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How to Support a Remote Social Media Marketing Team

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  • How to Support a Remote Social Media Marketing Team

It’s official—remote working is here to stay. Flexible working has gone down a storm with many employees, and it’s good news for employers like you as well. A remote social media marketing team, for example, can be a particularly beneficial asset to your business.

At its core, social media marketing for business is well-suited to a remote working environment. Already operating in the digital space, it practices the art of effective online communication every single day. And, as long as marketers are equipped with the right tools and technologies, they can pretty much work from anywhere.

However, whether you employ full-time workers or hire freelancers, there are still nuances to managing a remote team. Offering high-quality support is crucial for ensuring that employees can thrive in a remote environment.

We’re going to explore some of the best ways to support your remote social media marketing team. But before we do, let’s answer a pressing question: why is there still so much hype around remote working, anyway?

The benefits of a remote social media marketing team

You’ve probably heard that “The Great Attrition” is upon us as resignations hit record highs. Workers are leaving jobs that lack autonomy and uphold unsustainable expectations in favor of what they desire most of all: flexibility and autonomy.

Flexibility is the most valuable benefit of remote working for marketing teams. Employees have more autonomy over where, when, and how they work. As a result, they can enjoy a better work-life balance, reducing burnout, boosting job satisfaction, and ultimately increasing mental well-being.

Social Media Marketing Team

Image sourced from buffer.com

Image alt text: Data visualization showing what employees consider the biggest benefits of working remotely.

For businesses, it’s a win-win.

With a wider pool to recruit from, you can broaden your horizons and hire the best talent on the market without being restricted by location. And, because happier employees are more motivated and loyal to your company, you can improve productivity and retention rates, too.

There are also financial benefits to consider. A completely remote social media marketing team incurs significantly fewer overhead costs than an in-office team. So, instead of spending money on utility bills, you can invest more of your budget into revenue-generating initiatives.

How to support a remote social media marketing team

It’s true that some of your traditional team management skills can be transferred over to remote team management. But a remote team requires specialized support if you want it to perform to its fullest potential.

Establish the right communication channels

Effective internal communication is the crux of a high-functioning social media marketing team. Without the means to communicate easily and efficiently, you hinder employee productivity, compromise workflows, and limit the development of positive coworker relationships . Also, using modern office phone systems can streamline communication channels, fostering seamless collaboration among team members.

Your remote teams should be able to communicate and collaborate with the same painless ease as office workers. This means going beyond emails and audio calls. With the right channels in place, you can enable the face-to-face communications and real-time collaborations that drive productivity and engagement.

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash.

Image alt text: A man having a face-to-face conversation with a woman through a laptop.

But which communications channels are the best fit for your team?

For reliable audio and video conferencing, Slack and Zoom are the two most popular platforms on the market. According to a recent survey by Expert Market, 52% and 47% of businesses use Slack and Zoom, respectively, for no-fuss communications.

Many marketing teams are leveraging video conferencing SDK to seamlessly integrate complete communication solutions into their platforms for internal communication.

As for the most popular collaborative project management tools, Trello and Asana top the list there. However, there are plenty of options to suit different business needs, sizes, and industries.

You can also leverage the benefits of cloud ERP system functionalities with an ERP consulting firm like Surety Systems. Providing teams with multi-user functions and a single source of truth, cloud ERP software refines team collaborations across locations. Social media marketers can securely access data from anywhere in the world and collaborate with coworkers to drive pivotal, data-informed decisions.

So, whether it’s an all-in-one unified communications solution or a variety of different tools, make sure your social media marketing team is fully-equipped to communicate remotely.

Support team wellbeing

By its very nature, remote working improves work-life balance and increases levels of happiness for those who enjoy the flexibility of working from home. But that doesn’t mean you can leave your employees’ well-being unchecked.

No workplace environment can be fully immune to the ingredients that trigger negative well-being. But for remote teams in particular, isolation, loneliness, and finding it difficult to unplug are pressing struggles that lead to burnout and poor mental wellness.

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Image sourced from buffer.com

Image alt text: A data visualization showing the biggest struggles of working remotely.

Regardless of whether your social media marketing team consists of full-time remote employees, part-timers, or freelancers, you should be taking steps to support their well-being.

Establish boundaries to promote a positive work-life balance: Dedicate specific times for virtual “water-cooler” chats, lunch breaks, and clocking off. Encourage employees to silence their notifications at the end of the day.

Encourage employee engagement: Hosting virtual team-building activities and engaging employees via your company’s social media can promote positive well-being.

Conduct regular wellness check-ins: Set aside some time every week or bi-weekly to check up on how your employees are doing.

Be alert to employee burnout: By recognizing the warning signs of burnout, you can reach out to and support struggling employees from the outset. Telltale signs of burnout include dwindling communication, illness, uncharacteristic mistakes, and disengagement.

Recognize and appreciate contributions: Show your employees that you value their hard work by expressing gratitude and celebrating team wins.

Offer discounts on well-being activities: Our physical and mental health are intricately entwined. From discounted gym memberships and meditation classes to healthy food subscription boxes or activity trackers, there are lots of things you can offer to support the physical and mental well-being of your workforce.

Provide feedback and coaching

Why should remote workers miss out on employer-supported professional development?

Employees value learning and development so much that it’s critical to their job satisfaction, engagement, and retention. According to Gallup, 71% say training and development improved their job satisfaction. And 48% of workers would even switch their jobs if it meant that they could develop their skills.

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Image sourced from www.shrm.org. Data sourced from Gallup.

Image alt text: A data visualization showing how workers value learning opportunities.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to offer fancy online upskilling courses or education assistance programs. One of the most valuable development assets you can provide your employees with is feedback.

Employees are desperate for as much feedback as they can get—the more detailed and frequent, the better. However, reports show that employees are dissatisfied with the quality and frequency of the feedback they receive.

28% of employees surveyed by Officevibe say that they don’t receive feedback frequently enough to know how to improve.

For every deliverable completed by your social media marketing team, deliver fair, comprehensive feedback to help them improve their skills. Provide 1-on-1 coaching to explore areas of improvement in more depth, taking the time to listen to the professional development desires of your employees.

Set them up with the right technology

We’ve already covered the importance of communication tools like Slack and Zoom, but what else do your social media marketers need in their tech stack?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a core tech stack essential for any business managing remote teams. An ERP system integrates critical daily business processes, eliminating data silos across departments. Social media marketing teams can gather everything from CRM data to real-time inventory, accounting, and sales data to make more accurate, impactful decisions.

And then, there are the tools specific to social media marketing. A social media scheduling tool is a must for streamlining and automating content creation. You should also provide social media analytics software, social listening tools, video editing tools, and SEO tools.

A collaboration platform is another key marketing tool for remote teams. They provide employees with a digital workspace for centralized document sharing, brainstorming, task scheduling, commenting, and much more.

In addition to communication tools like Slack and Zoom, your social media marketers can benefit greatly from incorporating a shift scheduling app into their tech stack. This tool facilitates efficient coordination of team schedules, ensuring smooth collaboration and maximizing productivity within remote teams.

Your social media marketing team should be onboarded with the right technology as soon as they start working for you. Opt for intuitive, user-friendly tools to increase your team’s time-to-productivity.

Encourage virtual team building and collaboration

40% of employees say that a lack of company community and interpersonal relationships are the biggest challenges they face in remote work. This is according to a recent study by Remote, which also found that these issues negatively affect employees more than the struggle to communicate effectively with coworkers or maintain engagement levels.

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Image sourced from remote.com

Image alt text: A graph showing the top challenges in distributed remote work.

But there’s hope. Other studies have found that when businesses present regular opportunities for relationship-building, remote workers can feel more connected to their colleagues. They also feel more connected if they know more about their coworkers’ lives outside of work.

Set up virtual team-building events to encourage employees to build deeper relationships. Along with the benefits of improved employee well-being, a connected, harmonious remote team will be more engaged, motivated, and productive.

Need some ideas? Some popular virtual team-building activities include things like:

  • Online lunch breaks.
  • Virtual icebreaker games.
  • Trivia and quiz nights.
  • App-based word games.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Virtual happy hours.

As well as virtual team-building, make sure to facilitate effective collaboration by integrating useful collaborative technologies into your tech stack.

Set clear expectations

Yes—remote working embraces flexibility by nature. But if you want your remote workers to thrive, you still need to set clear expectations surrounding engagement.

This need arises, in part, due to some of the challenges that come with managing a remote team. Most notably, remote teams are affected by increased distractions, poorer time management, and fragmented communications.

Luckily, you can mitigate these issues and enhance remote team performance by clearly establishing and enforcing expectations. For example, you can:

  • Establish working hours: Even if you’re entirely flexible, this still needs to be communicated to your team. There are other factors to consider, too, such as whether employees in different time zones must work during the manager’s local time zone or asynchronously. Do they need to log hours?
  • Set clear communication guidelines: For example, establish a set of codes to encourage good communication, such as those in Robert’s Rules of Order manual, that will help keep meetings goal-oriented. Additionally, establish which channel should be used for emergency communications and create rules surrounding out-of-hours messaging. Be clear on smaller details, too, like whether video cameras should be switched on during virtual team meetings.
  • Set targets, timescales, and deadlines: Using a desktop time tracker, you can keep track of projects, set realistic timescales, and hold employees accountable for their performance.

Monitor and measure performance

Using social media analytics tools, you can track valuable KPIs and metrics to monitor your remote team’s performance and ensure they’re meeting business goals.

Focus on the metrics that relate to your social media marketing objectives. If your goal is to increase engagement across your social media accounts, keep a close eye on your comments, shares, and likes.

If your goal is to drive more leads to your website through social media content, analyze traffic sources to determine whether initiatives are hitting targets.

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash.

Image alt text: An analytics display.

Along with social media analytics tools, utilize project management software and time-keeping software to monitor employee performance and engagement. If either is lacking, consider what you can do to initiate improvements.

It could be, for example, that your team’s workflow is being disrupted by silos or a communicational inefficiency. Monitoring performance can help you catch this early on and concentrate improvement efforts in the right area.

Make sure you support your remote social media marketing team

For most of us, social media is part of our core marketing strategy. It’s how we increase brand awareness, generate high-quality leads, and nurture customers to loyalty. But for all of this to be possible, we need a productive, motivated, and well-equipped social media marketing team.

Make sure that your remote social media marketing team is equipped with the tools they need to succeed, along with detailed feedback to drive continuous improvement. Most importantly, place the mental well-being of your team as a top priority.

While the ability to work from home is a dream come true for many, feelings of loneliness and isolation persist among remote workers. But with the right support in place, they don’t have to.

Leverage communication channels to not only enhance your teams’ project collaborations but to help them build better relationships. Host virtual team-building activities, encourage collaboration, and check in regularly to offer support.

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