Sahail Ashraf posted on 3 February 2017
Things are never really permanent in social media, and if you’re an agency with clients, the rollercoaster that is social can provide its own level of stress. One of the most significant stressors in this particular context is the hiring of new staff for your team.
With the client and their needs at the forefront of your mind, you also have to ensure that any new hires are able to jump in quickly, and bring about a stable transition. It’s not rocket science, but a few things have to be thought about carefully before you let them loose.
If you’re an agency and you have to transition a new team member or an entire team, think about the following points.
Your old team members will have had their own passwords and usernames for a whole host of things, not least the social media accounts you own. If anyone is going to leave your office, you need to be sure that security is not compromised.
Work with the people who are leaving and get full control of the social media accounts they were working on before you let them go. There are a number of reasons why this is best practice but the obvious one centres around security.
In addition to that issue, you also need to think about the integrity of what you have created for your client so far. If the Facebook page that you built for your client has plenty of reach, you don’t want to endanger it by not being able to gain access when the new guy walks in.
Similarly, you will want to be able to spend some time allowing the new employee to settle in and pick up the voice that your previous employee brought to the party. To this end, just make sure that all passwords and page access are given to you (and double check this) because the client’s brand and standing are at stake.
This is the big part. You have to find a way to ensure that any new member of your team is on message with the various brands that you have as clients. The work here is considerable, but if done well, the transition should be a lot easier.
Grab a file of the content for each client, or ask the newbie to get online and start absorbing. They cannot be expected to deliver value for clients if they are unaware of what the client is like when it comes to brand voice. Show them where to look and what notes to take and the whole process should be a lot easier.
Even as the transition is progressing, you don’t really have to let them get stuck in with both feet. They could create a couple of posts for a client, for example, dummy posts if you want, and then trial them with the audience.
Any house style issues need to be addressed here too. Give them the opportunity to understand the conventions and style points that you follow with the clients. It will serve them in good stead as they focus on putting the content together.
This is where your metrics come in. Using metrics to illustrate what is working with regards to content ideas is the best way to get quick results. Gone are the days when agencies had to just ‘see what stuck’ when it came to content. Now, agencies have a suite of metrics at their disposal, and can narrow down the effective stuff all the way down to titles of posts.
Using your metrics to illustrate to a new employee the content that is effective and the stuff that simply didn’t fly is the best way to get their head in the game. Their incredible creativity can come in later. They need to hit the ground running with tried and tested stuff. Metrics show you what is tried and tested.
Active listening is the key to helping a new member of staff settle in. So introduce them to your competitors and get them listening. They need to look at the hashtags that are trending in your industries too so that they can quickly jump in with trending content themselves as they get to know your clients and their positions.
In fact, any new member of the social media team should most definitely get to know the accounts of your competitors. Spending time on these accounts and seeing what they are posting (and why) will allow them to quickly understand the industry and the way it’s moving.
The ultimate goal is to be one step ahead of the competition, and your new employees have a chance to do this if they are quickly introduced to the bad guys.
If you have ready-made templates that you use when you’re creating blog posts or other social content, furnish the new guy with them. This gives him a chance to quickly build momentum.
The tools and the services that you subscribe to and that ensure you cut the hard work out of social? He needs them too.
And he will need an introduction and training on how to get the best out of them. You can’t let your client down with an employee who is learning the ropes. Get them settled in quickly and using the tools that you know make your job easier.
The social media content calendar is one of the key documents you work with. Making sure this is introduced to any new recruits as quickly as possible is vital. They may not even be involved in content creation as things move forward, but knowing which way the client is going with content informs the bigger picture.
If they just work on community management, for example, the new employee(s) can have a heads up on what they are going to be discussing in the months ahead.
Make sure the above is clearly embedded for any transition of staff. This means you have a quality introduction for new people at your agency, one that allows them to give their very best for your clients.
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