For most of our clients, social media is a no-brainer. Let’s face it. Even the mom-and-pop deli below the office has a Twitter and Facebook page. But what is scary is that companies with millions/billions in revenue, multiple locations and many more employees are often not taking their strategy much further than Mr. Kim who makes kimchi tacos on Battery Street.
In Mr. Kim’s case, he gets feedback from his customers everyday. He’s not marketing on billboards or sending out flyers. He is communicating with his customers, and they are telling him what they like and what they don’t. They tell him by generating revenue at his deli, and they also tell him verbally that they wish he would make a kalbi burrito with two eggs instead of one. It’s a two way method of communication (sounds like social media, doesn’t it?).
It’s been said more than one, but social media is only a communication tool. Since the customers of large enterprises cannot necessarily show up in the “deli” to hear their customers, social media is becoming the next best thing. Of course, people will still send complaints and feedback through email, phone, and maybe even… mail. It is not only about marketing, but it is also about understanding what the customer wants out of your products and services. And there is a lot more data flowing through the pipes now. Not just through your own Facebook, Twitter, and other user generated channels, but ALL social channels. We’re talking about more than 9 billion pieces of content created everyday. And it’s growing.
What we find is most often missing within companies is the organizational structure to pass along messages to the right business units which can actually act on questions, feedback or complaints. Mr. Kim knows that he only needs to go home and tell his wife that they need to buy more eggs for burritos, but are your community managers telling your product guys that there are tweaks that would be great on the next redesign? Do you know that people are asking why the new cinnamon twists taste strange? Are you getting messages from prospective buyers to your sales team?
Regardless of the volume that your organization is seeing outside of owned channels, this is the time to put together the workflow necessary to pass messages along to the right people in your company. Audit the types of conversations that are occurring today, and begin to categorize how these conversations should be addressed as they occur in real time. Insightful ideas are floating around in the ether, and if your organization doesn’t listen to them, someone else will.