The following is a guest blog post from Sam Mauzy. Sam is a contributing writer for Invesp.
Social media initially began as a way for individuals to communicate with others through the expression of their personal thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on certain issues. While it was always an interactive tool used to communicate different types of information, the concept of sharing was taken to another level. It is now common practice for social media and online users to not only share general or personal information with family and friends, but strangers are now included in normal daily interactions.
There are numerous websites, applications, and forums that allow consumers to share and express their experiences as a customer with literally thousands of other interested users. Basically, these new internet platforms make it possible for any positive or negative response or comment made by one social media user to influence or hinder potential sales. Social media users may or may not be familiar with your products and services; however, they gain knowledge via social media platforms each and
every day. Thus, businesses now have the added task of implementing, managing, and monitoring social marketing tactics with their organizational goals and objectives to further advance product awareness. Any one company can play a great role in social engineering by actively engaging in all facets of social media platforms as a daily operational protocol. It would be to their benefit to have full knowledge of the various social marketing vehicles that are affecting their overall business metrics as it relates to sales, public relations, relationship marketing, and business development.
By proactively keeping a pulse on social media campaigns and effectively analyzing any data associated with these marketing vehicles, a company is better able to manage product positioning, customer service issues, and possibly damaging media. Companies can achieve this by using an in house team to monitor, analyze, and manage data received from social media platforms. Using an internal marketing department to manage social media is equivalent to having a live person or receptionist greet visitors at
the front office. A well trained social media management team can interact with satisfied and unsatisfied customers, launch marketing incentive programs immediately, and respond to adverse situations more quickly. Furthermore, an in-house team is better equipped with vital information that allows them to handle certain issues as they relate to customers, products, employees, and other business related matters.
You will find that your company’s social media campaigns will require a consistent amount of management to be effective, as well as bring results that generate satisfied and relevant customers. A relevant customer is one who is not only happy with your products and services, but eagerly shares their positive experiences with their family, friends, and associates who can then be converted to relevant customers. Additionally, should a regular customer or potential customer have a problem with your product or service, an appointed staff member can easily resolve the issue and prevent further issues from developing.
While outside social media and marketing firms are well qualified to manage campaigns and generate positive public relations for your company, their services are not usually available around the clock. Because social media happens constantly and the internet is around the clock, an outside marketing firm may miss opportunities or fail to respond to serious customer matters in a timely fashion. This can be avoided with an internal marketing team by dividing roles, on-call shifts, and specifically assigning different social media platforms based on experience and availability.
Finally, a social media management process should be engineered according to how your business operates. Depending on your business size, operational functions, and customer interaction type, an internal social media program can not only provide many short-term benefits, but also help establish long term customer loyalty. If your business is primarily small with a need to engage with customers regularly, then a social media strategy may be necessary to properly manage resources in the beginning.
However, if you operate a growing business and want to communicate effectively with key customers, then a social media platform should be implemented at different levels to include both internal and external marketing teams. Whether you begin slowly engaging social media strategies as an internal component of your business or allow an outside firm to manage campaigns, you should always strive to use knowledge of your customer preferences to broaden your brand while building relevant relationships.
What are your thoughts on using an internal social media marketing team?