- IT is being caught in the middle of various business units, all separately attempting to create, staff, implement, and instrument a social media program.
- Requests for procuring social media tools and integrating with CRM systems are coming from all directions, with no central authority governing a social media program or coordinating business goals.
- Public Relations and Corporate Communications groups have been acting as the first level of response to social media channels since the company’s first Twitter account went live, but the volume of inquiries received through social channels has become too great for these groups to continue in a first responder role.
- Social media immaturity is an opportunity for IT leadership. As with so many of the “next new things,” IT has an opportunity to help the business understand social media technologies, trends, and risks, and coordinate efforts to approach social media as a united company.
- Social media maturity must reach the Social Media Steering Committee stage before major investments in technology can proceed. As with all business initiatives, technology automation decisions cannot be made without respect to organizational and process maturity. Social media strategy stakeholders must join together and form a steering committee to create policies and procedures, govern strategy, develop workflows, and facilitate technology selection processes. IT not only belongs on such a steering committee, but it can also be instrumental in the formation of it.
- Info-Tech’s research repeatedly indicates that the greatest return from social media investments is in the customer service domain, by reacting to incoming social inquiries and proactively listening to social conversations for product and service inquiry opportunities. This means CRM integration is essential to long-term social media program success.
Impact and Result
- Assess your organization’s social maturity to know where to begin and where to go in implementation of a social media program.
- Form a social media steering committee to bring order to chaos among different business units.
- Develop comprehensive workflows to categorize and prioritize inquiries, and then route them to the appropriate part of the business for resolution.
- Consider creating one or more physical social media command centers to process large volumes of social inquiries more efficiently and monitor real-time social media metrics to improve critical response times.
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