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How to Create An Effective Cross-Functional Social Media Team

Social media has permeated every layer of our personal and professional lives.

So it’s more imperative than ever that our social media strategy at work carry across company departments and messaging. This kind of cross-functional teamwork should exist in every company, from public relations and marketing to IT and customer service.

Here are some important tips to consider:

When it comes to messaging, keep an editorial calendar, complete with content themes. This will help ensure consistency across communications channels. An editorial calendar is vital in unifying cross-departmental teams.

At PR Newswire, we constantly share data and information through a variety of platforms. Social media trends are a huge topic of discussion.

“Whether [sharing data and information] manifests itself in in-person meetings, conference calls, Wiki areas or shared documentation, maintaining an outlet for ongoing collaboration and feedback is key and will help inform future activity, as well as improve the overall effectiveness of the team,” says Christina Griffo, marketing manager for PR Newswire.

Communication is critical.

For example, during the Republican and Democratic conventions, dozens of PR Newswire team members were in constant communication regarding the distribution of releases, tweeting over @PRNpolicy, live posting to Tumblr and Google+, and blogging on the company blog, Beyond PR.

“It was essential that we all were on the same page, even though we were in different places and were looking at different things,” says PRN customer content specialist Kristin Roach. “Checking in with each other was extremely helpful.”

Something else that has helped the @PRNPolicy Twitter team is scheduling tweets in advance. By viewing the pending tweets, team members know what’s left for grabs, in terms of political content.

PR Newswire has many curated Twitter accounts, which allows individuals from around the company to work together and learn and connect on social channels.

“They’re our social media ambassadors,” says Victoria Harres, director of audience development for PR Newswire. “We’ve got people in management, sales, and editorial – all around the company – who volunteered for this. All of them are doing this because they want to and that’s part of why it’s so successful.”

Harres says no one person is writing the rules.

“They’re experimenting and sharing the results in our internal Wiki so they can learn from each other,” she said. “The brand just benefits all the way around and the curators also benefit because they are learning an incredible amount about social media and managing social accounts for a brand.”

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

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