We see too many “social media marketing campaigns” fail. Worst of all: Agencies who developed those “campaigns” even continue to promote those as success stories and case studies, despite the fact that the campaign was a complete disaster. You hear from companies making millions over Twitter, you hear companies who are “wildly successful” with their fan page and you hear about brands as social media success stories who don’t even use social media but just have an agency running some activities.
Why do you think is that?
1) Because social media didn’t do what it was supposed to do? No.
2) Because the customers are not using it as so many people try to convince you? No.
3) Because it’s all too early? No.
To the contrary we see enough cases where customer or consumer are actually happy with the companies social media engagement. They appreciate the service, the connections, the dialog and the engagement. Ask customers from Comcast, WholeFoods, BMW, Zappos… and hundreds from even tiny little companies.
That second group has an interesting pattern in common: They don’t do social media marketing – instead they focus on a better customer experience. None of them “outsource” the social relationships.
You may outsource a lot but giving your social customer engagement to an agency is like telling your kids:
“Sorry I won’t go on vacation with you this year but I hired Joe from ‘Rent-a-father’ he is a nice guy”
The founding principle of the Social Media Academy is and remains to be:
A successful social media engagement can only be achieved with a sound cross functional social business strategy. You can’t have a handful of people being ‘social’ and the rest of the company does business as usual.
Cross Functional Social Business Strategy
“Social media marketing should be the last action on a company’s path to a social business”
Social Media in Service
This should probably be one of the first customer facing groups engaging in social media. Augmenting support programs with customer based knowledge and experience, supporting customer run communities and much more.
Social Media in Product Management
Probably the biggest cost saver in social media is happening in product management. Not only the much less expensive product launch but the much less expensive product requirements gathering and early product tests.
Social Media in Sales
Turning sales people into the social web and becoming masters in relationship building makes even mediocre sales people to stars. Sales effectiveness is growing but more importantly the new sales person is no longer selling the client (who don’t want to be sold) but help them to find the best solution for them.
Social Media in Logistics
Social Media is a perfect model to build early warning systems and gather market trends very early on. We worked with stunning companies to have social media in logistics contributing significantly to the bottom line.
Social Media in HR
The leading human resource departments not only review profiles but build pattern to make sure they find the best matching talents for the job AND matching the company culture.
Social Media Marketing
The last in the series. Once the company is ready and has the customer facing units aligned with what customers would call a great customer experience – THEN marketing is a great way to amplify the customer voice.
Prior to that point in time, social media marketing is just the old push into what they call “a new channel” and is actually counter productive because it ruins relationships more than it builds them.
A well trained social media business consultant knows where to start. And the marketing department will have an important role to play when it comes to social media assessment and social media monitoring, building the brand attitude etc. – but again a fancy campaign is the icing on the cake – not the strategy.
But at the and of the day – every company leader does what they think is best for the company. And so the old leadership model remains intact: 1% lead the market and 99% believe they follow those leaders while in reality they only follow what they believe those leaders do – without thinking.