I forgot to post about the chat I’d had with Holmes Report’s Aarti Shah last month, just after Nike announced that it was to take full control of all of its social media – moving things from its various agencies to in-house.
Aarti summarised the 20 minute chat I had with her into the succinct comment below, but the jist of it (which Rick Wion, director of social media at McDonald’s, seems to agree with) is that in an ideal world, community management should be managed internally (whether that’s a point person or someone physically doing the platform moderation) with the support of an agency providing input into reactive design, content creation and best practice.
“I had been writing about people to taking community management in-house for more than two years before joining TMW because I expected [the industry] to be more advanced. Yet, the demand from clients to have us manage their communities has just begun and we’ve seen a tremendous spike just in the last 10 months. For companies, like Nike, taking social media all in-house makes sense. But many companies are still asking questions like: ‘What is the best platform? What will I say? How will I support this?’ When a client does not have the internal resources or the knowledge of best practices, it makes sense to give community management to a trusted agency.”
Of course, that’s not always possible – and there’s a wide array of maturity in terms of knowledge from brand to brand – but this is the best way to approach it to ensure that tone of voice is true, but that you’re learning from a team that can share learnings from multiple industries and accounts.