PR pros have traditionally managed organizations’ outward-facing communications, including social media. These days, however, more internal functions are being granted access to an organization’s Facebook page. Customers don't care whether the person behind the page works in PR or marketing—they want quick answers, interactions and to know what's going on at all times, especially during a crisis.
Frank Eliason, SVP of social media for Citibank, says it's a mistake to hire “a social media guru” to manage all social media activity in an organization. "These experts often don't understand your brand. You can't teach the passion for the customer or for the brand,” Eliason says. “People who have passion get recognized in social media, and the press. If you hire a social media expert you often get someone more concerned about themselves than the brand."
Brad McCormick, EVP/senior digital strategist and managing director for Porter Noveli, recommends a cross-functional team approach, and says that each member's role must be clearly defined. His ideal four-person team contains the following staff members:
Community Manager: A brand ambassador with outstanding communication and people skills who is prepared to triage any social situation.
Metrics and Analytics: This individual should know KPIs and have a sense of how to best manage Facebook’s content algorithms.
Creative and Tech: This team member should be well-versed in working with photos, infographics and videos.
Strategy: A diplomat representing more senior stakeholders who is able to connect Facebook activity to larger business goals.
Hear more from Facebook expert Brad McCormick at PR News' Facebook Conference on Dec. 1 in Washington, D.C.