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Social media started as a marketing tool, but where will it end up?

In most organisations, the first people who picked up on social media were in marketing teams. Why? Besides marketing types’ general tendency to keep up to date with all that is cool and hype, they spotted social media as a way to push out good content and engage with eager audiences for very little additional costs.

Since then, in many organisations responsibility for social media remained with the marketing team, which means that messages are well-crafted, thought through and aimed to please the recipient.

But as the social audience matured, they started to identify how they wanted to use social media for their own purposes. The public now knows that someone in the organisation is listening, so many people utilise this as a channel to get their point across. Usually this point has to do with satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the organisations’ services. This pushes the social media ball in the Customer Services’ domain.

So are marketing people the best people to be handling social media now?

For general engagement then the answer is yes, but complaints should be handled in a process-driven way, which is probably best left to customer services. Most organisations are handling this issue by splitting responsibility on social media to both Marketing and Customer Services departments.

When does the IT department come in?

OK, so now may be the time to also get the IT department involved, as the organisation is potentially going to breach their policies around the sharing of usernames and passwords. With multiple people from different departments having access to the same Twitter or Facebook account, security issues are unavoidable.

Over the next 18 months many more organisations will start involving customer service and operational teams in the delivery of social media activity. Training now needs to be considered for non-marketing social media users. What about policies and guidelines? Do these need to be updated to take into account these new users?

The speed with which social media is evolving means that many organisations have to keep making quick decisions to keep up with progress. This means that some of the necessary foundations for social media integration might not be in place before building starts.

Our clients see our technology as the support infrastructure that ensures the successful delivery of strategy and management of social media across multiple teams with different roles. If you are looking for ways to embed social media across your organisation, give us a call.


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