy is important because it lets us make any necessary adjustments.
Women’s Empowerment Series (WES) is a year-round program that supports women in crisis, major life transitions, or those seeking opportunities for personal growth. By developing self-sufficiency, an understanding of radical self-love, and connections to mentors and community resources, WES aims to ensure a sustainable and secure future for women and their families.
The organization is hosting its third annual completely virtual series, Empowerment Exchange, which hosts multiple speakers from around the country to bring valuable content on a wide range of personal development topics.
Find Women’s Empowerment Series online at www.womensempowermentseries.org/ and on their social channels at: