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Author: Mattias Drefs, Social Media Marketing Director, Oracle
For a business to become truly socially enabled, social media listening techniques need to be implemented across your entire enterprise. The marketing department may well be listening to the market and tracking sentiment already, but the same skills and techniques can be applied by every department including (but not limited to!):
For a truly rounded view of the market, listening should tap into:
Although every department has its role to play in the socially-enabled enterprise, I have chosen three departments to demonstrate how social listening can be applied immediately.
Socially Enabled Product Development – the Challenges
Obtaining feedback for new product development often relies on time-consuming and costly customer focus groups. Undoubtedly this feedback is useful, but:
As such, new developments will often be created based on a limited data set. By adding social media listening tools to the product development workflow, these issues can be reduced. Businesses with improved collaboration report a faster time to market for new products and services, too.
Of course, Product Development is often a very conservative department - with good reason. If the team is wary of the risks involved with using social networks, explain that social media listening is just another channel - not necessarily the only source of customer information.
Socially Enabled Sales – the Challenges
Just as marketing relies on a good understanding of the market, the sales team relies on a good understanding of the customer and their current position in the buying journey. Obtaining this information can be difficult if:
Again, a lack of accurate and timely information could lead to sales opportunities being missed.
Socially Enabled Customer Services – the Challenges
Your customers are already active on social media and most would like to use these channels to talk about your business when facing problems. Often, clients will direct compliments or criticisms about your company to their peers without ever involving you directly, denying you the chance to respond.
“Nearly 15% of organizations don’t know what percentage of requests originate in the social sphere as they aren’t programmatically monitoring or engaging in support conversations on social.”
Social Media and Customer Service: From Listening to Engagement - Aberdeen Group
81% of businesses believe that delivering a great customer experience today requires leveraging social media effectively.
Without some form of social media management software to track customer sentiment and comments, chances to demonstrate outstanding service will also be missed. Great customer service delivered via social media provides another avenue by which to improve brand sentiment.
What are our Customers Saying?
Social media has created an open platform for customers to broadcast their opinions on any topic, including your brand. However, going beyond your headline products and services, your customers are also talking about:
If this information can be filtered correctly, the added insight can then be applied to improve business operations and customer satisfaction levels, or to prepare for new buying trends.
What About our Competitors?
Social media success is built on trust and openness. Social media management software improves your ability to monitor the competition in the social space. You will be able to:
This information can then be used to tailor your own products, services and business processes accordingly.
The Fundamental Interconnectedness of all Things
Because the marketing team is taking the social media lead in most projects, they will also need to take a lead with encouraging use of social media throughout the rest of the business, breaking the silos to facilitate better inter-unit communication.
“70% of respondents indicate that social business is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization works.”
So there is a need to set up a company-wide social media strategy to ensure the needs of customers are met at every point they interact with you, and that different teams present a consistent brand. The marketing unit needs to keep the rest of the business informed of their activities and how these may impact on other business units, adjusting workflows to include the additional data and insights. The marketing department may have to take the lead in business transformation to help your company become a truly social enabled enterprise.
Linking it all Together
To become a truly socially enabled business, you will need to:
Click here to take part in #TheSocialInfluencer survey 2014 to discover just how socially enabled your business really is.