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As more employees opt to work remotely, marketing managers struggle to find ways to keep teams connected and working together digitally. Individuals want to feel as though they are part of the team but that they also have the independence to work from afar. This dynamic can prove difficult for managers who want to increase productivity and keep everyone happy.
Here are four tips I’ve learned by working with a remote team.
A central communication tool is crucial
Using email or Google Hangouts to communicate gets messy. Emails get lost in long chains, and chats can get confusing when trying to discuss multiple clients. Managers should use one communication tool, such as Slack, Basecamp or Trello, to make sure the team stays organized. Break up different clients into different Slack channels (or boards, etc., depending on the tool) to reduce confusion.
Invest in an approval tool
The biggest mistake remote teams can make is allowing a post or piece of content to go live with an error. This can be a small error such as a typo or a large error such as offensive content. Big brands have done this, but it’s a really easy fix. Use a content approval tool to setup automated social media approval processes, so all necessary parties have their eye on the content before it goes live. This is a great tool to use with clients as well, because, instead of going through email chains or complicated spreadsheets, clients simply see posts how they would look and press an approve button.
Watch and learn from analytics
Instead of having every person check analytics, it’s a good idea to assign this task to one or two data savvy people. This person can check native social media statistics, as well as Google Analytics, to create a weekly or monthly report on which type of social media channels perform the best and which are not converting. This person can also have their own Slack channel where they disseminate useful data-driven information to the rest of the team.
Don’t place blame, just find a solution
When working remotely, sometimes things go wrong. It happens. Instead of figuring out who to blame, focus on finding a solution to the problem. If an image uploaded incorrectly on Facebook, don’t blame the owner, but instead work with design or new stock images to make sure this problem does not happen again. Teams that find solutions will be more productive moving forward.
Working remotely gives team members flexibility and the chance to own different projects without micro-management. For social media teams, this means no in-person chats about the strategy, campaign and analytics, which can prove challenging for some. Teams that find useful communication tools and make sure to utilize them correctly, however, will have no trouble working together regardless of location.