Your company probably has a social media presence, together with 90% of companies around the world. Of those surveyed, 70% of them manage social media direct out of their marketing department.

There is a shift occurring where organisations are realising that not all conversations happening online require a marketing response and slowly starting to cross departmentalise the responses back to consumers.

We’re fortunate enough to have strong relationships with the customers that use our product so over the years, we’ve been able to get real insight into the day to day operations and challenges faced by organisations when it comes to maintaining social media. We want to share some of these insights with you and to provide examples of how some Australian companies are operationalizing social media management.

Customer service

In 2013, 62% of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences. This number continues to grow. Interestingly, consumers prefer to pay more for a product or service that provides a better customer service.

With more than 9000 tweets answered to their customers, Tesco is considered as the best Twitter brand. KLM, who assures a 24/7 service in ten languages and replies in 28 minutes, is in the top ten too.

One of the most famous fails of this year involved British Airways when an unhappy customer ran a Promoted Tweets campaign to solely complain about the airlines lack of customer service after the company lost his luggage. Ouch! This incident confirms how important a social response strategy is.

Australians tend to post more complaints on social media, Facebook as their primary option than any other channel including phone. The perception often by your consumers is that they’ll be heard and responded to quicker on a public forum than in a private conversations.  The brand or organisation is then forced respond immediately to avoid the complaint from going viral.  It is then easier for businesses to isolate customer service on dedicated platforms in order to treat each customer individually, while keeping the public aspect of social media. Most have separate Twitter handles and Facebook pages specific to customer service to keep the conversations around service managed.

Public Relations

In the past organisations used PR agencies to reach an audience and through publications tailored a message that they wanted consumers to understand. With the growth of blogging communities however, consumers often refer to niche bloggers or trusted forums for information about products and services. It’s a primary source of how consumers research and discover brands. Friends, family and close networks are also an important source of research but more importantly, decision making.

Content creation, messaging and maintaining relationships with  influencers and bloggers is absolutely crucial to share an important message. You can identify your key influencers in your domain through tools like PeerReach, MuckRack or even Local Measure allowing you to identify top influencers who visit your store.

Human Resources

With the traditional paper form resume dying, it seems appropriate than 69% of HR use social media in recruitment including proactively sourcing potential candidates on blogs or online forums where boolean search is applicable. Try to be creative when attracting candidates to your business, the first encounter they have with your organisation is often through the HR team.

The key to ensure there’s smooth tradition and common goals across your organisation when it comes to an external social media presence, it’s important to ensure there’s collaboration, clear communications and integration across the teams.  A strategy that works well is enlisting a spokesperson from each team to create an organisation wide core team that listens to their teams feedback and presents it back to the core team to make the decisions. It’s a nice way to ensure objectives have been met, there’s some rigour in the process and that there is an individual accountable.

Good luck!

Written by Tracy Benillouz