Companies urged to take social media strategies to “next level”
Lack of enterprise-wide strategy contributing to poor customer service, says report
Companies are being urged to aggressively bring social media practices to the next level by using business tools to tie social media community interactions with customer service and marketing organizations.
The Genesys Social Media Strategy says consumers expect companies to engage with them via social media and that, while almost every company has made an attempt to establish such a presence, it is typically done manually in standalone deployments and in response to consumer queries and complaints.
The lack of an enterprise-wide social media strategy and engaging with consumers only, in a department-by-department basis, contribute to a poor consumer experience and ultimately undermine brand advocacy and loyalty.
“For the past few years social media has impacted the way companies communicate with consumers and their employees, resulting mainly in the leveraging of Facebook and/or Twitter as another channel to distribute press releases and other marketing material,” said Brian Riggs, research director, enterprise software and communications at Current Analysis. “As enterprises approach to social media matures, it will be critical for them to invest in tools that allow them to integrate social media efforts across marketing, communications and the contact center and directly impact revenues and operational expenses.”
The Alcatel-Lucent Genesys Strategy encourages enterprises to construct an integrated social media approach that builds on four actions:
1. Listen: Capture and leverage community/tribal knowledge to gain valuable insight into consumer sentiments about products, services and emotional engagement with the brand
2. Prioritize: Define and prioritize what actions to take toward the community, individual posts or within the enterprise
3. Engage: Proceed with relevant actions to respond, inform and notify individuals as appropriate while focusing resources on consumers of particular value to the company
4. Integrate: Integrate conversations across marketing and customer service organizations and other touch points while leveraging expertise across the broader enterprise and existing IT investments
According to a 2010 study by the Society of New Communications Research, “72 percent of respondents said they used social media to research a company’s reputation for customer care before making a purchase, and 74 percent choose to do business with companies based on the customer care experiences shared by others online.”
The report says that, with such large percentages of consumers using social media to acquire knowledge about a company to form a purchase decision, it is critical that companies integrate social media into their marketing and customer service business.