The challenges and opportunities for teams working on social media

TeamLast week, I took part in a great discussion about managing social media for teams. The event was a webinar organized by Our Social Times, the social media agency and event organizer run by Luke Brynley-Jones.

Participants in the panel-type discussion  were Thomas Messett, Global Editor in Chief Social Media at Nokia; Leon Chaddock, Managing Director of Sentiment Metrics; and me, with everything moderated by Luke.

Over the course of an hour, we considered a wide range of topics surrounding that big title of ‘managing social media for teams.’ As Tom was our ‘big enterprise’ representative, we benefited from some insight into how social media teams work at a global company like Nokia.

I found that aspect of our discussion especially interesting because it was clear to me that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the goals, execution and expected outcomes from teams working on social media – what is good for a big company isn’t necessarily so for a small or medium business with less resources, both people and financial.

The webinar was audio only and recorded, and the recording is now available for listening. There’s no financial cost: you just need to register for access to the recording.

As part of my prep for the webinar, I made some talking-point notes, some of which we managed to talk about, others not. I think they all add to the conversation and you may find them useful, so I’ve included them here.

What are the challenges and opportunities for teams working on social media?


  • culture change
  • commitment by leadership
  • skills, abilities, commitment of team members
  • training, guidance
  • leadership of team


  • at the leading edge of organizational change
  • at the leading edge of a new CRM
  • actionable insights for those who need them
  • engage with and connect to influencers inside and out

Which department should lead on social?

  • It depends on the organization, taking into account culture, people, structure, goals, ways of working, etc

How should you enable different departments to input into social media?

  • clear and transparent organization structures
  • technology tools to enable

What kind of processes are needed?

  • define clear and measurable objectives from which you determine the processes
  • have a clear structure describing each person’s role and responsibilities

Do tools help or hinder team working?

  • depends on the tools – and the team
  • provide tools that enable people to work effectively and efficiently

What about staff and skills?

  • mixture of communication skills, project management, social media
  • depending on organisation and needs, ranging from the legacy skills to pop culture understanding of social

What’s your favourite example of a social media team doing good work?

  • Dell, the poster child

This is by no means a comprehensive list, purely talking points for discussion in the webinar. What would you add, or subtract?

Social media-related: Our Social Times has a two-day conference coming up on March 26-27 in London:

Social Media Measurement & Monitoring 2013 is an unique two-day conference and workshop will aim to highlight the latest developments in this important and ever changing topic.

Keynote speaker is Katie Paine – worth going to just to hear Katie. And I like this approach – Luke’s offering a free pre-event webinar on March 14 if you want to know more about the conference before deciding whether to sign up.

  • If you’re a listener to the FIR podcast I co-present with Shel Holtz every Monday, Luke’s kindly offering you a 10 percent discount on the ticket price. Send me a DM on Twitter for the coupon code (or listen to the start of FIR episode 693).

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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