A holistic approach to social listening and engagement can transform your business into a social business, help you quickly find relevance in the massive social world and allow you to use the information for the betterment of your entire organization.
At first blush it might seem like marketing should take the lead and "own" social media and there are plenty of benefits available that can be leveraged to enhance the brand. But once you identify the numerous stakeholders who have or will find tremendous value in social information, it quickly becomes clear: social media is not all about marketing, sales, PR, HR or even support.
It's about the complete business and the impact it has is enormous.
Each part of your business can benefit from social conversations. These conversations reveal incredibly valuable information, sometimes information that would be costly and difficult to achieve through surveys and focus groups. A conversation that starts with a support question can quickly turn into an opportunity to up-sell, cross-sell or to provide a valuable customer testimonial. A question to your legal department can shift to investor relations or product development. A shipping inquiry might end up being a PR discussion. And so on...
But many organizations who have jumped into social, seriously misuse their data and in the process minimize the true impact the information has. Why? Silos.
The true benefit of social becomes significantly diminished when valuable information fails to make its way to those who need it most. But you'll never know any of those things if they're hidden away in departmental silos.
But it's not easy to break down these silos. Why? It's the same problem most companies have had for decades: departments want to control their own systems and tools and have very different needs.
- Customer Service cares about:
- Reputation management
- Customer notices
- Customer service
- Talent acquisition
- HR cares about:
- Community building (former and future employees)
- Talent acquisition
- Marketing cares about:
- Social profiles
- Branding & PR
- Sales support
Can this be fixed? Can these silos be eliminated or at least bridged or connected? The answer is yes. In fact, it's absolutely essential that organizations find a way to integrate their social media efforts and systems.
In its latest best practice guide, Astute Solutions identifies six lessons to help organizations break down social media silos and enable a coordinated brand voice:
Lesson #1: the majority of social media conversations aren't relevant to the business, but those that are can be incredibly valuable. Finding those relevant conversations is critical.
Lesson # 2: Social isn't to be owned, it's to be leveraged as an integral, vital and strategic business channel. Getting access to relevant information is important. Delivering it to key stakeholders is critical.
Lesson #3: It's not enough to simply monitor the social universe. You must be able to find and act on critical issues in real time and do so in a way that doesn't dampen the bottom line.
Lesson #4: Consumers want to tell you more about what they like and don't like. They'll tell you in great detail about how they use your products and services. You have to make their feedback a strategic part of your organization.
Lesson #5: Integration is important and the connecting of all parts of the organization to social systems is absolutely critical. Build a common platform based upon the needs of your service origination and you'll find more flexibility and access to the most important information.
Lesson #6: Collecting data is terrific, but look closely for actionable feedback from consumers AND act on it!