Mike Bandar
5 mins

Guide to Onboarding a Remote Social Media Marketing Team

Welcoming a new team member into your social media marketing team is exciting for both you and your new employee. It’s kind of like the first day of school – you just can’t wait to get to know each other a bit better.

This motivation on the employee’s behalf is crucial. The good news is that all employees feel motivated on their first day. The bad news is that could change right away, even if they just joined the team.

To prevent that from happening, it’s important to create a detailed onboarding plan that will let them get familiar with their role, their colleagues, and the rest of the information. After all, research suggests that companies with a strong onboarding process improve their retention by 82%.

In this article, we’ll explain what onboarding is and how you can successfully integrate your new remote team member into your social media marketing team.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee to the company. Its purpose is to introduce an employee to their role and responsibilities and help them integrate seamlessly with the rest of the team. 

Now, this doesn’t happen overnight. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year. However, most onboarding processes end in a few months, after which the employee will feel confident and competent in their job, as well as learn how to cooperate with their teammates. 

There are many activities that are included in the onboarding process. Some of them have to do with paperwork and policy training, while others are strictly related to their job. That means that there are multiple people participating in onboarding: HR, team leaders, managers, and even system administrators.

Before we explain the onboarding process in depth, you should know that onboarding starts way before a new employee arrives. The pre-boarding phase is just as important as the onboarding phase.

So, without further ado, let’s see what onboarding for a remote social media marketing team should look like.

Pre-boarding phase

The pre-boarding phase starts right after the new employee accepts the offer. Instead of contacting them on their first day, here’s what the top social media marketing agencies do:

  1. Define the role.

Many companies decide to hire someone without clearly defining their role. Sure, they have some idea about what they’re looking for, but that’s not enough. Ambiguity can cause a lot of confusion and stump productivity in your entire team, which is why this step is the foundation of everything.

First things first, it’s important to list and define the tasks associated with a person’s job description

Your new employee should have a clear understanding of what their tasks are and how often they’re expected to perform them. This is especially important because new teammates are not familiar with the environment and have no clue what’s expected of them if you don’t clearly state it.

Now, keep in mind that some tasks are done every day, while other tasks are performed once a week or once a month. For instance, creating social media content is an everyday activity, while reporting is done once a month.

How you define their role should be connected to their long-term goals. Sure, you need to meet the company’s goals and adjust their role to the company’s needs, but there is no reason to neglect your employee’s needs.

Finding out what they want is easy – all you need to do is include this question in your interviewing process if you haven’t already.

  1. Prepare the information.

When a new employee joins your remote social media marketing team, they will need to memorize quite a lot of information. If you solely rely on meetings, you’re doomed because there’s just too much to remember. Sure, they could take notes, but there is a much better way to do that.

We strongly recommend creating guidelines that are easy to skim through and summarize the most important information

Sure, most companies already have multiple policies in place. But these are often legal documents that are dreadful to read and difficult to understand. Instead of serving them with a pile of documents to read, summarize it all in one document or a web presentation.

You can start the guide with some basic information about the company, when it was founded, and how it grew over the years. Present them with your company’s values and how they’re implemented into the rest of the system. 

Explain how the company ensures workplace health and safety, the dress code, rules related to substance abuse and sexual harassment, as well as vacation and time-off policies.

Another important guide you should create is the social media guide.

Most of the time, you can tell when a new person joins the team because the type of content they produce has a different tone. Most of the time, that’s because the company doesn’t have a social media guide.

A social media guide holds the information that makes this transition seamless – the emojis the brand consistently uses, signature tag lines and phrases that are regularly posted, and brand voice and photography examples. This way, your new employee can ensure that everything they post is in line with the brand.

  1. Create an onboarding plan.

Before you actually start the onboarding process, you need to have a plan. This plan should include a list of activities that should be performed and who should perform them, as well as a timeline.

First things first, all teammates should receive a reminder email that the new person is joining the team, so they can get ready. If they’re going to be using the company’s equipment, the system administrator should prepare their computer. Either way, all credentials necessary to start working should be prepared in advance.

Once that’s over, create a detailed plan for the first week, first month, and three-month plan. Depending on the role and the person’s job level, you’ll need to include different activities such as training and certification.

Onboarding phase

So, your new social media marketing teammate is here? Great! Here are some steps you should not skip:

  1. Welcome them to the team.

Since your social media marketing team is remote, you can’t exactly throw a party on their first day, but there are other ways to welcome them into the team.

Start by scheduling a welcome meeting. Now, this meeting doesn’t have to be a typical introduction. You could try playing a game instead. 

For instance, you could play “would you rather…” and ask your new teammate to explain their answer before moving on to another person. You could also try playing “two truths and a lie”, as this game will allow your new employee to relax and get to know other people.

  1. Present them with a social media strategy.

The social media marketing team doesn’t exist outside of the company. This means everything you do is for the purpose of fulfilling the company’s goals. This is why your new employees should be familiar with the company’s goals, as well as the social media strategy.

Presenting your social media strategy right away will help your new employee understand their role better and understand how they’re contributing to the company and the people around them. This sense of a higher purpose is what drives people to do better.

And not just that – your new employee might have an idea or two that could upgrade your social media strategy. A fresh pair of eyes is never a bad idea.

  1. Encourage self-expression.

Making your new employee feel at home is crucial if you want them to put in the effort. Some companies understand that, which is why they encourage people to ask questions, even when they feel like the question they’re about to ask is ignorant. And here’s why.

When a new person joins the team, they’re often embarrassed that they will look silly if they ask questions. This is especially the case with those that have had bad experiences before. To avoid this, tell them that you’re open to questions and show them that you mean it.

If they see other people are able to be honest and open whenever they want to, they will follow the example.

This will help them express themselves and contribute to the company in ways you can’t imagine because they won’t be afraid someone is judging them.

  1. Do a training session.

Regardless of how much experience your new teammate has, they can’t possibly know everything. For instance, maybe they used some other tools for social media management, so they’re not skilled in working with the ones you’re using.

This is why scheduling a training session and preparing a visual manual or guide is important. You can not only teach them how to use the tool but also how to make the best of it. Furthermore, this is another opportunity to get to know them better and form a relationship.

After a couple of days, organize a follow-up so they can ask you more questions if something comes up.

  1. Organize check-ins.

Another important thing to encourage is open communication and feedback. It doesn’t matter what you and other people think about your mentoring skills – what your new employee thinks is what matters. The perfect way to do that is by organizing check-ins.

A check-in is a periodic one-on-one meeting with the manager that allows an employee to say how they feel, what they like or dislike in the team, and what they need to do their job better. All employees should have check-ins, but the new ones should have them more frequently.

Check-ins are a great way to establish a relationship with your employee and listen to their needs. It’s also a safe space for them to say what they dislike so that you can improve your onboarding process. Most check-ins are performed by HR, but a social marketing manager should also show an interest in their employees’ well-being.

Final thoughts

The onboarding process can’t be finished in one day. As you can see, planning things ahead and preparing for the arrival of a new teammate is key to successful onboarding and a bright future.

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