In my line of work I’m often called upon to write social media strategy for brands and that’s good, I like helping people figure out how to build communities based around their offerings. Oftentimes it’s the marketing department that contact me. Again, as is to be expected as social media was primarily touted as a marketing channel. But here’s the thing.
I mean, it is, in that it’s great for marketing. BUT social media is also excellent for customer services, for product feedback, for sales leads and a myriad of other things.
A few years back, before social came of age, there was a big question about who “owned” social – the marketing dept or the PR folks.
I think it’s time for us to revisit this question, but instead of asking who ‘owns’ social, come up with a cohesive way of all departments working together to get the most out of social, and to ensure they’re providing a worthwhile service to their users/community/customers.
According to SproutSocial, 5 out of 6 messages to brands go unanswered. Now I can understand that not all of these questions are answerable customer enquiries, my time managing @GOVUK taught me that, but I’m reasonably sure more than 1 out of 6 is a question that can be answered.
Not dealing with your customer’s enquiries is hugely detrimental to your online presence, it doesn’t matter how good your marketing strategy is if the basics aren’t being taken care of.
So before you talk to an agency or a freelancer about helping you out with social, talk to the rest of your departments and get them involved. It’ll make them feel involved, it’ll make your job easier, and it certainly makes your customers happier.
This isn’t a new idea, but I thought it was worth repeating.