“How Do You Know She’s a Witch?” . . . “She Looks Like One!”
Social Media. Social Media. Social Media!
There. Let’s get it out of our system.
Nowadays companies love to throw a social media “phrase” into the mix, sometimes completely unrelated and out of the blue. Much like the peasants in Monty Python (watch the scene here). trying to dress up a witch, companies throw up a Facebook page and declare they are now on social media.
Yes, SM is great. But I say it all the time, it’s not the “Holy Grail” of marketing.
More importantly than creating a Facebook Page or jumping onto twitter, is looking at how SM can fit into your overall marketing strategy. More specifically let’s talk about the “customer experience.”
In some companies the “customer experience” is managed by a completely different department. But at MATRIX we talk a lot about it in our marketing meetings. After all, the marketing department should be helping with your branding, and the customer’s experience is going to brand you. Good or bad.
Because Social Media was the “buzz” of 2009, companies every where were throwing up SM positions and targeting recent college grads to start tweeting.
I understand that SM its new territory and companies were unsure about it’s “value,” but one thing that was failed to realize was SM, if done right, plays a HUGE part in your customer experience.
So, let’s back up. What do you do? How can you ensure that SM fits into your overall strategy, and guarantee that it provides a great experience for your customers?
- Make sure your SM team knows your brand! It’s easy to tweet or create a Facebook page, but does the person behind it know your brand to the core? Better yet, do they know your target audience.
- Train your team on “best practices.” How should they respond to a complaint? Or to a question they don’t know? – For Heaven’s sake, don’t just say “I don’t know. . .”
- Engage them in the discussions about your marketing strategy. The SM team should know what the overall goals are. Brainstorm ways that SM can fit into and help achieve those goals. Basically, make sure they know where the company is going.
- Incorporate SM efforts into your CRM strategy. If your SM team deals directly, even as much as a RT from a client or customer, it needs to be documented. You want to ensure that the rest of the company knows there was an interaction. Especially if there was a complaint. If you customer complains on social media, they shouldn’t have to then talk on the phone with someone that has no idea about the complaint.
- Encourage them to “look deeper.” This is probably the most vague point, but don’t just settle for the status quo. Encourage them to look deeper at the stats. What are the trends, what does your audience seem most interested in?
As you quest for your own Holy Grail using Social Media, keep in mind it all comes down to forming genuine, not illusory relationships. Providing a way to connect with your customer and ensuring that they have a good experience with your brand.
Why Should Companies Invest in Social Media?
I had a great meeting today with a 30-year marketing veteran, discussing the need for companies to be present on social media (SM).
Generalizing here I know, but I think the majority of corporations fall into two categories when it comes to engaging on social media.
1. They scoff at the thought of doing business where, they think, only 13 year old girls gather to look at photos from their recent sleepover.
2. Or they dump everything onto social media and expect a surge in sales within 2 months, and if the don’t get it, they give up.
Balance, people. Balance.
Yes. I agree with #2. If it’s not a project that will drive the bottom-line (or create unity within the organization) then don’t invest.
Which sets up my question nicely: WHY should corporations invest in social media?
Customers. Colleagues. Leads. The community. All relationships that are worth your time. If you’re not a company that wants to invest in relationships, then in my opinion, social media is not a good avenue for you to get involved in.
So, let’s talk about these relationships for a bit. How can social media actually effect the relationships you have with your customers?
First, read my original post where I gave 5 missed opportunities to provide a “raving fan” experience from a large corporation.
Now that we are on the same page. Here’s an update:
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this tweet come through. Jaded? Maybe. I’m sure that Sprint does have numerous stories where they built strong relationships through customer service and social media.
But for me, I’m left with ideas swirling of a better SM strategy, an improved SM customer experience, and not to mention a jacked HTC Hero.
Coming to my point I promise . . .
I did respond to that tweet, took the “high road,” and congratulated them but also asked if they could help get my phone fixed. I got several responses to 1. send them an e-mail with my information 2. go into a tech. store and 3. my personal favorite:
A little Sprint sarcasm? Perhaps.
“Adam, what’s the point to all this? ” you ask.
Here it is: If you can’t integrate social media into your entire business process, then don’t even begin.
Why? Because Social Media is not just sleep-over photos, or checking-in a Starbucks, it’s relationship building. And should be thought of when looking at an overall “customer experience.”
Social media needs to fit in with your entire business process. The “traditional” customer service reps, in-person interaction, tech support and SM teams should all be on the same page. Talking together about the customer’s needs.
In my next post I will give a few examples of how to integrate your SM team in your business process to provide a better “customer experience.”
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