Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shift in Company Policies

In order to use social media effectively, many companies must adopt a “customer first” ideology. To respond to requests or feedback, the process of getting things approved must be streamlined, so that if a problem arises, the person responding can be empowered to respond.

In my experience, I found many companies believe that Social Media is like Public Relations and should be handled by the Pubic Relations department or the marketing department, however, I feel that a company should not use the marketing manpower on Social Media. Although it has a lot of brand building aspects, and it should tie in with the company’s marketing plan, it also involves much of a company’s customer service.

Furthermore, social media is much more than just marketing and customer service. It can be used for informational gathering, managing relationships with vendors and customer, organization knowledge management and much more.

Social media is considered by some as “putting the public back in public relations” and it does take time to build relationships, but the returns are far greater than just advertising. When a customer, feels happy, they will become a repeat customer, and with them on board your social media platform, some of these customers can help spread your products and services and eventually become an evangelist.

Companies who are interested to engage in Social Media should consider starting a new department, and the duties of this department would include the following:

- Monitor the Internet for new, blogs and other articles about the company.
- Write blogs about interesting tips or findings in the industry.
- Engage bloggers, tweeps and other contributors who write about the company. (either thank them or resolve their problems)
- Maintain and update the company’s Fan Page on Facebook.
- Maintain and update the company’s Twitter account.
- Disseminate information and achievements of the company on Social Media.
- Liaise with the customer service department and inform them of customer feedback.
- Liaise with marketing department and make sure Social Media strategy supports marketing plans.
- Work with Human resources to gather information on the company (achievements and news), use Social Media to help in new hires, and look out for potential employees.
- Research information on the industry using Social Media, feedback to management or R&D about findings.
- Train and encourage staff to use Social Media. Nothing better than the staff believing in the product and service and promoting using word of mouth.
- Organize events, add picture and videos of company’s happening on Social Media to share the company’s experience and events.

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