The impact of social media on business goes way beyond sales and marketing. Public relations, product development, operations and customer support departments all play a role in the relationship your customers have with your business, and the way they view your brand.
If your social media strategy begins and ends with your marketing team, your business may be missing out on an opportunity to use these powerful tools to enhance your customer's experience.
Here are a few ways you can get other members of your team involved and enhance the impact of social media on your business.
1. Public Relations
The impact of social media on business is always top of mind for public relations pros.
A bad tweet.
A campaign that misses the mark.
An employee behaving badly caught on video.
A negative customer review that goes viral.
These are all things that keep your public relations team up at night.
But don't just loop in your PR team during crisis situations. To truly see the impact of social media on business, think about getting them involved during cross-functional planning sessions. You can also lean on them for guidance when creating instruction manuals, policies and procedure documents.
Not only can your PR team provide valuable insights into your customers' wants and needs, they can also help create content that resonates with your audience, or identify messaging that may be viewed as contentious.
2. Product Development
Remember, the impact of social media on business doesn't just have to be about what you publish. The impact can also be in the business intelligence you gain.
Product development is responsible for building things your customers will want to buy, and social media platforms can be a great place to find insights on what those features, functions, products or services should be.
Whether they are looking for trends in social media reports, participating in a Twitter takeover or posing questions or topics to your social media calendar, getting your product development teams actively engaged with your customers through social media is one way to gather useful customer feedback.
The way your operations team delivers on your marketing and sales promises matters. From product distribution to shipment updates, businesses of all sizes are turning to social media to help keep their customers up to date as they service them.
There are a variety of ways you can connect with customers. For example, automated tools, like bots, are making it easier for teams to deliver messages to customers instantly on multiple social platforms.
In your next planning session, consider ways that your operations team can use these tools to be more connected with your customers. There may be some information that you're emailing, or not communicating at all, that can easily be delivered through an automated system via a mass tweet or direct message.
4. Customer Support
Customer support teams are the first line of defense when a customer has a need, so they have a lot of communication tools at their disposal. The easier it is for your customers to access customer support, and in turn for customer support representatives to respond, the better.
The impact of social media on business customer relations is all around us. For example, in July 2016 a faulty router caused Southwest Airlines to cancel more than 2,000 flights. In response, the company posted frequent updates on Facebook , and began taking flight-change requests through direct message.
Another example is Nike, which has a dedicated Twitter account it uses to communicate updates and handle support issues for the company's mobile app and device users.
Behind every business is a group of people, and sometimes customers like to know who those people are. Getting your leadership team engaged and active on social media can be helpful in humanizing your brand.
A Twitter account for the CEO, Facebook Live interviews with members of your leadership team or blog posts or messages from the company's president are easy ways to give your customers visibility into your leadership team and the thought leadership that's driving the brand.
Do not let the first time your customers hear from your CEO be during a crisis or before a new launch. Get her out on social media now, and have her appear throughout different stages of your customer's entire journey.
The impact of social media on business can go much further than just a content calendar linked to a marketing plan. These platforms can be used in a variety of ways by several members of your team to understand and engage with your customers throughout their journey, and enhance the overall customer experience.
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