Cross Functional Social Media Engagement
Wow, what in the heck does that mean for a business? I believe it scares the heck out of a number of different types of businesses. Let’s take out any type of financial business as they have a whole slew of regulations. When setting up a social media strategy it could mean some of the following:
Your company has lost control of what is being communicated to your customer. Let me explain. There is no longer a “canned” response that your employees are able to provide to a customer because prior you where in some sense “feeding” the customer questions to ask. With social media engagement your customers are now formulating questions they want to ask you and every single one of them is different. No more canned responses for your employees. Your employees are no longer robots, but human beings.
Professionalism somewhat out the door, if you are a human, you need to act like a human. Your responses back to customers are a little lighter, not a direct response. Show a little more feeling, loosen up, have a little fun in your responses. In the end, your customers will think you are a pretty cool company, and a stiffy stifington (yes that is a made up word) company. You can no longer think it is just the older generation you are chatting with, plus they have no clue how old you are, so be cool. Is your company cool, or do you have canned responses?
Yes, you still need to have some Human Resource and legal presence. I am not saying turn your company completely over to your employees, there need to be some guidelines. Do not make your guidelines so stringent that everyone is afraid of responding to any messages. We want social engagement among your customers. If your customer’s are chatting away, posting on numerous social media sites and you as a company fail to respond, guess what, off they will go to another company or worse, their comments towards the company will become negative. Social Media Policies, good or bad, if broken what is the recourse?
Your teams are being forced to step out of their silos they have been working in for the past decade. Yes, silos, you know concrete, cannot break through, no discussion going back and forth. Social engagement is forcing ALL of your company departments to work together. Strange word isn’t it, working together. Without a team your social engagement will quickly become one sided. Social media is everyone, within your organizations, responsibility. I worked for a company that had many “silos” what is yours like, do your departments share information?
The cry of “we need an expert”. I have heard this time and again in many of the network events I attend. There are NO experts. What you learn today can quickly change tomorrow. Social media is new to all of us and ever changing. Threw out the “expert” word and start socializing, after you develop some sort of a plan anyway, which is another good point.
You have to develop a plan. Companies really do not like plans where they cannot see a short term ROI. I was recently discussing social media with a potential customer and the first thing out of his mouth was “What is my ROI?” Everything does not have revenue tied directly to it. Think about what your company is quickly losing if your company is not listening or engaging in social media. Do you believe Social Media is a benefit to your company or hindering?
I will get off of my soap box; of course I want everyone to engage in social media, why would they not understand the benefits? What are your thoughts, do you think companies are just lazy and scared and want their competitors to just pass them by?