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Top 5 ways to convince the board that its time to invest more in social media

05 May 2014 | 11:53 am

Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool in the armory of any marketing department. But, has this been accepted across the organisation or do some of your board members still need convincing of the need for further investment?

There are a number of factors that clearly show the importance of social media and how investment in it can positively affect both the management of social media and the efficiency of the organisation.

1. Social media influences your reputation

No longer is a company reputation built soley on word of mouth, customer service and the quality of its products. More importantly it is based on the influence of social media. Disgruntled customers can turn to Facebook and Twitter to complain about your organisation before you know there is a problem. These issues can be magnified by the immediacy of social media and the amplification of it, problems can spread in minutes rather than days. It is therefore important to be fully aware of what is being said about your organisation and react accordingly. If asked the question do you know what is being posted or tweeted about your organisation - is your reply a positive one? If the answer to the question is no then now be the right time to discuss the need to invest in social media management software (SMMS).

2. Recommendations through social media result in increased revenue

It has been shown by Harvard Business School in a study released last week that positive online recommendations can boost the price consumers are willing to pay by an average 9.5%. Negative recommendations meanwhile can reduce the likelihood of purchasing a product or service by up to 11%. This is an indication of the ROI to be gained through social media and even the toughest FD will find it hard not to be swayed by these figures.

3. Improve customer service

Social media is not only for use by the marketing team but a vital part of customer service. Good customer service will impact on recommendations, which as mentioned above can impact on the bottom line. Using social media as part of your customer service has additional financial benefits too; Online transactions can be 20 times cheaper than by phone and up to 30 times cheaper than face-to-face. So not only can you improve your customer service and reputation by delivering this on social media is also far more efficient. How you deal with complaints and questions on social media is visible by everyone so make sure it enhances your reputation and doesn’t destroy it.

4. Social media policies

Many organisations now have social media policies in place. However, if you are not able to monitor social media use and misuse then these policies are unenforceable. Employees cannot be held to account for misuse if you cannot detect who was responsible for the particular post or tweet that contravenes your policy. Social media management systems enable you to have a full audit trail of all activity so this would be valuable to HR to enable them to investigate any misuse.

5. Social media spans the whole organisation

It is not just the marketing or customer service teams where social media can play a vital role. Social media can impact on every department and function in your organisation, in both a positive and negative way. It can provide insight into R&D teams and provide valuable feedback to HR. Many employees are privy to confidential information, which could be leaked via social media. Numerous directors have been caught out using their personal accounts for seemingly innocent communications, which have turned out to have negative impact on the business. If SMMS had been in place many of these issues could have been prevented.

Investment in social media and the management of it will never be “money down the drain”. It will reduce the risks of using social media whilst at the same time making the organisation more efficient and increase its reputation all of which will ultimately impact on the bottom-line, so it must be a worthwhile investment.

Related: Why the board need to be investing more in to social media.