Is Your Company’s Current Organizational Structure Well Suited For Social Media?
By Marcus Ho
Take a minute to think about all the corporate pages you see on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Who manages those accounts?
Since social media is a relatively new concept, many companies are uncertain of how to manage their pages.
Imagine the following scenario (it happens every day): an upset customer heads to a company’s social media page to air his or her grievances. Assume that the Marketing department is in charge of the page, so they’re notified first. The Marketing department would probably bring the Service Quality department in to explain the situation, and why not bring in the Public Relations department as well.
These things take time. Maybe not a lot of time, but too much for the online world. While the company is looking for a way to respond, the customer gets angrier from the lack of response, hence leading to more negative posts and shares, killing the brand’s reputation by the minute.
Seems like having a social media page isn’t the best thing, right?
You may think that having a social media page brings more trouble than opportunity. However, if the page is managed properly, it can give you benefits that are not present in any other media outlets. A good social media team should be able to satisfy the changing demands of connected consumers, and fully utilize the deadliest weapon in the marketing arsenal: word-of-mouth.
Building Your Dream Social Media Team
Connected consumers share everything on social media, and they will talk about your brand whether you are active or not. A social media team that responds efficiently and engages effectively needs several professionals who understand how to use available platforms and how to satisfy customers with carefully crafted replies.
When the iPhone 5S was released in Singapore, I was quick to order the gold version from the local Telco. I was told it would be delivered three days later between 2pm to 5pm. However, it was only at 5pm that the courier called to say he would be late. As I had other appointments, I told the courier to deliver it the next day. I made a call that evening to the customer service hotline and was promised that it will be delivered on time.
The next day, the phone was not delivered and no calls were made to me to clarify the situation. I posted my situation on the company’s Facebook page and filled out the feedback form. Even then, I was asked to complete the form, again. No other clarifications were offered.
It was a perfect example of how inefficient social media teams fail. Due to the lack of information shared across their departments, they were not able to react competently to the requests. They could only refer the requests back to an inflexible feedback form.
Social media marketing does not have any established work process yet as compared to traditional marketing. However, before any framework for a social media team is formed, many boundaries have to be broken and information must be shared for the sake of a decisive response.
Another one of my online booking deals had an issue as well, but things went differently from my iPhone experience with the local Telco. I had booked train tickets but the company mixed up the directions. I brought the issue up on their Facebook page and provided the details. The company replied swiftly, apologized and offered their hotline number. When I called, the service officer was well aware of the problem and immediately fixed my tickets while throwing in free gifts I could use at my travel destination.
The outstanding service could only be achieved through a centralized approach where information gets shared across departments so the company can provide an efficient, enjoyable experience for the consumer.
Companies will need to choose effective strategies that meet the needs of tech-savvy consumers who frequently discuss their experiences online.
The Social Media Committee
An ideal way would be to have a member from each relevant department come together and form a social media committee. While a multi-specialized team would provide the efficiency required, a cohesive and centralized approach is crucial.
The social media committee will be the overseers for your operation. They will provide the knowledge to improve daily operations while sharing what they have learned from social media to their respective departments. Such roles should be reserved for senior staff members due to the high level of expertise and decision-making required.
The Social Media Task Force
The task force consists of two main roles: information gathers and frontline responders.
Information gatherers monitor social conversations for mentions of your brand, your competitors and anything related, to plot the company’s position on social media.
Frontline responders answer questions and post new content. They will have to reach out to the audience and provide feedback to the committee.
The task force will:
- handle the tasks and implement the direction from the members of the committee
- act as the eyes and ears of the company in the social media environment
- and strive to ensure that the campaign moves forward.
The Community Manager
A community manager will have to be appointed from the Marketing department and serve as the main decision-maker regarding all things social media. The position requires someone who is fluent in marketing and social media. The community manager’s main aim would be to increase the number of fans and engagement
An example of their KPI would be reaching a certain percentage and volume of positive feedback.
Pass it on to the next generation
With the framework in place, each company will take on their social media campaign with their own styles. Transparency will help steer the team in the same direction when each member understands the campaign’s goals and vision and works towards their individual KPIs.
While the importance of marketing direction is undeniable, constant sharing and training is vital to the sustainability of the company’s social media team. An organized strategy needs the team to create a list of Standard Operating Procedures that gets constantly updated as the team improves their methods. As social media grows day by day, the team will have new additions and the SOP will become a clear and effective training tool.
Step ahead and lead your competitors
With the many successful marketing campaigns on social media, companies are enticed to jump onto the social media bandwagon. However, since social media only broke into the scene in recent years, many companies are unsure and untrained in the art of social media marketing.
Social media’s continuous growth will only get larger before it becomes a widely used marketing tool. While competitors attempted all the trials and errors, you can see the situation as an opportunity to step ahead in your industry. While the rest dream of overtaking their competitors, or stamping their authority as the industry leaders, you can make it real by taking the first step in building a strong and effective social media team.