By Keith A. Quesenberry
When customers need help, they expect companies to offer it quickly through multiple social-media channels—but most companies aren’t set up to do that.
Consumers also expect one brand account to respond to all kinds of needs, including marketing information and customer-service requests. But marketing managers aren’t trained to deal with questions or complaints about service or product performance.
To be more effective at building relationships with consumers online, companies need a cross-functional social-media team, where marketing and other departments work together.
Here’s how an organization can create such a team:
- Develop a group of employees that can address all areas of social information. Identify the necessary policies and software for implementation.
- Define the social care team’s responsibilities across your departments: customer service, public relations, sales, corporate communication and human resources (HR).
- Assign employees from each department to social media tasks. Set up social-media accounts and give employees access to social-media systems.
- Create brand guidelines for standards, tone and style of social-media communication. Ask the legal and HR departments to provide a list of best practices for consumer engagement.
- Define goals based on key performance indicators, such as response time, sentiment analysis, engagement, and views and shares.
Keith A. Quesenberry, an assistant professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is the author of Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.