Social networking has tipped the scales on branding and customer relations indefinitely. Where once corporations bullied their way into our lives with billboards and flashy commercials, today’s best brands are knocking politely and waiting for the social invitation to become a brand involved your daily life. At the same time, these same big businesses are being forced to add new company policies on interaction with customers on these new social platforms. The question is, what department will they be hiring to handle social media?
We talk all the time about how customer centric social media marketing is an essential for businesses of every size, but should social media really be a job delegated to the marketing department? Are you making sure customer service or the customer experience is the center of your social media plan? Or are you just watching conversions? And is this the fine line between marketing, sales and customer service?
Marketers know marketing. Historically a marketer’s job has been to attract the average Joe to products, services and other opportunities that will help the profit margins grow. Marketers, including Internet marketers, are masterminds at devising winning strategies and measuring the results of campaigns. They gather data and plan out ideas for more ways of enticing new and returning customers back to the conversion pool. While there is a place for social media marketing in ads and contests run on these platforms, should your marketing department be handling the day to day interactions and engaging customer centric ways of your social networking?
Now, consider the job of your average customer service representative. When you call customer service, it is to get or give feedback and to have a problem resolved in the best possible way. Most customer service representatives have been fully trained in dealing with customers and how to deliver on a company’s promises to its consumers. Customer service reps are pros at matching products and services to a client’s needs and most importantly, customer care representatives have one goal and that is to make the customer happy and satisfied with their experience with your brand. When it comes to interacting on social networks, customer service representatives may be the best fit for the job.
Finally there is the sales team. This team is like a morph between the marketer and the customer service representative. They know how to connect people to products and to promote products effectively and at the same time, most sales persons are driven by numbers and making a sale. Note, I did not say ALL sales persons are driven by sales, but traditionally, sales are tied to commissions, while customer service is paid hourly and marketers earn a salary. The typical sales person knows how to interact with people of all shapes and sizes and is well versed in positively promoting a particular brand. Could it be that social sales team is what your business needs?
So, you are going to go social with your business, which new department will you create? The goal of many businesses on social platforms is to connect with current clients or customers and then sort of wiggle their way into other media users lives by offering incentives for connections and eventually building real relations and gradually developing loyal business relationships with all of their connections.
How to make that happen and which department to use? Customer centric social media interactions will require a companywide revolution. Marketing will work with sales who will work with customer service and together on the social platform, all of these departments will represent your business. Develop a funnel for interaction and assign the right social liaison for each incoming situation and keep the doors of communication open on social media strategies.
Social media and social networking are a prime example of how this one endeavor can have literally thousands of customer access points. A dream come true for marketers and sales people everywhere; customer service still does their thing regardless of the platform. With new platforms and social networks appearing daily, you need to spread your social wings wisely and with the right people within your organization. When you are on multiple social networks, use the professional and clean Follow Us button from SocialFollow and Studio98.