Managing social media at scale can be a tricky balancing act. You need to have strong direction from the central team, yet give local teams enough leeway to be creative. You need to stick to budget, yet have enough resource to adequately staff the campaign, and have people on stand-by if they’re needed to deal with better-than-expected response.


How can brands ensure they will be able to manage a global social media campaign successfully? Here are Tamara’s team’s top nine tips for getting it right…

Get the structure right. The time you spend getting this right at the start is time well spent. Strategy, planning, key messages and concepts for the campaign should originate from a central team. But it should be run by a local team, who will feed data from the campaign back to the centre, so the approach can be tweaked and adapted.

Put the right team in place. Your local teams should not only be great social media managers, they need to have a good grip on local culture, language, legislation, as well as really understanding when an issue should be escalated back to the central team.

Localise content. While the central team will give direction on strategy, messages, processes, procedures and brand guidelines, local teams should have the authority and freedom to adapt content to make it relevant for the local market.

Optimise content. Analyse the data that’s coming in from local team members to look for common themes that can be incorporated to the central plan, or rolled out to other regions. For example, maybe several regions have seen more engagement with video content than images, or seen common feedback on a product. There may be some content you can standardise across all regions, making the campaign more efficient.

Use the right tools. Good performance management and social listening tools are essential when running large-scale social media campaigns. Performance management tools will help your local teams collaborate and share best practice. Social listening tools help to monitor brand perception, and allow you to differentiate between direct feedback (I hate you @brand) and indirect venting (I hate @brand) – although you’ll still need a human eye to spot nuances of language such as sarcasm, and to make recommendations based on the data.

Have a clear quality control process. Check the quality of your campaigns daily, with spot checks, and set quality processes. Look for things like content and data quality, and compliance with brand guidelines on themes and tone of voice. Newer team members will need more regular checks on their work. Make sure you set aside enough time to ensure the quality of the campaign is consistent across all regions. You always need more time than you think for this.

Know when to escalate an issue. The central team should put clear escalation processes in place, tailored to the needs of the audience. A page aimed at teens and tweens will need more content escalating than a site aimed at adults. Local teams should know who they can call when there’s a problem at 3am, which is why we advise that there’s always a local culture and language expert on standby for emergencies.

Think in languages, not countries. It’s simple to think: “I’m in 10 countries, I need 10 languages.” But language doesn’t work like that. If you’re in Belgium, you might need French, German and Flemish. Are you happy to use US English in the UK? Do you need Welsh in Wales? Decide which languages you need for the campaign. Be conservative at first – you can always add languages.

Focus on cultural fluency as well as language fluency. Use native language speakers, and also people who are culturally fluent in the country you’re targeting. Culture changes all the time. If you’re Brazillian, but moved to the UK as a young child, your cultural references are probably more grounded in British culture than in Brazilian. You need teams of people who are immersed in the local culture, understand current cultural references and the nuances of evolving language.

Get these things right, and you won’t just have a great social media campaign. You’ll have a great social media campaign that can scale to reach a global marketplace.

Tamara Littleton is founder and chief executive of Emoderation, and co-founder and chief executive of Polpeo

With thanks to | Google Images

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