7 Tips on Managing a Remote Social Media Marketing Team
Between 2005 and 2017, remote work in the US has increased by 159%. Remote work offers benefits to employees as well as organizations. According to TECLA, employers can save up to $11,000 a year. With remote workers, companies can hire from a diverse talent pool. Because of a diverse workforce, companies perform 35% better than companies that don’t have a diverse workforce.
The IT industry and the marketing industry have witnessed significant shifts in trends regarding remote work. People prefer remote work because it prevents long commutes to the office, provides flexible working hours, and the convenience to work comfortably from home. Although remote work has several advantages, it is not without challenges.
For one, it is difficult for managers to ensure that employees are working. Secondly, ensuring that the team is collaborating and cooperating is difficult. According to a poll, 17% of employees face problems with collaboration and communication. In addition to this, 10% of remote workers face distractions at home. It could prevent remote employees from performing well on the job.
When your team works remotely, the biggest challenge you face as a manager is to bring members on the same page. Employers and managers have access to a range of tools to allow the team to collaborate on projects. However, these tools are only useful if managers and employers know how to use them, plan projects, and keep everyone on board. Having numerous apps and software but not knowing how to use them is counter-productive to managing remote teams. Hence, when you employ a tool, ensure that you know how to use it.
Here are a few tips to help you manage a remote marketing team:
1 – Hiring remote social media marketing employees
When hiring someone to work as part of a remote social media marketing team, you need the right people. In a remote working environment, you need people that require little hand-holding. Hence, freelancers and people with the remote-working background are the perfect candidates. But it does not mean that candidates from other backgrounds are not suitable for the job.
Hiring remote workers allows you to choose from a diverse talent pool. Make use of this and look for committed people, who get the job done, stick to deadlines, are motivated, and are competent in their job roles. Marketing jobs require people who can produce quick results. Hence, hire people who are doers and initiators.
Since jobs related to marketing require collaboration and teamwork, you need employees that are communicative and can generate ideas. Hence, look for these qualities during the hiring process. Remote work often requires to work from home, so you need employees who can work independently as well.
2 – Plan your schedule
You may have a remote team that works out of different time zones. It may affect the workflow in your organization, impeding tasks, and other processes. Moreover, it may make it difficult for employees to collaborate when one employee is working in a different time zone.
To avoid such clashes, plan your schedule. It allows you to cater to each employee’s work schedule. By providing a schedule before-hand, you can also prepare your employees to adjust their working hours according to the demands of their job.
Software and apps such as Trello help you in assigning duties and ensuring its completion. This way, the team is aware of the tasks that are complete and the ones that are remaining. You can also provide a flexible schedule to your team so that they can plan individual tasks themselves. It gives autonomy to your employees and makes them responsible for task completion.
3 – Communication
To keep all team members on board and encourage collaboration, managers must use communication tools, such as Skype and Google Hangouts. Since your team is not physically present, using these tools helps you in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and knows the details regarding the tasks. So set a time in the day for team meetings using video-conferencing software.
Keep your communication two-sided and encourage your employees to provide feedback, so you can resolve any problems that your team may encounter. Hence, you can ensure that everything is running smoothly. Use these tools to assign tasks, check progress, and provide assistance to your remote team. In addition to this, to create a collaborative environment and encourage team-building, communication tools are necessary. In this case, apps such as Slack and others are beneficial. Conduct team meetings at the start of the day to ensure that all employees are on track. You can check progress and assign tasks accordingly.
Apart from communication tools, you need to use cloud-based software that allows your employees to collaborate. Google Drive makes it easier for teams to share documents.
4 – Monitoring tools
To ensure that a team is working harmoniously and is performing the tasks assigned, some form of monitoring is necessary. When a team works in the same office space, it is easy for employers to monitor them and assess their performance. However, this is not possible with remote teams.
Monitoring tools, such as apps and software, keep you informed regarding employees and the tasks assigned. Various monitoring tools exist, including those for monitoring mobile phones provided by the company. Spy App is one such example. The app is installed on the employee’s phone and provides 24/7 updates regarding the activity on the device. Managers can monitor activity from their laptop or computer. A web-based user interface provides reports regarding employees.
These tools are essential to ensure that employees are engaged in work-related activities. Through spy app, employees can monitor emails, text messages, call logs, browser history, bookmarked webpages, and much more. Moreover, employers can use the app to control the device. You can block apps, lock devices, and wipe data remotely. Hence, you can ensure that the company’s data is safe.
5 – Keep employees motivated
When working remotely, it is easy for the team to become unmotivated. As a manager, you must try to keep your team’s morale high. It includes providing relevant feedback to your employees, ensuring that they receive praise for their work. By providing weekly or bi-weekly feedback to employees, the team remains motivated. Your team feels valued and appreciated, and it allows the team to improve.
You can do this by sending group emails to all of your team members, highlighting the good work, and suggesting ways for improvement. It creates a healthy competition among your team and gives motivation for the team to perform better in the future.
According to Qualtrics, employees whose managers acknowledge their work are five times more likely to work with the company in the long run. Likewise, employees whose managers help them with the workload are eight times more likely to stay in the company.
6 – Provide training
Regular training should be part of a company’s manifesto. It allows your employees to learn new skills, grow, and perform better. With changing digital marketing trends, your team must be up-to-date. Training in the form of pre-prepared video lectures, documents, and live video-conferences must become a part of the organization. Providing training to your employees can also help them get to know each other.
To ensure that the team has grasped the necessary concepts, and evaluation (in the form of tests, team discussions, and presentations) can be held. For an organization to stay ahead of the curve, providing relevant training is necessary. If an organization values investing in its employees, it can lead to a high employee retention rate.
7 – Work-life balance
A survey by Buffer reports that the number one challenge that remote workers face is unplugging after work. About 22% of remote workers face this. Employees can become resentful if they cannot maintain a work-life balance. Moreover, it can lead to burn-out if an employee is unable to manage their work and personal life. Remote work makes it hard for employers and employees to unplug since there are no fixed hours.
Despite this, you must encourage your workers to work within the given work hours. If someone on your team takes time off, let them unplug and let them know that they shouldn’t be checking and responding to emails while on vacation. In addition to this, set a rough schedule for the day that your team must follow. Hence, your team can respect other people’s time, as well.
As companies shift to remote work, managers and employers have to employ strategies to manage teams effectively. With proper planning and knowing how to use tools, managers can ensure that their team works effectively and efficiently.
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