Social Media Requires a Cross-Functional Team

Lien Brusselmans
Lien Brusselmans Marketing Manager, Engagor

Posted on July 21st 2012

Social Media Requires a Cross-Functional Team

Does your company use social media? And if so, who’s in charge? Chances are high your answer’ll be: the marketing team. True, someone has to give social media integration a little push, but the marketing department shouldn’t be the only ones involved in this venture.

The entire company should be involved in social media

Social media, and the internet as a whole, are becoming a “second reality” and that’s why all company departments should be consulted when setting up the social media strategy. In the ideal situation companies work with a cross-functional social media team. Representatives from several departments working together, is the best way to use social media to its full potential.

What business units can use social media?

Sales

You can often find new sales leads online. People who are looking for a service or product like the one your company offers, people who are displeased with your competitors’ service or products… By setting up a smart keyword search in a monitoring tool, you can easily discover these new leads.

Customer Service

In a B2C environment your customers sometimes need to get in touch with your company. In the past this communication was restricted to letters, emails or telephone. Now there’s also Twitter and Facebook and let there be no doubt: people will try to get in touch. It’s best to be prepared, develop a clear strategy, set up guidelines and make sure you have a good social media management tool to deal with this challenge.

Marketing and Communication

Marketing campaigns are no longer restricted to traditional media. Sometimes there’s a combination, sometimes campaigns are purely focused on social media. The big advantage with social media is that you can easily track people’s opinions about the campaign, as well as the results it has on your sales and reputation. All you have to do: monitor the campaign!

Apart from following up on campaigns, marketers can also do their preparatory work on social media. Use a monitoring tool for market research. Through keyword searches you can define exactly those topics you want to examine.

PR

Follow up on your online reputation. What are people saying about you on social media, on blogs and forums, in comments on news articles about your company?

Purchasing

Many larger companies have a Purchasing Department in charge of buying products or services from other companies. Since this often concerns large sums, some researchcan be advisable. Use the world wide web to check on the companies you plan on buying from.

As you can see, there are so many different departments that benefit from the use of social media. No doubt there are many more business goals you can fulfill, besides the ones already listed. So join forces with your colleagues from other departments and think about social media as an enrichment for your company. Using social media is just something you have to get used to. Don’t think of it as extra work. Think of it as another way of working.


Lien Brusselmans is Marketing Manager at www.engagor.com. Engagor builds an intelligent online platform for companies who want to monitor and manage their online presence. It's is a time-saver for companies that want the all-in-one solution: useful analytics about their perception online, as well as the possibility to post on several platforms from within one tool.
 
Lien Brusselmans

Lien Brusselmans

Marketing Manager, Engagor

Lien Brusselmans is Marketing Manager at Engagor, a social media platform for real-time customer service on all social media. Powerful monitoring and analytics help enterprises continually optimize social media interactions with customers.

You can reach out to Lien on Twitter via @lbrusselmans! 

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Comments

Marie Rose
Posted on July 24th 2012 at 9:20AM

Great post, Lien!

Social media is beneficial for so many departments within a company - not just the marketing team. I'm the Community Manager at Conversocial, a software-as-a-service tool that allows companies to monitor the messages they receive on Facebook and Twitter in order to deliver customer service through social media. We've done a lot of research into what customers want from brands on social media, and it all boiled down to the demand for two-way, B2C engagement. To use social networks solely for posting marketing messages isn't using the platforms to their full ability.

Some businesses have multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to separate marketing messages from customer service ones. For example, UK supermarket brand Tesco has two Twitter accounts - one for posting promotional messages, and the other for responding to customer complaints and questions. When you're limited to 1,000 messages per day, this works very well. You're entirely right that there's no doubt that people will get in touch with companies on Twitter and Facebook, so they need to prepare for it accordingly.

jedi_roach
Posted on August 12th 2012 at 11:07AM

Great post. At my employer, Philips, we started a cross functional group in 2010, and it works very much like you outlined. I fully recommend other companies to follow the advice in this post, especially if you are not using a "hub and spoke" organisational model with your social media activation.

Lien Brusselmans
Posted on August 14th 2012 at 7:36AM

Great to hear you're already handling social media very well since 2010! I think you're still way ahead of many other companies with regard to social media strategy.

If you want, I think it would be very interesting to know how exactly you work at Philips with regard to social media. Do you really work with representatives of each department?

Oh, and thanks for the comment. I'm a big fan of feedback :)  

jedi_roach
Posted on August 14th 2012 at 11:01AM

We have various departments represented, like Legal, IT, HR, Communications, customer care, as well as the marketing departments of our business areas, and we meet every 6 weeks.

It's a big group!

Jonathan Bennett
Posted on September 24th 2012 at 9:19AM

Recently attended a semiar about social networking in the workplace targeted at HR professionals and it was very interesting to see their take on it and how companies are approaching the misuse of social networking. I believe that social networking should be integrated new employee orientation programs so they act as brand advocates and know from the start how it should be utilised to the companies benefits.