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A Social Strategy Can Help Break Your Company’s Silos

By Kate Lee | 06/15/2016 | 9:26 AM

Social media

A cross-departmental social strategy can help facilitate company collaboration.

In your company, social media should be everybody’s business. It is time for your social strategy to include broader collaboration, breaking down your company’s silos. Here is why:

Though marketing departments like to keep tight control over access to social media, doing this can cost you. Such isolation can impact:

  • Brand awareness
  • The quality and diversity of your content
  • Overall customer engagement on social media
  • Customer satisfaction and trust
  • Insight into industry trends, so you stay ahead of the competition

The truth is, social media is bigger than just the marketing department. It can help gain insight into what customers need, generate sales leads, answer questions, and distribute valuable information to consumers. It impacts many different aspects of your business, so it makes sense to tap into departmental intelligence throughout the company.

Allowing access to the right people, across multiple departments, could actually facilitate the ultimate company collaboration. Your business can realize the full potential of social media use, and your customers get better service.

Tearing Down the Silos

Often a company has several silos in place: sales, customer service, new product development, and marketing are just a few examples. Historically these departments do not work together, and the sharing of information is rare.

But the digital age has changed the way business is conducted. Consumers are not only buying online, they are researching before they buy and asking questions about products or services through social media channels. In fact, one study found that social media is asserting itself as the primary customer communication channel.

Response time is also a factor to consider. One Harvard Business Review report found that the number of customers who expect a response through social media has doubled since 2013, yet seven out of eight messages to companies go unanswered for 72 hours. Why? Because the marketing department often needs to obtain answers from other departments in order to respond.

If you are ready to tear down those company silos, here is how you begin:

  • Define goals and identify who will be on your new social media team. Who is knowledgeable, articulate, and can handle social media needs within each department?
  • Assign social responsibilities to key individuals throughout your company, perhaps one assigned person per department. This can be effective and make one-on-one customer engagement manageable.
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for customer service, public relations, marketing, sales, management, etc.
  • Marketing professionals are not typically trained to answer questions or complaints about service or product issues. Since the customer service department may need to handle several questions through social media channels, consider assigning more than one person within this department to provide a timely response.
  • Tap into knowledge from all departments to generate ideas, information, and data for informative, fresh content creation.
  • Keep your brand voice consistent by crafting guidelines for the style and tone for all social media interactions. Compiling a list of dos and don’ts is always helpful so everyone knows how to respond in difficult situations.

Today’s consumers are on social media and ready to engage. The question is, do you have a cross-departmental team ready to respond quickly and work collaboratively to meet their needs?

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Kate Lee is the senior director of research and strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a Newburyport, Mass.-based consultancy that works with clients in industries including logistics and supply chain. She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience as a writer, researcher, and strategist.



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