How do you organise your social media efforts internally in your company? Who’s responsible for your Facebook page, who takes care of customer complaints, anyone doing the analytics and what about CRM?
Is a dedicated social media team the right fit for you, or should social media be integrated company wide?
The isolated social media team vs the company wide integrated social media program
How you organise your internal resources for social media obviously depends on what you aim to accomplish with your activities. However, I’ve not yet to-date met a company that said: “Let’s get started with a full blown CEO-sponsored social media program where everyone in the company uses social media in a coordinated manner working towards the same to goals”. Even if that might be the right thing to do, such program is a big piece of change management work.
What happens though in most companies is that social media is something that a few years back bubbled from the bottom and up. Probably someone in a marketing/communications role took the initiative to launch it’s company on some social media profiles. Judging the past, the question remains how much real value was created from these often half empty Facebook pages asking their fans to like their new product, or just wishing them “a lovely day”.
Fast forwarding to mid 2012 your digitally connected customers will demand more from you than being spammed by a Facebook page. They don’t care about the tools, technologies and platforms. Instead they demand to be heard and listened to, to not to be treated like a customer ID in an Excel row, that you’re always open for business and last but not least; that you exceed their expectations.
We could summarize all of the above in one top goal: increase customer satisfaction.
Can social media tools and technologies help here? Yes.
In a medium sized business, could 1-2 social media executives in the marketing department alone make an impact on customer satisfaction? Possible, but very unlikely.
Great companies such as Dell, HP and Starbucks don’t have an isolated social media team. They have a center of excellence program running with key stakeholders form important business functions. Together they draw up the social media strategy and work towards joint goals.
What should your social media program do? Read about the 5 key areas of social media here to get some ideas of what you should be focusing on, and not.
Everyone in the company will eventually launch their social media initiatives, you better be governing it
My experience is that eventually more and more departments will launch their own social media initiatives. In silos. Customer support will end up with their own dedicated Twitter channel, PR launching their channel on Youtube and HR follow the trend of setting up a recruitment page.
All this is great as social media activities now are happening cross verticals. Though, it needs to be governed by someone running the overall strategy cross the verticals. Preferably this person, or entity, should be taking care of:
- The strategy
- Ensure that departments have actions and are implementing them
- Vendor selection
- Reporting & measurement
- Policies & governance
- Budget allocation for program
This may not be a permanent function, but it needs to be someones job until things are put in place, until the departments can effectively use social media aligned with the company’s goals.
Who knows, probably tomorrow’s organisations will look very different and your social media program is a part of that process.
How do you organise for social media today?