Nowadays, word of mouth has far surpassed the face-to-face communication – though still relevant – and has jumped on to the World Wide Web, allowing one to spread their feeling and judgements with others about a product or a company. You can jump on to virtually any company’s Facebook page or other form of social media and find people complaining or applauding companies in how they are conducting business. You can also search for the company with the word “review” to research the company through various forums or other third-party review web pages to get an (hopefully) unbiased review.
In my research in how organizations are adapting social media and customer service, I found that some companies have succeeded extremely well and others have completely dropped the proverbial ball. In the online article, 9 Companies Doing Social Media Right and Why Amy Poterfield did an extremely thorough research on companies and how they have adapted to the use of social media. The first successful example she gives is of Martell Home Builders. She explains that the company used to rely heavily on real estate agents for leads. That was until they started their own blog, the use of the widget “like” button on their webpage (that linked directly to their Facebook page), geolocation, and shareable pictures to update and give progress reports to current customers. With these measures, “Martell was able to grab the attention of homebuyers. Today, about 86% of all their leads come directly from consumers.” There was a common theme between all of the companies and it was how they engaged, made it pertinent, and interesting for the customers.
In another online article, Is Your Company’s Current Organizational Structure Well Suited For Social Media? By Marcus Ho, he talks about the use of social media and the hurdles organizations face in their pursuit of online customer services. In the article, he mentions that by having a team of professionals in various departments in the company, all trained in the use of social media, can drastically improve customer service. He also gives an example of how ‘inefficient social media team’ can really have an impact on a customer. Read the example and see for yourself how the company did nothing but create more problems for Marcus. He also has another example of a successful way he was treated by another company.
In addition, Marcus broke down the way to have a successful team. The first would to be to form a social media committee by having a senior staff member that oversees their departments. This way, they are able to relay information gathered from social media platforms and convey that back to their perspective departments. He states that, “a multi-specialized team would provide the efficiency required, a cohesive and centralized approach is crucial.”
The next step would be to have a social media task force that consists of two duties: “information gatherers and frontline responders.” Click here to learn more. There would also be a community manager that is from the marketing department and gives the final say in all things social media.
There is a lot more that he talks about and I would highly suggest jumping over to his page to help improve your company.
My final thoughts about the organizational use of social media is that, even though this is relatively new, it is ongoing and is a driving major factor in determining if a business is going to be successful in the future. I believe that your main priority should always be your customer and by having a professional social media group will guarantee a company’s longevity and repeat business.
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