Posted 03.06.2017 by Josh Krakauer

How Demos Motivate Your Social Media Team to be More Agile

More than just a show and tell, Demos are a place to speak constructively about your work and how to make it stronger

Now that your team has implemented daily standups and sprint planning into its routine, it’s time to explore a new Agile ceremony: Demo. Demo, the most celebratory of the four core ceremonies, is a dedicated time for your team members to show off their hard work over a Sprint.


What is Demo?

A Demo (also known as an Iteration or Sprint Review), is a chance for your teammates and stakeholders to take a surface-level look at their work over the Sprint cycle (1-3 weeks) and provide feedback. These sessions typically take from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how long your Sprints are and how many pieces of content or campaigns you would be Demoing during the Sprint.

Who should be there?

In a traditional Demo, the development team, Scrum Master, Product Owner and/or stakeholders would be in attendance. In a smaller setting, like our agency, we encourage members who are outside of the development team for that specific Sprint to attend to give constructive feedback and learn from the other development teams.

Confused about who’s who? Here’s a rundown:

Your development team includes anyone who has a hand in the process of creating and managing your social media during that Sprint: this could be your community manager, designer, and strategist. Everyone who plays a vital role in the success of your social media presence should be in attendance.

Your Scrum Master helps keep things on track. Whether they are facilitating meetings between different members of the development team, setting deadlines for projects, or simply making sure everything is timeboxed appropriately, the Scrum Master is the master of organization.

The Product Owner role has a clear sense of business goals and owns the prioritization of your marketing efforts. At a mid-sized organization, this could be a Marketing Manager, Director, or department VP. For smaller businesses, your CEO or another executive may fill this role.

We find it helpful for any other members of the company to attend Demo, even if they didn’t participate in that Sprint. This provides a chance for feedback from fresh sets of eyes, while also being useful to other team members who might glean ideas from that Demo. We don’t require people from other teams to attend if they need to prioritize their own work over it, but encourage attendance.

Why should you host a Demo?

  • Quicker pivot time to figure out what’s working and what’s not working
    • Being able to look at your work every 1-3 weeks, with the outside view of other team members, you’ll be able to pivot much quicker when aspects of your social media strategy aren’t working.
  • A dedicated time to gather the entire team for creative feedback
    • If you encourage the whole team to be there and not just your social media team, often the different perspectives can build on the ideas presented and make them stronger. The social media team can tap into the insights of people in your organization close to customers or involved in operations to create a stronger strategy overall.
  • An opportunity to implement new ideas across the company
    • Even the smallest things that people see happening on social media can spark an idea to implement in other departments or marketing efforts. We’re big believers in constantly learning more from everyone around you, and Demo is the perfect place to foster that mindset.

How do you host a Demo?

Two days before the end of your sprint, find a good time to host your Demo. We recommend holding it over lunch to be more efficient with everyone’s time. More than just a show and tell, Demos are a place to speak constructively about your work for that Sprint and how you can make it even stronger for the next one.

An important factor to remember is to have your strategist/ analyst, or whomever typically collects data, prepare before Demo. They should keep in mind the goals that have been set during Sprint Planning, be able to identify the top and lowest performing pieces of content, and the factors that contributed to the results (such as ad spend). This will be the roadmap to the Demo process – by identifying which content performed the best and the reasoning behind it, the development team will be able to discuss that approach. Same goes for content that doesn’t perform quite as well. Being able to identify what didn’t work and figure out a way to improve it for the next Sprint is extremely valuable.

At the beginning of the Demo, your lead on the development team (in an agency setting this is your client lead) will begin to show content as it appears online and/or mobile, especially for social. We present on a TV in our conference room, but some companies have been known to huddle around a single computer or laptop for a quick Demo. Your analyst/strategist would support them in sharing which posts performed better than others, and open the floor for feedback and dialogue between everyone watching the Demo. (It should be noted that in traditional Demos, it is more of a show-and-tell than a time for feedback. We get the most out of our Demos when we have a chance to get feedback from the entire team.)

Make sure that someone is taking notes when ideas arise. This is a great job for your Scrum Master.

How does it work for us?

Since we are a social media marketing agency working with many clients at a time, we have three staggered, three-week Sprints. We call them Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Sprint cycles, and they correlate with a specific community manager (team lead) and the brands they work on.

Let’s say we’re in an Alpha Sprint week. On the second to last day of the Sprint week, we hold a Demo where the community manager (client lead) on the accounts in the Alpha Sprint presents the work they have published to our clients’ social media accounts. Our digital strategist will support them with the statistics about how their content performed. Graphic designers and community managers who work on that Sprint will occasionally chime in to speak to the work they have completed. Then the floor is opened to the rest of the team to provide productive feedback and ask questions. We go through this cycle for each client on the Sprint.

Any Questions?

Agile is all about adaption. If there are parts of the Demo process that seem to mesh well with your team, use them. If not, leave them. We’ve adapted parts of this process to fit our team more effectively and encourage you all to as well.

This is the third post in our series about the four core Agile ceremonies for social media. Want to see a full overview of Sculpt’s Agile adaptation? This video is for you. Be sure to follow our blog or keep up-to-date on Twitter so you don’t miss our next post.

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How To Start Your Social Media Team on Sprint Planning

Maggie Martin

Maggie Martin combines her love of words and obsession with social media as an Engagement Manager. Her love of words and embarrassing number of moody diaries over the years led her to become a young adult author published by Macmillan

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