Too Many Cooks: When You Have Multiple Social Media Managerstoo many cooks

In a number of workplaces, the job of updating social media accounts falls to multiple people. The thought is that the more people who have access to the accounts, the more regularly they’ll be updated and the job won’t be solely delegated to one person.

There are some benefits to this. Obviously, if your lone social media manager leaves the organization, you don’t want a situation where they were the only person who had access to the accounts, and you find yourself locked out and the accounts neglected – I’ve seen this happen. You must also consider the worst case scenario – a disgruntled former employee could sabotage the accounts. Having multiple account managers also guarantees that someone will be able to update the accounts should your primary social media manager go on vacation or family leave.

However, having a number of people actively updating an account can lead to a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation. If you have multiple people posting without careful planning, you can quickly run into some problems:

  • Posting too often
  • Multiple posts on the same subject
  • Posts that are “off message” or written in broadly differing tones.
  • Conflicting responses, or no responses, to customer engagement

It’s a better idea to set up a social management team. These folks would work together to define and stick to a careful plan of best practices for social media management. They should strategize, and put into writing, how to use your social media, including creating guidelines about what to post, when to post, what “voice” your organization uses on social media, and how to maintain customer service on social media. They would set up predefined roles that designate who is to post what, on which platforms, and when.

In this model, the effect is more like having a head chef working with a sous chef (or multiple kitchen helpers) rather than messy chaos. You will get the assurance, reliability, and variety that having multiple social media managers affords, without any of the potential pitfalls.

Nota bene: upper-level management or owners should always maintain access to and passwords for all social media accounts, regardless of whether they’re actively managing the accounts. This will prevent a potential lock out and encourage high quality work from your social media managers. Don’t assume that because you don’t make the posts, you don’t need oversight.