In this guest post, CEO of Quiip, Alison Michalk (image below), talks about the risk of solo social media management and how you can improve your social media game with a hybrid approach.
Does all your company’s social media sit with just one community manager? Cue the alarm bell!
The 2018 Australian community manager s Career Survey showed that 38 per cent of organisations have one or fewer people dedicated to managing their always-on social channels. Which, aside from one exhausted frontline community manager, also means your company has a high risk, single point of failure.
If your community manager leaves the organisation, falls ill for a short or long-term period, or decides to take a well deserved holiday, who will take the reins? What happens if a crisis hits? At three in the morning?
How quickly can you hire, train and have someone manning the fort?
Social media has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have, to a strategic advantage and a full-scale out of hours operation.
Social media audiences, customers and members expect round-the-clock response times to their enquiries. Company reputations can tumble frighteningly fast after even a single public misstep. And risky content can snowball long before your community manager has clocked in for the day.
Honestly, there’s every chance your community manager never clocks-off. A worrying 32 per cent of working community manager s in Australia struggle with burn out, and even more with general overwork and fatigue (ACM 2018). They often feel a duty of care to their community members and – without an extra helping hand – are motivated to check-in at all hours, however impractical or unhealthy.
Working all hours isn’t only risky for the community manager. A business enabling—or worse, encouraging—always-on availability may come under scrutiny for working conditions. One crisis in the early hours could see serious, even legal repercussions. It’s a reckless way to deal with the employee you’ve invested in, and the community asset you’re working to build.
Even with the stakes so high, companies struggle moving beyond one community manager.
They may tie themselves in knots with questions like this: Is it a community manager who works nights? Weekends? Could they do both? That’s a full seven days. They’ll need a break. Can they work in the company office? At night? Or remotely? Does the business allow that? Do we have our community processes bedded down? Documented? Do I have headcount approval?
Bringing on more headcount for community comes when you’ve built a more sophisticated community proposition for your business.
You might not be there yet, and that’s totally ok. But while you may not have scope to protect your staff members via a full-time colleague, an alternative option is to fill the immediate gaps with specialised out-of-hours help.
You and your community manager can rest assured that the community is in safe hands when the lights are off, and you’ve got breathing space to run the numbers, consider community strategy, and figure out what the next step looks like.
A hybrid approach like this doesn’t compromise your operational integrity. Instead, it’s extra insurance for your business, your community manager and the future of your community.