Case Studies: How Two Companies Leveraged Small Social Media Staff


Social media activities in many large companies start out in silos or decentralized. Once senior management decides to monitor social media activities and formulate the company’s social strategy, they often put together a centralized group composed of the original mavericks and then ‘embed’ social media experts in the businesses and regions that focus on implementation with a thinly staffed central function.

In addition to setting strategy, this central team is often called on for best practices, reporting and measurement, formulating guidelines, ensuring compliance, integrating platforms and – last but not least – facilitating collaboration. In the meantime, the embedded employees are called on to implement.

Most companies we interviewed keep a tight rein on the core dedicated social media teams while leveraging social media activities across tens of thousands of employees
across many regions and business units. These small teams can, in this way, generate maximum impact.

A large insurance company developed a next wave knowledge management platform to help employees collaborate with brokers worldwide to value complicated risk. This is managed by the corporate innovation team with just four full-time employees, including a dedicated general counsel. The team is periodically supported by four corporate communications employees. A $2 million budget covers headcount and software.

Likewise, a wealth management company has a very small team within its digital strategy group. They work closely with the legal team and other stakeholders, such as IT and risk. The head of the group would love to have more staff but social media is still an unproven entity. Because it is not easy to measure the ROI, getting more employees is difficult. However, the head of the group will probably add more people to the team, especially those with skills in legal and compliance.



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