Employee Advocacy - Social Media 101
Getting Your Social Media Budget Approved – Tips

Getting Your Social Media Budget Approved – Tips

At a recent roundtable discussion comprising marketing professionals from a range of industries (including hospitality, music and banking), we investigated the challenges faced regarding social media marketing. We asked marketing professionals what their single biggest problem was when it comes to marketing their brand on social media. We expected responses such as “understanding algorithms” or “measuring return on investment”. Instead, the leading answer was (surprisingly): getting approval for a social media budget. Some marketing managers had difficulty getting sufficient funds allocated towards social media activities, while others struggled to get a budget at all.
Most of the marketers surveyed attributed this problem to their organisation’s decision-makers’ lack of understanding regarding the business value offered by social media. The rest simply didn’t know where to start in terms of approaching their business’s CEO/Director/Owner/Financial Manager about investing in social media. Based on the insight provided by this focus group, we have put together some tips to help marketers when it comes to getting your social media budget approved.

Getting your social media budget approved – tips for marketers

Before approaching your company’s decision-maker about social media budgets, make sure that you have the required information and insight at hand. These are some tips and techniques designed to help you motivate your case for social media investment:

 

  • Take an integrated approach: Instead of approaching social media as a separate marketing component, integrate it with your overall marketing plan. Social media has the capability to support virtually any other marketing activity. For example, driving foot traffic if you have an in-store sale or boosting awareness and ticket sales for an event. It should therefore form an integral part of your marketing mix. Presenting a well-designed marketing plan that includes social media may be more favourably received than a separate social media plan in isolation.
  • Do the research: ocial media is able to support your brand’s needs, wants and priorities. Shortlist your company’s business objectives and look at how social media can promote each of these goals. This includes tangible factors such as sales generation, as well as promoting goals such as increasing brand awareness or positive affinity. Both short- and long-term company goals should be taken into account when ascertaining how social media can be used to benefit the business.
  • Do the legwork: Consult with social media specialists to gain insight into solutions that would work best for your brand. Speak to more than one expert so that you can get a balanced idea of the options that you have. Thereafter, get quotes that are in line with an appropriate social media strategy for your brand. By doing this, you will be able to explain how the requested social media budget will be spent, as well as the underlying rationale of the plan. If hiring an in-house team is not a viable option, look at outsourcing this function. That way you can get the benefit of excellent social media management without the hassle of employing more people. This will save time, effort, money, company resources and other overhead considerations.
  • Rands and Sense: Social media has the potential to provide high return on investment. Again, this is both in terms of bottom-line results as well as factors like brand positioning or customer satisfaction. It is an efficient, cost-effective marketing method. A well-executed social media strategy is one that is highly result-driven. This means that funds allocated towards social media should be viewed as an investment in the business, not as an unnecessary expense.
  • It’s all in the numbers: Most decision-makers are fans of reports and statistics. While traditional marketing does provide some data, social media does not shy away from the numbers and is rich in qualitative and quantitative metrics. Social media platforms are able to provide measurable results, accurate data, comprehensive reports and even information like insight into consumer behaviour and market trends. Emphasise the science behind social media, and how it can improve the business in general – not just marketing tasks. This alone may be the key to winning over the financial gatekeeper.
  • Re-allocate Marketing Budgets: If your company has budget restrictions and simply cannot increase marketing spend, consider re-allocating existing budgets. Analyse the returns you are receiving from your current marketing platforms (e.g. billboards, television and print). Then look at re-allocating some of these funds to social media activities.

Additional points to support social media investment:

To substantiate your “pitch” for a social media budget, these are some of the additional benefits offered by social media:

  • It offers custom audience targeting – meaning that there is little to no wastage on unsuitable consumer segments. This makes it a highly targeted and cost-efficient marketing method.
  • It is versatile and supports different media types (image, video, slideshows etc). You can also provide value-rich content (such as tips, articles, insight) in addition to marketing content.
  • In today’s digitally rich business environment, it is imperative that brands have a strong social media presence and are active and agile to respond to comments, queries and complaints which assist in reducing risk for the company.

Final thoughts:

The key to getting senior decision-makers to invest in social media lies in demonstrating the business value offered by social media. Also, social media is not a passing fad – it is here to stay. Therefore, not being on social media leaves a business at a disadvantage. This is both in terms of competitors, as well as business progression. Social media is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it is a “must have”.

We hope that the above points help with the challenge of getting social media investment – both in terms of finances and interest. For additional insight and advice, get in touch with the Social Media 101 team. We can also assist with effective social media strategy planning and execution, as well as platform management.

7 + 12 =

WHY SOCIAL MEDIA 101 – WHAT MAKES US A GREAT CONSULTANCY?

WHY SOCIAL MEDIA 101 – WHAT MAKES US A GREAT CONSULTANCY?

The phrase “All social media agencies are not created equal” is not just an accurate statement, but an understatement – given the current state of affairs. This is due to the vast disparity among the many social media service providers in terms of quality level and expertise. But how do you know a great agency when you see one? Well, we at Social Media 101 are here to tell you a bit about ourselves and what makes US a leading social media consultancy. And we sincerely hope that by the end of this, you understand what makes Social Media 101 different, and why we would be a great agency to partner with.

Why Social Media 101 – what makes US a great consultancy? Here are some of the things that sets us apart in this highly competitive industry:

OUR SOCIAL MEDIA & BUSINESS ACUMEN

Strategic, result-driven approach

We are a social media business consultancy and take a strategic approach to all services. We speak your language – we know that it all comes down to return on investment and positive business impact. Social Media 101 works with you to understand your business, industry, customers and competitors. We then look at what your primary business objectives are, and structure a social media strategy in line with these defined objectives. Our social media activities are result-driven and focus on your business goals: whether its driving sales, increasing brand awareness, boosting desired customer affinity or other objectives based on your needs. We also integrate social media activities with your existing marketing and business endeavours (e.g. by promoting live events or traditional marketing campaigns).

Client-centric Service

 
At Social Media 101, we pride ourselves on being agile, responsive and adaptable. We take a client-centric approach and craft a social media solution that works best for you. Our service offering is flexible as we understand that a “one size fits all” style just does not work when it comes to social media. We are also available outside of normal business hours and have an open and approachable management structure. This customer-centric approach also applies when we manage your clients on social media i.e., we are responsive and provide excellent customer support that further positions YOUR brand as client-focused.

Reporting

 
We provide in-depth reports so that you can keep track of our performance as well as your investment returns. These can be customised based on your priority measurables. We also explain what the data means so that you are empowered to drive informed business decision-making.

Full Service Offering

We can supply (or source) services to meet all your needs: from Search Engine Optimisation to animation to live event social media coverage. We also have a network of partners equipped to handle all social media and digital requirements including legal and business advice. This assists not only with service excellence, but risk mitigation and crisis management (should the need arise) as well.

OUR SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE & KNOWLEDGE

Team of Experts

Each member of our team is a specialist in their field, as well as in social media. For example, our graphic designers are skilled at creating visual content for social media. Our copywriters know social media best practices for written content for each platform. Our strategists are experienced when it comes to the algorithms and rules that govern the social media sphere. And all of our social media experts have a high level of business acumen that ensures professional execution of tasks. The diverse backgrounds of our team members include experience and qualifications in: Business, Sales, Marketing, Law, Communication Science and Psychology (to name a few). From a social and digital media perspective, our team of specialists include data analysts, media booking specialists and content producers that are able to create high quality material to suit different media needs, including articles, videos, GIFs, animation clips, carousel-type content etc.

Advanced Social Media Knowledge

On the surface, social media platforms appear simple enough to use. However, behind the curtain (or in this case, the screen) are complicated systems driven by complex programs and algorithms. This affects the performance of all social media content – both paid and unpaid. At Social Media 101, we understand the inner workings of the different platforms, and take a scientific approach when planning activities. This includes content, media type, audience targeting and even the timing of uploads. By using best-practice methods, return on investment is maximised based on the strategy behind each message.

Sidebar: Have you noticed that your personal Facebook feed now has more family & friend posts than marketing? This is a practical example of an algorithm change affecting content delivery.

Constant Industry Upskilling & Tools

Social media platforms, as well as digital technology, are constantly evolving and advancing. Social Media 101 team members continually upskill themselves to keep up with technical changes and market trends. Not only does this help keep your online marketing content relevant, but feeds into your overall marketing and business activities as well.

Quote: “Social media is an ever-growing and changing platform, with algorithm adjustments happening constantly […] and without dedicated monitoring and adjustments, your business could be missing out.” (www.thumped.co.uk)

Sidebar: Have you noticed that your personal Facebook feed now has more family & friend posts than marketing? This is a practical example of an algorithm change affecting content delivery.

We also invest in tools and partnerships to provide our clients with a superior service offering. These include reporting, tracking and insight applications. We stay in the loop with regard to emerging software and tools that can further boost the level of service we provide.

At Social Media 101, we have a proven track record across numerous industries, business types and regions. Since inception, our business has grown threefold year-on-year. Our clients base includes local, global and international brands, and continues to expand. Despite this growth, we take a personal and dedicated approach to every client and strive to exceed expectations always. We believe that this ethos, along with our expertise and experience, makes us a leader in the social media field. Put us to the test – we are confident that you will not be disappointed.
If you are looking for a great agency to partner with, or if your current agency simply does not match up, give Social Media 101 a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

3 + 2 =

Social media success: Does your business have what it takes?

Social media success: Does your business have what it takes?

Social media success – does your business have what it takes? Let’s say you need a new accountant or sales manager for your business. You shortlist candidates based on experience, skills and knowledge specific to the position in question. You then choose the best person based on your criteria as well as their proven ability for such a role. Great! Now let’s say you need someone to manage your social media. Do you research and select employees with the same level of scrutiny and detail? Is your business aware of what selection criteria to consider for a social media manager? How would one even measure competency for this role?

For most companies, the ability to perform basic social media tasks such as uploading posts and replying to messages would seem sufficient when hiring. Worse still, many companies assign their social media management to in-house staff members that are  not qualified for the role. In our book, this is not just unfortunate, but also decidedly risky. Here’s why:

Risks of not hiring the right team to manage your social media

The risks of leaving your social media management to a junior or non-skilled employee are many and can have serious consequences. These are just some of the problems that occur:

Although seemingly simple, social media is a science and entails a steep, on-going learning curve. Yes, most of us are capable of populating and managing our personal social media pages. However, it is not quite the same when handling a business page or brand online. The impact of a business’s social media presence is far reaching, and involves company staff, clients and stakeholders. Pages should be managed with a great level of maturity, power and responsibility on behalf of the brand. Furthermore, this field is evolving at a rapid pace. Most social media platforms themselves are striving to keep abreast of their own advances to ensure user safety and online integrity. And social media managers need to stay on top of these changes. An effective social media manager needs to have impeccable business acumen, a hunger to constantly learn and upskill, as well as high EQ and risk mitigation abilities in order to protect the brand’s best interest.

Content published via social media (including replies to comments) has the potential of enormous reach, regardless of your page’s audience size. Usually such viral reach occurs in response to something negative or controversial and could even result in a crisis. This power lies with your community manager, so think carefully about who is placed in charge of this impactful public touchpoint. Aside from an actual crisis, a poor quality or poorly handled social media account leads to a negative portrayal of the business. It may even cause serious brand damage. Companies spend large amounts of money on impressive traditional advertising, yet all efforts could be undone by a low quality social media presence. The role of brand sentiment and perception is huge when it comes to consumer decision-making, and should not be taken lightly.

Social media should be used strategically to drive organisational objectives. It is a business tool that provides return on investment when used effectively. Simply putting out posts without any clear strategy does not offer much benefit to the business. It becomes an inefficient use of funds and resources. However, when used correctly, time and money spent on social media becomes an investment that offers tangible business value and boosts growth.

Components for a successful social media presence

To ensure a successful social media presence that offers real business value, you need the following:

  • Strategic content planning & execution
  • Content (images, videos and text) created by skilled designers & copywriters with in-depth knowledge of social media platforms, rules, specifications, algorithms etc.
  • Posts that are both aesthetically pleasing & are structured around customer-centric principles
  • Excellent audience targeting
  • High quality, responsive community management
  • Ability to meet agility & adaptability demands
  • Skills to generate, analyse & understand the data behind the platforms
  • Keeping abreast of technological advancements & industry trends
  • Apps/tools to manage & report on different aspects of activities & campaigns

Practical solution for social media success

Major or global brands have the resources to employ the team needed to achieve all aspects mentioned above. However, most companies lack the resources to hire staff to fulfill all their social media needs. The cost of employing the different specialists required becomes too excessive to be a practical option for many. But yet, a high quality social media presence is becoming increasingly imperative in the current competitive market. The solution is to outsource this function to a social media specialist agency. By doing so, you get the benefit of an entire team, with each person an expert in their specific social media function. You get a digital strategist, community manager & data analyst. You also get designers and copywriters that specialise in creating content for social media. In addition, other needs such as live event coverage, videography, animation, social media legal advice and more form part of the service offering. That’s a great deal – as I’m sure you’ll agree.

If you are ready to take your social media presence to the next level, get in touch with Social Media 101. We provide custom solutions to suit your specific business needs.

4 + 9 =

How Social Media Supports Your Entire Sales Cycle

How Social Media Supports Your Entire Sales Cycle

What is the function of social media when it comes to business? If you answered, “it’s an advertising platform”, you are right….. and wrong. While one key role is marketing, social media is actually equipped to underpin the complete customer journey. In this article, we are going to look at these functions when it comes to sales in particular. Below is an outline of how social media can support your entire sales funnel.

Social Media & Sales Funnel Functions

While specific sales steps vary from business to business, we look at the main considerations that form part of a basic sales funnel:

Awareness

Social media plays a crucial role when it comes to marketing, but it should not be used as an “online billboard”. Instead, it should be used to educate and inform the audience. Examples are showcasing unique selling points or providing valuable information through article content.

As both the number of consumers and time spent on social media platforms are increasing exponentially, it is the obvious choice when it comes to brand awareness. But it’s not just the sheer audience reach that makes it so powerful for business. It’s the ability to target your core demographic – to an impressive extent. In addition to audience-based targeting, you can also customise your campaign to suit your primary campaign or business objective(s).

Targeted advertising means that your brand is placed in front of selected audiences on their devices (cell phone, tablet, computer) when they are next active on the platform. Which means that you don’t have to rely on the client finding you themselves (via an online search, for example) – you find THEM. How’s that for brand awareness generation?

Stat: 52% of survey respondents had discovered a new retail product on Facebook that they were interested in buying, rising to 78% in the 18-34 year group. (blog.hootsuite.com)

Interest

Social media is excellently suited to drive interest in products and services through the type of content published. It allows for displaying aspects of the business that traditional media isn’t able to. This includes real-time updates (e.g. promoting lunch-time special specifically at lunch time), social responsibility projects, online articles, tips and advice. It also supports different media types including images, text and video content that can be used interchangeably and even combined. This keeps the recipient interested and engaged – two key elements to attract and retain audiences.

Well crafted, high-quality content leads to improved brand affinity. Businesses are able to show their “character” and what they are all about. This makes them more personable, and marketing messages sent are likely to be received more favourable. An important factor to remember is that content should be customer-centric. People are interested in brands that are interested in them. And strategic content does just this, while also maintaining brand objectives. Win-win for everyone.

Stat: Today, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. And decision makers consume at least 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (www.superoffice.com)

Decision

Social media is where consumers interact with their friends and family, as well as brands. Many decisions are influenced by the content they are exposed to. This includes actual marketing messages from businesses, as well as what other people are saying about a brand.

The multi-step approach of social media (educate, inform, market) plays a major role when it comes to impacting decision-making. Even in-store purchases are influenced by posts seen on social media first. Customer service via social media also promotes sales as potential clients can get quick, personal feedback to questions or concerns (e.g. stockists, specifications, use etc).

Consistent useful, relevant, well-structured content can position the brand as a thought-leader or trusted advisor in their industry. The use of employee advocacy and social media influencers can also be pivotal in brand positioning. Online influencers, including a brand’s own clients and fans, are forms of word-of-mouth marketing that guide purchasing decisions. Along with great customer service, having excellent content and social media endorsers also contribute to total customer experience.

Stat: 57% of consumers say social media influences their shopping, led by Facebook at 44%.  (www.wordstream.com)

Action

And…. action! The above strategies all come together to persuade the user to take action. Social media has built-in options for different call-to-actions. These include driving online-based activities like promoting website traffic or direct purchases, as well as influencing offline actions like in-store visits. CTA messaging also can be customised to suit each businesses’ sales objectives.

Stat: Facebook is the preferred social platform of supermarket shoppers—89% use (www.wordstream.com)

And for those of you who think this is not for you because you have human sales consultants, think again. Social media can also be used for lead generation as well. Different strategies can be employed dependent on your business objectives and market, resulting in high-quality, up-to-date leads that your sales team can use to close the deal.

The best part is that social media provides accurate statistics that provide insight into the performance of activities. This includes actual social media stats (e.g. online conversions), as well as linking a business’s sales figures to social media activities to gauge purchase decision attribution. It gives you a snapshot of which activities result in the highest sales, providing insight for future activities.

Stat: Social media is fast becoming the go-to channel for sales people to find new prospects and reach their sales targets. In fact, 90% of top performing sales people now use social media as part of their sales strategy. (business.linkedin.com)

Social media has the tools, functionality, versatility and ability to support all phases of your sales cycle. When implemented correctly, it has the potential to increase sales results and return on investment. If you do not have the required expertise and resources within your business, consider consulting a social media specialist. It is worth the investment if the result is improved sales figures. Especially since social media strategists don’t just focus on once-off purchases, but on long-term relationships required for customer retention and repeat business.

After all, when it comes to business success, the bottom line is….. well, the bottom line.

Want to give your sales figures a boost? Make the call – contact Social Media 101 now. 

The pharmaceutical sector, in its pursuit to connect with broader audiences, has increasingly embraced digital marketing, especially social media platforms. However, this digital shift doesn’t come without challenges. The world of social media, with its real-time interactions and viral trends, brings with it a plethora of potential risks for pharma brands. Let’s delve into these risks and provide actionable strategies for effective risk mitigation.

Potential Risks In Pharma Social media Marketing

 

  • Adverse Events Reporting: One of the most significant concerns for pharma companies on social media is the potential reporting or discussion of adverse events related to their products. These can range from mild side effects to severe medical reactions.
  • Misinformation and Misinterpretation: The real-time nature of social media means information – or misinformation – can spread rapidly. Misinterpreted data, incorrect usage details, or misguided advice can have serious implications.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pharma brands operate under stringent regulations. Ensuring that every piece of content, interaction, or campaign aligns with regulatory guidelines is crucial.
  • Brand Reputation: Negative feedback, public complaints, or controversies can escalate quickly on social platforms, potentially tarnishing a brand’s image.

Actionable Strategies For Risk Mitigation

 

  • Comprehensive Social Media Policy: Establish a robust social media policy that all employees are familiar with. This policy should define permissible content, response protocols, and escalation procedures for issues like adverse event reporting.
  • Active Community Management: Maintain an active presence on your social media profiles. Quick, appropriate responses to comments or messages can prevent misunderstandings from escalating.
  • Regular Training: Regularly train your social media and customer support teams on the latest regulations, brand guidelines, and adverse event reporting procedures.
  • Monitoring Tools: Implement social listening tools that alert you whenever your brand or products are mentioned. This enables you to respond swiftly to potential issues.
  • Clear Communication Channels: Ensure there’s a clear line of communication between your social media team and medical or regulatory experts within the company.

Community Management Best Practices

 

  • Pre-approved Content Library: Maintain a library of pre-approved responses for common queries, comments, or situations. This ensures that your team provides accurate and compliant information consistently.
  • Rapid Escalation Protocols: In case of an adverse event report or a serious complaint, have a defined protocol for rapidly escalating the issue to the relevant department.
  • Periodic Review: Conduct regular reviews of your social media interactions to identify potential areas of improvement or recurrent issues.
  • Engage, Don’t Ignore: Engaging with comments, whether positive or negative, demonstrates that your brand values feedback and is committed to patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Patient Privacy: Always prioritize patient privacy. Move detailed discussions, especially those involving personal health details, to private channels like direct messages.
In conclusion, while social media offers a valuable platform for pharma brands to connect with their audience, it’s essential to approach it with caution and preparedness. By understanding potential risks and implementing a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy, pharma brands can confidently and safely navigate the digital realm.

If you’re keen to elevate your social media presence while ensuring robust risk mitigation, our experts at Social Media 101 are here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch today for tailored solutions and strategies that align with your brand’s vision.

2 + 2 =

Social Media Employee Amplification – A Concise Guide [With Stats]

Social Media Employee Amplification – A Concise Guide [With Stats]

Social Media Employee Amplification is one of the three main categories of social media advocacy marketing. The other two categories are influencer marketing and customer endorsement. Influencer marketing relates to promotion by traditional brand ambassadors like celebrities or affluent personalities. More recently, social media accounts with a large follower base have been added as influential entities. Customer endorsement refers to positive public commentary by clients and is considered word-of-mouth marketing.

This article focuses on the third and most intriguing form of advocacy, namely employee amplification. We will explain what this concept means, what the benefits to using it are, and highlight key considerations for implementation.

What is Social Media Employee Amplification?

In short, this approach centres on harnessing the power of your staff as brand ambassadors for your organisation. The process itself involves tapping into the value offered by employees through social media activities. This is done by encouraging staff members to publish or share brand messaging on their personal social media pages. The concept of employee amplification certainly adds a whole new dimension to the term “human resources”…..

“76% of survey participants said they were more likely to trust content shared by their network (people they know) versus content shared by brands.” (Adweek)

Who should use employee amplification?

Theoretically, any brand could use this technique, regardless of organisation size or business industry. But success of employee amplification hinges on how your staff feel about the brand. Are they passionate about it? Are they proud to be associated with it? Do they believe in the service or product offering? The more loyal an employee is, the more authentic their endorsement will be. No staff member should be forced to publicly support their employer via their personal platforms if they are not keen to do so. Unhappy or unwilling individuals are likely to cause more harm than good.

“79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after implementing a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition.” (Hinge Marketing)

Benefits of Employee Amplification

Reach & Exposure: Earlier is year, Facebook made a change to its algorithm that had a major impact for business pages on the platform (click here to read more). The change meant that users see more posts from their friends rather than business pages, drastically reducing organic reach by brands. Employee amplification means that you can counter-act this change as content shared by staff will not have the same restrictions as posts shared by your business page.

Using business networking platform LinkedIn as part of an Employee Amplification strategy is also a great way to gain exposure via employees’ professional networks. The platform has a viral quality to their algorithms in that every post that a user likes, comments or shares is directed to their contacts timeline. Content shared by users has a generally much wider reaching when compared to a business’s own page.

Organic reach: As mentioned above, posts shared by employees will have organic (free) reach. Such exposure would result in better social media figures that are unlikely to be achieved via any other unpaid method. It is therefore a financially beneficial technique.

Credibility & Engagement: Content shared by a staff member is largely seen by people that know the person thus adding a level of credibility to the message. Posts by network contacts will also have a higher engagement percentage (views, likes, shares, comments) than those sent directly from the brand’s account.

Business & Marketing: Other tangible benefits include increased sales, improved brand awareness and affinity, and a higher level of consumer trust in the brand. Not only do these elements positively impact bottom line objectives, but also support other company activities like recruitment due to favourable positioning.

“Company branded messages reach 561% further when shared by employees versus branded.” (www.postbeyond.com)

Ways to promote staff support & activity success

Position relevant/key employees as thought leaders and trusted advisors. This not only impacts the brand positively, but also helps elevate employees’ personal brands. For certain companies, this could also lead to more business. For example, a high-level or high-involvement sale often relies heavily on the relationship between sales consultant and potential client. As most people research new acquaintances online, the more impressive; credible and trusted the brand’s employees look, the higher the possibility of closing the deal.

Include value-rich content for users: Centre messaging should on interesting or useful content such as articles or tips. If you need to send out direct marketing posts, incorporate some sort of value for the recipient, such as a great offer or valuable resource.

Craft posts in a way that makes staff want to share it with their audience. Again, valuable and interesting content is key. This includes posts shared directly from the brand’s page, as well as employee-generated content. Visually appealing, good quality content is imperative to encourage staff advocacy.

Make the process as simple as possible. This means providing them with suitable high-quality, correctly sized images. Written content for posts can be provided as well should certain employees prefer a less time-consuming option.

“33% of employees agreed that relevant content would encourage them to share.” (postbeyond.com)

Employee Amplification Strategy & Risk Mitigation Tips

Start by getting staff trained on social media fundamentals. Training will provide them with a basic knowledge of social media etiquette (such as do’s and don’ts), as well as best practices per platform. This upskills and empowers staff. It also ensures a level of quality when it comes to social media activities. These skills will benefit them in both in their personal and professional capacities.

Have a social media policy in place to mitigate potential risk. This is an imperative requirement that needs to be in place before employee amplification activities start. It provides staff with rules to abide by and sets out company recourse if they fail to do so (including possible legal action). It is best to consult a legal expert knowledgeable on the social media legal landscape for advice.

Implement an internal social media procedure. Structure a plan that includes an approval process so that all content is screened prior to publishing. Each participating employee’s personal accounts should also be screened before they share any company posts. This will prevent the brand from unintentionally associating themselves with undesirable viewpoints that the employee may have on their page (such as prejudicial or controversial content).

Offer employee incentives. While you may be fortunate enough to have staff that are happy to share brand messaging out of sheer loyalty, use incentives as effective motivators. Whether you measure trackable data (e.g. clicks to website) or engagement statistics (such as comments, shares and likes), the choice is yours. You can also have specific rewards for a certain outcome, such as lead generation or recruitment referrals. You are likely to find quite quickly that the value gained from leveraging off staff resources far outweigh the incentive expense.

“31% of high-growth firms have a formalized employee advocacy program.” (Hinge Marketing)

Social Media Employee Amplification is an under-utilized method that could open up vast opportunities for your organisation. However, it is a technique that requires planning, research and infrastructure before implementation. Statistics clearly reflect that the effort and resources required are a viable investment with attractive returns. In this context, being a statistic is a good thing – so get started now!

4 + 4 =

SOCIAL MEDIA AS A CUSTOMER SERVICE PLATFORM [BENEFITS]

SOCIAL MEDIA AS A CUSTOMER SERVICE PLATFORM [BENEFITS]

 

How can you provide killer customer service that attracts and retains clients? While this seems like loaded question dealing with a complex issue, the answer is amazingly simple:

 

Find out what your customers want and give it to them.

 

How, you ask? The solution is staring you in the face – literally. By using the social media platforms at your fingertips. Global statistics show an increasing use of social media as the preferred consumer service platform. We look at the reasons leading to this growth, as well as highlight some of the benefits offered by social media when it comes to your customer support services.

67% of companies believe social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for contact centres. (Sprout)

 

Why social media?

Location, location, location. As mentioned, social media is where your clients are – therefore, it should be your base of operations as well. But that’s not the only reason. Social media opens up a wealth of functions and tools that can be used to substantially upgrade your service delivery. Used effectively, it not only elevates client satisfaction levels, but also supports your core business objectives.

 

What are the benefits?

 

Improved Customer Service

Customers have a single point of contact for basic service issues such as queries or complaints. This reduces frustration experienced via other methods (such as dealing with multiple people telephonically or via email). The written online conversation can be referred back to by both the client and business staff, thus avoiding miscommunication and eliminating the need for repetition. The higher speed and response rate typical of social media platforms also boost client satisfaction levels.

 

Inclusive Customer Experience

“Customer Experience” or CX refers to the client’s total interaction with a brand from the first point of contact and throughout all subsequent interactions. Social Media allows you to engage with all consumers i.e. not just those who contact you with a query or complain. Content such as product updates, tips, advice and information form part of the client support services provided by the brand. This inclusive ongoing flow of communication helps customers feel more connected and part of a niche “community”, as well as positions the business as a client-focused organisation.

 

Personalised Service

Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with customers on a one-on-one basis. Personal, direct contact helps clients feel that the business cares about them as an individual and appreciates their support. This fosters positive feelings towards the brand, promoting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 

Improve Business Quality

Using social media for customer service does not just improve your support in isolation. It leads to uplifting the quality of the organisation as a whole. The interactive nature of social media gives consumers a voice to state their needs and wants. Considering that a business only exists because of its customers, the value of basing actions on customer preference leads not only to happier clients that are loyal to the brand, but also business success and growth.

 

Customer service is rapidly becoming the definitive consumer consideration impacting business success. Businesses that fail to meet customer expectations are likely to lose out to competitors that do. Social media provides the solution you need to not only boost service quality, but positively enhance overall brand experience for your customers.

 

Why use social media? The real question is: “Why not?”