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How to Build and Run Social Support Teams

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How to Build and Run Social Support Teams

  1. 1. “HOW TO BUILD & RUN SOCIAL SUPPORT TEAMS” an enterprise perspective #socialstrategy series | jeromepineau.com
  2. 2. 1. genetics Humans have nurtured and natural skills. Social service folks need “service genes”. Those are the foundation. So target people who have those because you can’t train for or grow “service genes”. enthusiasm • customer love • multitasking always-on • curiosity • persistence meticulous • networker • empathy • teacher These are all untrainable “service gene” attributes. Everything else – tools and methods -- you can train for. nature vs. nurture
  3. 3. 2. all in the family Don’t hire from outside unless absolutely necessary. Look for insiders already engaging with customers. They have a track record and history. You’ve surely seen them behave in groups, on phones, and under pressure. They’ll behave the same way on social channels. More importantly, look for insiders who really want to sign up for social support. Those who come to you and say “hey, I want to do this”. Regardless of any previous social media experience. keep it in the family
  4. 4. 3. semantics Be super careful how you name and define the position and team You are what you’re called. Community Manager? Social Support Rep? Social Care Agent? Social Crews? Whatever you pick, it must make sense internally, externally, be easy to remember, and become a source of pride (badging). Define the position in as much detail as possible. Make sure they understand what they’re getting into. it’s all in the name
  5. 5. 4. straight-up Explain the nature of the job really carefully to your prospects. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This is Management 101. But too often those hiring for social support positions don’t understand what it entails. Or don’t have any experience doing it. So they can’t really explain it. That’s a mistake. It’s not a job like others. And it takes one to know one. manage expectations
  6. 6. 5. promote Don’t move good people laterally into social support with no attached perks and/or promotion. If you do, the message is simply “we’re going to pile more 24/7 work on you for the same crappy pay you’re getting now” Moving into social service should be a rewarding, motivating, and “elite” kind of transition. Something to value and celebrate internally and externally. So pony up. make it prestigious
  7. 7. 6. bubble up, trickle down Immediately kick your people as far up as you can on the responsibility ladder. See how they deal with it. Eventually, they’ll trickle down to their personal plateau. And end up on top of their game. Then you know what to expect. If you do it the other way – slowly, step by step, from the bottom up - you’re showing lack of trust, and you’re slowing them down. If they fail, help them fail fast – best for everyone. And if they don’t, well you know you picked the right people. shoot for the skies, see where it lands
  8. 8. 7. failure is good Let your people fail. Reward them when they do. Only doers and top guns fail. The others are too afraid to act. And without action, there is no failure. And no business either. When hiring people, look for folks who have experience in failure. But not the same failure every time  failure is a friend
  9. 9. 8. transparent Be transparent in everything you do, plan, and think. A social support team needs to work in unison and coordination. Everyone has to be on the same page 24/7. Be honest and forthcoming with both praise and criticism. Information flows fast and furious. People multitask all the time. Share everything, everywhere, all the time. Let people filter as they choose. communicate all the time
  10. 10. 9. tooling Don’t skimp on equipment for the team. Always provide the latest and greatest tools. There are enough challenges out there without having to deal with crappy hardware and software tools. Quality tools improve efficiency, save money, and enhance morale. They also make for a better customer experience for engagement and content. And they send a message to your team that they are truly valued. a good craftsman picks good tools
  11. 11. 10. meetings Social support teams should always be connected digitally around the clock. This “finger on the pulse” connectivity should preclude everything but the most important meetings. No meeting worth anything ever lasted more than 15 minutes. Don’t manage with meetings. Manage with constant communication, awareness, and feedback in a constant, real-time mode. meetings pass time and little more
  12. 12. 11. autopilot Strive for a steady state “autopilot” operating mode over time. This entails managing by making small, gentle corrections as needed. You cannot micro-manage a social support team. This can only happen with clear vision, well- understood goals, and top gun, independent players. small, gentle course corrections
  13. 13. 12. empower Social support team members must be trained to make decisions in the field and in the heat of action. There’s no calling back to the mother ship. So give them the tools and authority to do whatever it takes to wow customers. Empower them across the organization, and give them full authority to do what’s needed, when needed, where needed. Without approval. And put budget behind it. If you cannot do that, then you don’t trust your people. And so you picked the wrong people. And you will not succeed. trust and empower
  14. 14. 13. no fun, no deal Ask your people periodically if they’re still having fun at their job. If you get negative or lukewarm answers, stop and re-assess what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Something’s not right. And fixing it is urgent. never forget to have fun

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