Working with teams on countless social marketing and PR projects internally, with clients and even random ideas purely for fun has given me an appreciation for keeping everyone motivated and interested in what they’re doing. In fact it’s tough for me to recall an ultra-successful project that occurred in a situation without a majority of the team motivated and passionate about what they were working on.
You could have a truly brilliant group but if they aren’t motivated, so what? They aren’t going to be in the right mindset to win. In social marketing and PR this is especially important because everything is going to be shared publicly. And keeping the motivation going is critical because you’re no longer working in bursts, but rather over a continuum long-term.
With that in mind, following are 10 ideas specifically for social projects to keep your team motivated and interested:
1. Develop feedback mechanisms (and actually use them)
A lot of companies talk about providing feedback to their team on social participation. Many will actually start out by doing this – but it’s something I commonly see slide as time goes on. This is a sad state of affairs, because closing the loop by providing feedback is always a motivator for those who take pride in their work.
I’ve done this with teams I’ve worked with even in situations it’s not my domain because I’ve seen the work produced by those who both anticipate and receive the right kind of feedback. Simply put, it’s higher quality. Research by social scientists Dan Ariely andDaniel Pink support this too. Both qualitative and quantitative feedback should be given to motivate all different personalities.
2. Only hire new team members that are a fit culturally
When growing a social team, remember that they don’t just work together internally, but also interact publicly and coordinate efforts to build a community. The wrong person on a social team could not only be a waste a resources, it could hurt the motivation of everyone. To solve this involve the entire group in the hiring process to allow for a collective decision.
A study by the University of Washington: Rotten To The Core: How Workplace ‘Bad Apples’ Spoil Barrels Of Good Employees published in brief at Science Daily reinforces the importance of keeping your organization made up of those who fit together:
Look around any organization and chances are you’ll be able to find at least one person whose negative behavior affects the rest of the group to varying degrees. So much so, say two University of Washington researchers, that these “bad apples” are like a virus to their teams, and can upset or spoil the whole apple cart.
…Felps and Mitchell define negative people as those who don’t do their fair share of the work, who are chronically unhappy and emotionally unstable, or who bully or attack others. They found that a single “toxic” or negative team member can be the catalyst for downward spirals in organizations. In a follow-up study, the researchers found the vast majority of the people they surveyed could identify at least one “bad apple” that had produced organizational dysfunction.
3. Create a 20 percent time
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a 20% time, it’s a simple concept popularized by Google:
The 20 percent time is a well-known part of our philosophy at Google, enabling engineers to spend one day a week working on projects that aren’t necessarily in our job descriptions. You can use the time to develop something new, or if you see something that’s broken, you can use the time to fix it.
If you have the right social marketing team they are going to be highly interested inexperimenting. In fact, they are already going to be doing this personally. To provide the time to do this with others not only helps keep them motivated and thinking creatively, you may find some of the most successful work gets produced here.
Many have noted the benefits of 20% time for increasing innovation and Twitter similarlyfollowed suit this year. These companies need to keep their team members motivated to continue to dominate the market. Your company is not so different – at least, if you want to attract motivated team members and maintain their spirit long-term.