Skip to Content

Engineering Efficacy for Small Teams: Why Alignment is Everything

Rob Zanin will present "Engineering Efficacy for Small Teams" at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network 2019 Annual Conference. To learn more from Rob and other expert speakers, please join us!

Hear me out before you publish that photo of people holding a comically large check to your brand’s social channels. Does the Internet really need it? Does your brand need it? Do your donors, beneficiaries or audience? Most importantly: How do you know, and how would you defend your position to the stakeholders that worked so hard to earn that donation?

The smaller the team, the smarter your collaborations need to be—and no one feels a resource constraint coupled with the pressure to put out content more than health system, hospital or provider marketers!

We could all use a better framework to more closely tie our content strategy back to business and community impact, and it takes just three simple steps to get incrementally better at executing high-efficacy social media.

3 Simple Steps to Small Team Social Success


The SMART goal concept is pervasive for a reason: it’s elegant in simplicity and specificity. Build your social media goals around the goals of your business using five criteria, and make them:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Assignable
  • Realistic (or Relevant)
  • Time-bound

This forces a small team to prioritize content that makes a difference by building a release calendar that can be scored against the additional Critical Success Factors (CSFs), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Metrics and Measures necessary to know you’re on track. This framework is driven by business goals, sure, but it’s understood from the context of your social content’s rate-based performance. This allows a small team to apply a structured tollgate that can be used to vet new requests, and ultimately reduce wasteful work that doesn’t serve the goal.


Review your unique cornerstones: mission, vision, values, credo—anything at the core of your culture that keeps your business human and service-focused—and ruthlessly apply these to your team’s work. We’re all pressured to deliver bigger/better business results and more tangible Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), but your audience doesn’t want to be treated like targets—they want empathy and an understanding that their social feeds are already filled with corporate noise.

The cure for this can be as simple as walking through a classic branding exercise to re-ground your social content within the community:

  • Who does your audience compare you to?
  • According to your audience, what makes you stand out from your competition and other influencer presences in the vertical?
    • Does your audience’s opinion match your brand’s?
  • What are you doing each day to prove and support your points of difference?

This positioning exercise can not only help you discover story angles that matter, but it can also drive innovations for outthinking competitors with tightly-wound purpose.


While the timeless imperative to “know thyself” is critical, healthcare demands we also know others… so why is it that so many systems, hospitals, and provider groups seem out of touch, or at the opposite end of the spectrum from successful lifestyle brands?

Your audience is an excellent barometer for how closely your branded content aligns with their own Internet-engineered personas, but maybe not in the way you’ve been measuring. Consider that share-based or @ actions might be the only measures that matter outside of what’s feeding your larger conversion or acquisition KPIs. The idea is that people will only share or @ content that augments their public:

  • Image (i.e., “How do I visually present myself on social?”)
  • Identity (i.e., “What do I create on social? What do I share and by whom?”)
  • Alignment (i.e., “What is my POV and personal voice on social?”)

Notice as you execute your listening activities, competitive analysis, and brand modeling research how audiences are using branded content. They’re not just sharing or engaging with this material—they’re using it to build and modify themselves within a variety of communities and cohorts. Challenge your brand to become a part of this!


There’s no magic bullet for social success, but starting with these three steps can give you a flexible, integrated foundation to begin engineering better efficacy within your own small team.

Would this approach work for you? What prevents your small team from increasing its business or community efficacy?

Rob Zanin is a brand experience, digital strategy and lean operational leader living in Atlanta. He is the digital strategy and content program director at the most integrated health system in the Southeast, and volunteers growth consulting to mom-and-pops that struggle in changing markets. He received his BA from the University of Georgia, is a Certified Scrum Master, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, and loves to help teams create joy through utility.

Choose a message to share 
3 simple steps to small team social success: #BrandedContent #MayoClinic #MCSMN
The smaller your social media team, the smarter your collaborations need to be. Learn more here: #BrandedContent #MCSMN
No one feels pressure to put out content more than health system, hospital or provider marketers: #BrandedContent

Love this : “Review your unique cornerstones: mission, vision, values, credo—anything at the core of your culture that keeps your business human and service-focused—and ruthlessly apply these to your team’s work.”

I might go a step further: Mission should be the key filter. How does this tweet/post/photo/ video directly support the mission? If not, do we have something which does?

This doesn’t mean every tweet needs to be mission based, but generally speaking the CEO “big check photo” has much less mission value than a photo of a typical early melanoma. The first is great for the CEOs ego, the latter just may save one person’s life.

Please login or register to post a reply.