5 Things Social Media Can Teach Managers
You’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You post regularly to keep your followers aware of your company, your brand, and your products. You make sure your posts are informative without overselling. You respond to customer feedback, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Some might say you’re well versed when it comes to the nuances of social media.
However, have you ever considered that while you have a great relationship with your social media followers, you’re missing the chance to build great relationships with your team?
- Build a Community
Social media is about more than just broadcasting your brand message. It’s about building a community of loyal customers. This requires that you to make yourself available. You reach out, share information, and let customers know they’re valued by providing incentives to community members who contribute the most.
Just like with social media, managing your team requires you to build a community. Although normally called team building, the principles are the same.
As a manager, you can build your internal community by having an open-door policy, keeping team members in the loop, and providing rewards to acknowledge individual and team contributions. Do you manage a team of millennials? A team of Boomers? Or maybe a combination of different generations? Consider the makeup of your team as you explore and build this community.
- Invite Discussion
Social media is all about being social. Whether you set up a discussion group, ask relevant questions that require in-depth responses, or post winning content and links to generate comments, the platform requires you to relate to followers to be successful.
Being a manager requires you to invite discussion and connect with your staff as well. Whether you have weekly staff meetings or impromptu one-on-ones, involved employees have higher job satisfaction levels. The only way to know if you have engaged employees is to ask them, and the only way to engage employees is to talk to them.
- Encourage Feedback
Conversations take place every day on social media. A large part of the discussion includes feedback, both positive and negative. Additionally, you can proactively collect feedback by hosting focus groups and conducting surveys.
The benefit to your business is the chance to learn what your customers like and don’t like about your brand and products. Having this information gives you and your organization the ability to make adjustments and corrections where needed.
Your team members have preferences, too, especially when it comes to their jobs, their employer, and their supervisor. Encouraging them to share their ideas, suggestions, and feedback enables you to grow as a leader. It also keeps you informed as to where you might need to make changes in the work environment.
- Develop Others
When the average person thinks of social media, they usually think of websites like LinkedIn and Pinterest. However, the term is much broader, and refers to any website that allows you to create and share written and visual information.
Consider Slideshare and YouTube, for instance. Each offers a platform for sharing information in an educational manner. Vine, although now defunct, shows how six-second videos can become a useful teaching tool in the hands of the people at Lowe’s home improvement.
Training is an important part of a manager’s role, too. From new-hire orientation to in-house development programs and everything in between, a big part of your job is to ensure your team is well equipped to perform.
- Improve Customer Service
Social media is a great marketing tool. Part of marketing includes a customer service element. Specifically, using social media for customer service allows you to listen to feedback, find solutions, take appropriate actions, and thereby develop your customer base.
However, if you think of customer service as being strictly about your relationship with people who purchase your products and services, your thinking is too linear. Sure, your responsibility is to meet the needs of your paying customers. However, customers are not just people outside your organization who purchase your products and services.
If you’re a manager whose goal is to embrace and improve customer service fully, you and your staff need to begin redefining the term. A customer is anyone who seeks service from you, including coworkers in your own or other departments within your organization.
Social media is great for making connections with those outside your organization. However, as a manager, keep in mind that’s only part of your job. You need to make a great connection with people – especially your staff – inside your organization as