When customers need help, they expect companies to offer it quickly and through multiple social media channels — but most companies aren’t set up to do that. Some companies increase their social media staff to offer live responses during big events like the Super Bowl or the Grammys, but then they return to predominately one-way social media or content marketing. Since 2013 the number of customers who expect a response through social media has doubled, according to research from Sprout Social, yet seven out of eight messages to companies go unanswered for 72 hours.
Complicating matters further, consumers expect one brand account to contain responses to all kinds of needs, including marketing information and customer service. But marketing managers simply are not trained to deal with questions or complaints about service, product performance, or other nonmarketing requests.
To be more effective at building relationships with consumers online, companies need a cross-functional social media team, one where marketing works together with other departments. Distributing social responsibilities to relevant people across the organization can be efficient, be effective, and help make one-on-one customer engagement scalable.
Cross-functional social media teams can leverage the stages of the buying cycle, connecting the right employees with the right customers at the right time. Consumers’ needs change when they are in the prepurchase, purchase, and postpurchase steps of buying, so different employees are more useful to customers at different stages.
How can an organization create a cross-functional social media team? First, research and analyze existing social media. Who controls the official brand channels? What systems, policies, and employees are responsible for monitoring social media? From this research, organize a new system. Here is a simple process from my book Social Media Strategy, Marketing, and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.
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Harvard Business Review
Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.