Staff Change 911: Don’t Let Your Social Media Accounts Be Forgotten

flickr: bgottsab

Last week I met with a nurse who will be taking over as the blogger for her hospital department’s blog. Unfortunately, the blog has been neglected for a few months, as they have been transitioning between department managers and deciding who would take over blog management.

As thrilled as I am about the new blog manager, ideally you would never be in this situation. Readers want consistency and to know that when they log on to your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account after a week-long absence, that new content will be there to greet them. The easiest way to lose fans is by posting infrequently or not at all.

So how can you make sure that your social media accounts don’t suffer when your staff changes?

This may not be much of a problem if your marketing department manages your hospital’s social media accounts, as training an incoming staff member is typically part of the job training. However, if you are a small hospital where social media accounts are managed by individual departments, this will apply to you.

Create a content archive.
A content archive will come in handy in many cases. First, if you find yourself extremely busy one week and don’t have time to spend writing a blog post or researching articles to tweet, you can simply pull from your archive. The rule of thumb is to have enough extra posts for two weeks.

The second time a content archive will come in handy is when something unexpected comes up, like an illness or a family emergency. In this case, you can simply let a backup social media manager (see below) know that you have extra information on hand that they can post, and your social media accounts won’t skip a beat.

Develop a social media calendar.
Creating a general timeline for content will help anyone taking over your blog to know what to post and when. For example, June is National Home Safety month, so on your calendar you can indicate when a home safety-related article or blog needs to be posted. The great part about creating a calendar is that it will be a useful tool for you, not just someone filling in for you.

Designate a social media backup manager.
A back up manager is important for those times when something does come up, like you get sick or have some type of personal emergency that forces you to leave at the last moment. This back up person is the equivalent to an understudy in a play; they would know enough about the process to take over in your absence. This would include knowing the blog, Facebook or Twitter posting schedule, how to access your content archive, logging into your accounts and then posting content.

Write social media management into the job description.
This would apply in situations similar to the one happening with our client, where the former blog manager left without much notice, and the search process for her replacement took place after. In addition to creating an understudy, which is typically someone who would take over for the short-term, writing social media management into the job description is a way to be sure anyone who accepts the position knows social media is part of the job description and will keep it at the top of the list instead of becoming something the new hire simply “gets to when there’s time.”

What all of this boils down to is, make sure social media is a mandatory task, and not just another item on your to do list. In traditional print marketing, you wouldn’t stop running ads or updating your hospital’s website just because of a change in marketing manager, so why treat social media any differently?

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