Who Should “Own” Social Media at Your Association or Chamber? October 07, 2019 | By Callie Walker | social media for associations, Small Staff Chatter

By now, you know your organization needs to be active on social media, but there’s a problem: You don’t have anyone on staff to actually manage it. You could just pick someone, but you’re all spread so thin, as is. Should you just throw in the towel until you can hire someone new?

Though that might be the easier and more tempting route, we definitely don’t recommend doing that. Social media gives your organization credibility, helps you engage with members and prospects, helps you market your organization as a whole, and so much more. 

So who, then, should do it, and how when time is such an issue? Here are a few recommendations:

1. Have a designated person and a designated time to post 

If you don’t have a designated person to manage social media (and you’re working under the assumption that everyone can and should post when they’re able), everyone will pass it off and nothing will actually get done. Even if you’re all pressed for time and you don’t want to put it on anyone’s plate, to be successful here, that’s a must. (If you have a Director of Member Engagement or a Marketing and Communications Manager, that may be the person to turn to, at least for the time being. After all, they likely know your brand better than anyone.)

But whoever does end up owning it, here’s a little tip: have a designated day or time to post on social media, depending on your goals and what makes the most sense for your organization. 

I used to manage social media here at MemberClicks, and that’s what I used to do. Every morning, from about 8:00 to 8:30, I’d schedule social media for the day. (With Facebook and Twitter, you can actually schedule posts within those platforms. With Instagram and LinkedIn, you currently have to use a third-party site, such as Hootsuite, CoSchedule, or Later. But even if you can’t use a third-party site due to budget constrictions, just being able to schedule Facebook and Twitter posts alone will already be a huge help, since that’s likely where you post (or want to post) the most anyways.) 

Here’s why this works though: Once you really get going at work, social media is going to be the last thing on your mind. (And I say that from experience!) Having a designated time – ideally first thing in the morning – ensures that task doesn’t slip. Plus, once you start doing it for a while, it’ll become a habit, meaning your pages will come to life and stay alive – just what you want!

2. Consider hiring an intern 

If that first option still seems a bit too overwhelming, or if you’re trying to do it, but you’re just not seeing the results you want, consider hiring a social media (and/or marketing) intern. Many students will intern for free (I did in college!) or for hourly wage, which is still cheaper than hiring a full-time staff member. Even better, though: Interns come with fresh eyes AND fresh ideas! 

But note: If you do go this route, make sure you have enough for the intern to do and can truly offer them a valuable experience. (Help them build their portfolio!) And make sure you hire someone specifically for this role – a marketing or social media intern. Don’t lump social media into a business administration intern’s role, assuming they can do it just because they’re young. Social media requires strategy and a true understanding of brand, so having someone who’s passionate about that and understands that is key. 

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