Small to medium B2B (SMB) companies operating in the manufacturing and technology space often rely heavily on social media to market their brand. So when the social media manager exits suddenly, it can create chaos and disruption, damaging company communications and customer service – ultimately, hampering B2B digital marketing efforts.
To protect themselves from potentially disastrous results in times of emergency, businesses should arm themselves with effective strategies that enable them to expect and plan for such crises. Things like creating understandable guidelines on content creation, instituting workflow policies and preemptively preparing for potential departures are all assets that can help mitigate the risk of an abrupt employee departure.
For B2B businesses working in the manufacturing or technology spaces, having these measures in place has never been more important, especially nowadays. As we forge ahead into an unknown future, it is vital to future-proof our brands by preparing well before something unexpected happens.
With careful planning now, we will be less vulnerable to disruption down the line—allowing us to continue powering forward with our social media presence no matter what life throws at us.
First, make sure all accounts and channels are secure
When the social media manager resigns without leaving plans for your accounts, it is essential that you take action as quickly as possible to secure access to all your digital accounts.
Change passwords immediately
Changing your passwords is a paramount step to securing your online accounts. Strong passwords are essential in this process, as they can prevent any malicious attempts to access your data. Yes, this is regardless of the sudden departure of your employee.
Using tools such as password managers can help streamline establishing secure passwords. These tools allow you to store complex passwords in an encrypted database—it’s a great way to ensure that all your employee accounts have secure logins without having to memorize them all.
If applicable, set up two-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication, commonly known as 2FA, is an extra layer of security used to protect your private information and social media accounts. It provides added protection to your online accounts by requiring a combination of two factors.
It also requires a confirmation code during sign-in via a cell phone or email. This ensures two-step verification when logging in from different devices, which can be an added layer of protection.
Depending on how many accounts were managed by one person, this can be a time-consuming process, but ensuring all accounts are safe is paramount to protect your brand identity online.
Future-proofing your passwords
Keeping accounts and channels secure when a social media manager quickly departs is critical for maintaining trust in your brand and ensuring the safety of user data. It begins with routinely checking passwords are valid and up-to-date.
Passwords should not only be stored securely, but updated at least once every month with unique strings of characters that can’t be easily guessed.
And as a future-proofing tip that when creating a Facebook page for your B2B company, it’s important to consider future-proofing by having this account created by the owner or executive of your business.
This can eliminate the hassles associated with finding quality customer support when managing your page, such as needing help to claim it when your social media manager admin abandons it.
Now that you have securely locked all your social media profiles, let’s go to the next section.
Action Steps to Future-Proof Your B2B Social Media When Your Social Media Manager Exits Suddenly
In a study by Zippia, they found out that about 29% of social media managers stay in their roles for less than a year. Not to mention the rapid turnover of other workers because of several reasons.
For an effective B2B social media campaign post-exit of your social media manager, maintaining momentum is key not just to drive more engagements but also to continue giving customers a consistent experience over time even without the presence of a manager actively monitoring posts being generated by agencies or marketing teams.
The key is to future-proof your social media campaigns now. It can mean different things and here are some things that I highly recommend you should do. The steps below are if you wanted to do the transition in-house, but these could also help when you resort to Plan B.
Delegate roles for the new social media account holders
When the current social media manager exits, it is important to assign new roles to other employees who will manage the accounts in the future.
This will ensure that all tasks are managed efficiently and that no activity is left unattended. Choose carefully who these individuals should be, giving proper consideration to their competence, experience, and availability.
Ben Nordman of Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc shares their experience and actions.
We took the sudden departure of our social media manager as an opportunity to re-evaluate the role we wanted social media to play in our company’s branding and how we approached it. Without a clear path forward, with nobody having the sole responsibility of managing our social media content anymore, we looked to share the many responsibilities between our remaining team members.Ben Nordman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.
To create a logical structure, start by assigning different roles such as content creator, copywriter, graphic designer, etc. This way, everyone knows their responsibilities and what to do in case of any emergencies.
Besides assigning specific job descriptions, demonstrate expectations regarding consistency, duration of tasks, and regulations so that performance standards are maintained across all members of the team.
It is also helpful to create guidelines detailing procedures for when one’s responsibilities overlap or conflict with another individual on the team. Subsequently, this will help minimize disorganization and maximize efficiency.
Mr. Nordman adds, “We then took an internal look at our strengths within the remaining team and restructured the many aspects of social media marketing to those team members.”
By delegating roles appropriately and judging each individual’s capabilities prudently when transitioning new account holders for social media accounts, organizations can guarantee activities will remain well-organized in the long run.
Train and document processes
Comprehensive training plans for personnel on B2B social media should be in place. The plan should cover all tools, processes, and platforms related to their respective roles.
Customer service protocols using social media should also be explained in the plan, especially if customer inquiries are handled through online accounts like different social media channels and websites.
It is essential that any processes, such as customer support flowcharts or automated response scripts, are documented.
The benefit of this is that should you want to resort to Plan B, it allows the incoming social media manager – hired or augmented/external – the person responsible for managing the accounts to become familiar with expected outcomes and how they should behave in different scenarios. It reduces learning time and avoids costly trial-and-error approaches when engaging with customers on social networks.
By providing a detailed orientation and onboarding program, you can reduce stress levels in new hires and make them part of your team quickly.
Mr. Nordman also said, ‘Social media is always changing in terms of what is relevant and sharing the responsibilities across multiple team members brings more minds together to build a collaborative effort at better serving our followers and growing our reach.’
Encouraging team collaboration instead of individual approaches to certain tasks will help everyone stay current on product updates or industry news.
Thoughtfully crafted, comprehensive training plans are essential for equipping personnel with the knowledge, tools and processes necessary to optimally manage B2B social media accounts and engage customers with confidence.
Create a Social Media Policy
Crafting a solid social media policy is essential for any B2B organization looking to lay down a solid foundation in their social media strategy that will still stand, even with abrupt changes in personnel.
Such policies should cover rules regarding proper posting practices, which language should be used, how customer grievances or queries need to be answered, and the brand’s core identity.
The policy should also explicitly outline rules regarding the usage of images on social media channels—but this constraint should also be extended to all other associated marketing and advertising materials.
Explicit explanations of what type of content is appropriate to post across multiple channels should also be included in the social media policy document to protect valuable business information from accidental disclosure.
Laissez-faire approaches that leave too many decisions up in the air can ultimately lead B2B organizations into unknown territories where costly missteps can affect their online image irreversibly.
Having a dependable social media policy ensures that incoming team members will clearly understand their role from day one, reducing the possibility of missteps from inexperience or ignorance.
Develop a library of essential templates and assets
As the saying goes, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’,planning for any contingency is an essential part of running a successful B2B business. Ensuring you have a library of accessible resources as backdrops for your B2B marketing efforts will take some pressure off busy times (or staff replacements).
Ensuring you have a library of accessible resources as backdrops for your B2B marketing efforts will take some pressure off busy times (or staff replacements). Mr. Nordman shared,”We were able to do a full social media audit to find the type of content that our followers wanted to consume and changed our creative approach to better serve those needs.”
“We were able to do a full social media audit to find the type of content that our followers wanted to consume and changed our creative approach to better serve those needs“
This requires sufficient forethought so that all needs can be taken into consideration from the get-go: industry-standard keyword usage; creative spin ideas; industry-specific trends; awareness level goals; execution potentials–these are just some topics that require attention when drawing up a motion plan under pre-pressure or swift timescales.
For example, if a technology company suddenly loses its social media manager, having an array of quality templates on hand for creating timely posts about new product features or industry news may be incredibly beneficial. Company-standard templates could include well-crafted graphics, concise messaging, pre-created profile images, and captions which denote compliance with various industry regulatory agencies or identity guidelines.
Having these materials available helps to streamline post creation while allowing prompt updates–even amid personnel changes. You can store it on any shareable cloud repository tool that can be shared and/or accessed by authorized members of your company.
When Plan B is your best option
Using a third party agency to tackle social media may be a viable solution when resources are tight. There are many companies that offer services, such as content creation, analytics tracking, and campaign strategizing. These external teams can provide an extra level of efficiency and logistical insight, which can help businesses reach their goals sooner.
Outsourcing to an outside party grants internal staff more leeway to focus on other tasks in a timely manner, ensuring that each step towards the goal is met without omissions.
Hiring experienced professionals also gives access to creative marketing strategies and innovative technology, providing unique opportunities beneficial to any business’s digital presence and marketing plans.
When carefully evaluated, the cost of recruiting a dedicated external team can be comparably similar to the expense of using an in-house staffer or consultants who can deliver the same level of tailored work and expertise.
Last, working with a third party offers versatile options for scalability that can be adjusted according to business needs without requiring long-term contracts or commitments.
Managing a Smooth Transition after the Sudden Departure of Your Social Media: Conclusion
Managing a smooth transition when your social media manager exits suddenly requires forethought and pre-planning. A detailed social media policy provides a framework for ensuring objectives are met while assigning roles to reliable backup contacts and gives you confidence that your B2B organization is protected in case of any unexpected personnel changes.
Having an array of essential templates and assets on hand ensures timely updates, even during personnel changes. With these elements in place, your organization is ready to face any social media challenge head-on.
If B2B companies find themselves in situations where their social media manager exits suddenly without proper succession plans, professional services like Social Success Marketing offers its expertise to ensure a smooth transition period with minimal disruption or lost time while building consumer trust in your respective B2B industry.
Founded on the principles of forward-thinking, initiative, and collaboration; they provide social media marketing consulting services that focus on helping business organizations use established strategies and custom approaches with tangible results across multiple channels—allowing clients peace of mind during sensitive transfers.
- Gualtieri, Jacqueline. 4 social-media managers say the job requires long hours and unrealistic expectations. They share the breaking points that made them quit. [blog post] October 29, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-managers-requirements-quit-jobs-expectations-2022-10