The Social Media Evangelist – you need one in your team, so who should it be?

Marketing commentator Kent Lewis writes an interesting blog on all matters “marketing” and has been quoted as saying that you should sack most of your advertising and marketing agencies and do the job as much of the job as possible in-house.

That’s OK if you are large business with plenty of spare employees and money – but what about the small business owner like you?

The good news in dentistry is that we often employ team members who have an exceptional qualification to become internal social media evangelists – namely Millennials.

It is a demographic (technically 17-37) that gets plenty of bad press.

As the proud parent of 5 Millennials, I find that most of what I read about this tribe is a sweeping generalisation (by the way, we are very good at those I and hear them daily – all associates are……, all nurses are……, all of our patients are……..).

At last week’s orthodontic workshop, Dr. Richard Jones gave a fascinating and incredibly well researched analysis of Millennial buying habits that should be on the agenda at the BOS conference and/or published for all to read.

I’m working with a number of Millennials who have become social media evangelists within their practices and I find them to be a hugely valuable asset when they are trained, pointed in the right direction, mentored and encouraged.

Remember last week’s post about “playing with her laptop”? The encouragement is mission critical for this to work and if the social media evangelist is ignored or avoided by the owner or ostracised by the rest of the team, they will run out of steam quickly – you have been warned.

The aforementioned Lewis recently published a job specification for a social media evangelist that, I think, bears reading as a guideline to the role and characteristics of a suitable candidate.

I quote it here in full, with the understanding that this relates to any industry sector and would have to be adapted to the small dental practice environment – it none the less made interesting reading:

Social Media Evangelist Job Overview: 

Unlike a Social Media Marketing Manager role steeped in tactical execution, the role of the Social Media Evangelist is that of that of a strategic planner, manager, trainer and facilitator. 

Essentially, the Evangelist is Chief Brand Officer/CMO/Editor-in-Chief/HR Director all wrapped into one. 

Instead of being the single voice for the company, the Evangelist manages the overall voice of the company, as created by employees at all levels. 

Notice the term “Marketing” is dropped from the job title, since the responsibilities of the Evangelist expand well beyond marketing into R&D, customer service and sales. 

The Evangelist is responsible for the company’s overall presence in social media, and that the brand is accurately represented across all departments/divisions. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Develops and manages overall social media strategy (objectives, metrics, strategies & tactics, timeline, accountabilities)
  • Identifies, selects and manages outside vendors and third party tools
  • Ensures all corporate social profiles are properly claimed, optimised, promoted and managed
  • Manages brand voice of company in social media
  • Creates Social Media Employee Policy/Guidelines for HR
  • Trains employees to monitor & engage in social media
  • Facilitates content creation by approved/certified employees
  • Manages and analyses reporting across company
  • Responsible for keeping employees updates on evolving technology, trends and tools
  • Works with senior management to ensure social media is integrated into the cultural fabric

Required Knowledge & Experience: 

  • 1+ years of customer service experience
  • 2+ years of PR/marketing experience
  • 3+ years’ experience with social media platforms
  • 4+ years of management experience
  • Relevant industry experience preferred
  • Bachelor degree in communications, social psychology or business preferred

Desirable Talents & Skills: 

  • Highly organised
  • Self-motivated
  • Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Natural born leader/evangelist
  • Inquisitive by nature
  • Proficient written and verbal communications
  • Team player

I can understand that many readers will read the “Required Knowledge and Experience” stated above and think “game over” but here is where we have to take a reality pill and realise that we are unlikely to have that level of experience in the team – hence the reason to “recruit on attitude and train on skill” (which training, of course, is a thing I do!).

I’m working with practices who have identified, promoted, trained and encouraged their Social Media Evangelists and are seeing the benefit in Word of Mouth and digital recommendations from patients and referring GDPs.

Is restricting this opportunity to Millennials age-ist? 

Probably – but there is a noticeable correlation between the demographic and success in the role (and those who are over age 37 and doing a good job – don’t throw rotten veg at me – you are the exceptions to the rule – well done and keep it up).

The absence of someone in this role is a dangerous omission in today’s connected economy.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.