If you’re a modern marketer, consider yourself lucky. You’re working in a dynamic field and that makes for exciting times. Not only has the technology changed, but the people have, too. These days, the folks who help you fulfill your agency goals are apt to be scattered across the globe. As a result, you may find yourself grappling with how to manage remote teams.
If you haven’t yet mastered the art of managing your remote workforce, now’s the time to start revving your engines. The race is on and you don’t want to find yourself falling behind the curve in this department. Go ahead and ask any successful marketer these days how they do it and hands down, you’ll find that none of them does it without leveraging software platforms like Asana, Slack, or Trello.
Social media marketers, in particular, may find themselves drawn to Trello because of its emphasis on visuals. It does a great job of handling images, both technically and with representing how they get passed around in the workflow. When you’re in social media marketing, that can be an essential feature.
How to Manage Remote Teams With Trello
Keeping track of multiple social media postings across multiple platforms for multiple clients can scramble your brain like nothing else. There are images to gather, hashtags to assign, copy to take care of, and final edits to perform, not to mention a brand story to keep track of.
As a marketer or agency owner, you’re possibly working with several freelancers to cover all those functions for your clients. There’s a graphic designer who sources and edits your images. There’s the copywriter who adds the copy. And who does hashtags? That’s a marketing function that may or may not be performed by you. Then quite possibly, it’s yet another freelancer who supplies the SEO research and hashtags.
That’s at least four people working on each and every social media campaign. Not to worry: Trello takes care of everything with an easy, visual interface that brings everyone together. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to manage remote teams when you’re working on a social media marketing campaign.
Step One: Set Up Your Boards
First, make a board for each client. When a new year rolls around, you’ll create a fresh board. For example, if you have a client called Acme Roller Skates, you’ll need the following boards:
- Acme Roller Skates – Social Posts 2018
- Acme Roller Skates – Social Posts 2019
Step Two: Make Your Lists
Looking at a Trello board that’s already in use, you’ll notice vertical columns. These are your lists. Lists are made up of cards. As you add cards, your lists get longer and longer. Here’s a board showing several lists:
Notice that each list corresponds to a function that’s carried out by a different freelancer. For example, on this board, you can see the following lists, each corresponding to a function:
- Needs Image
- Needs Copy
- Needs Hashtags
- Needs Resizing
- Needs Editing
Step Three: Add Cards to Your Lists
Now for the cards. Think of each card as an individual task to be performed by someone on your team.
Cards can be moved from list to list as tasks are completed. They may also remain in place to serve as resources. For example, here’s how cards work on the lists you looked at just above:
Hashtags. This will be a general list of hashtags that have been determined appropriate for this campaign. It’s full of cards that won’t get moved but rather will stay in place as a reference for your SEO person, writer, or you. Here’s one card of hashtags from the Hashtag List:
Images. Your graphics person will load this list with relevant, branded, appropriate images that will be used in your social media posts. Each image gets its own card. Here’s what that looks like on our Trello board: A card can be moved along in the workflow as it develops, finally becoming a full-fledged social media post. Right now, however, these image cards are not yet assigned to specific days. That’s the next step…
Needs an Image. Each card in this list represents a single social media post. If your plan is to post twice a day, you’ll have two cards for each day that you post. It’s someone’s job (maybe yours?) to create and maintain this list of cards, each labeled with the date and time of the post. Once you’ve mapped out your cards, choose an image from the previous list (“Images for Posts”) and move it to the cards you’ve created. Once images are assigned, the card will be moved again, to the next list, where the copy can be added…
Needs Copy. Now that there are images assigned to posts, you’ll need some copy. Your copywriter will simply log onto Trello and go directly to this list to fulfill their role in the project. Once they’re finished, they move the card to the next step…
Needs Hashtags. Adding hashtags might be your copywriter’s job or it might be your job. You might also choose to put this list before the copywriting list. It all depends on your process and what works for you.
Needs Resizing. Now the card is ready for you or your graphics person to make it ready for the social media platform it’s destined for. In case you’re wondering why this is a separate step, here’s why. The marketing manager who made this board discovered that some images simply aren’t conducive to good copy. When the copywriter simply couldn’t come up with good copy for a certain image, they’d send it back and request a different one. Therefore, it didn’t make sense for the graphics person to spend time resizing (or branding, for that matter) before it had been approved by the copywriter.
Waiting for Edit. This is most likely the list where you come in. You’ll need to give everything the once-over to deem it ready for publication. Some managers add an extra step: Client Review, especially when it’s a new campaign or it’s a new client.
Instagram Stories. Some social marketing campaigns call for Instagram stories. In this case, the manager pulled the best posts into this column (or duplicated them) for that purpose.
Published. Here’s where you get a month-by-month view of your work. Make a new list for each month:
- Published – May 2018
- Published – June 2018
A Final Note
You’ve just seen, step by step, how to keep your workflow organized on a social media campaign. No matter where the members of your marketing team might be located around the globe, Trello makes it easy for them to keep pace and get their jobs done. As a manager, you can easily see how the workflow is proceeding. You can also get a bird’s eye view of the quality of your campaign, thanks to Trello’s unique card system and how it handles images. We encourage you to give it a try!
And if you’d like to take client feedback on your campaign to the next level, give Filestage a try. It offers a platform for visual feedback on your social media campaigns and it can be integrated with your new Trello boards. Clients, colleagues, and team members collaborate by adding comments directly to your draft posts. With the ability to draw and comment directly on your digital content, everyone can give feedback quickly and easily. And, since it integrates with Trello and other tools, your workflow isn’t disrupted. Paste your review links directly into the Trello board you’ve created for your campaign to bring everything together.
Benjamin Shepardson is the founder of NoStop.net, a Key West-based content writing agency specializing in delivering personalized experiences. With an extensive digital career dating back to before social media and WordPress, Ben personally works with clients to craft a content strategy that will scale and grow their business.