Social Media: Be Present, Be Reachable

Originally published on One Uproar

There is a lot of debate in social media now. How do you measure it? Is there an ROI in social? Who owns it? Who’s getting it right?

Some executives can expect too much, too soon from social media. Social media should be a natural fit with your company culture and brand. For innovative forward-thinking brands social media feels natural and is an extension of how these brands already communicate with their clients. Consumer facing brands have demonstrated great success with utilizing social to enhance their customer service efforts and inform product development and R&D.

How do you measure social media? My last post, “Can You Measure Storytelling? Everyone Their Own ROI” talks about measurement in more detail. I can’t say this enough: If you’re already measuring other communications efforts you’ve figured out how to measure social media. Use that same methodology. If you’re not measuring your communications or marketing efforts you’ll need to determine what success means for your company.

Is there an ROI in social? Can you put an ROI on human connection? Social media is about storytelling, human connection and conversation. It’s about how your customers feel and think about your brand. At its very core, social media is a two-way conversation. Social media is also a long-term commitment. Think about resources, your brand, your culture and your current communications efforts.

Jenna Lebel’s post “Can You Define The ROI of Social” says this well and outlines these key areas:

  • It’s all about storytelling
  • Improving instead of justifying
  • It’s not just about sales earnings
  • Social media is long term
  • The value of a fan/follower
  • Social ROI is contextual

Social Ownership Social media typically starts in marketing.Who should really own social media? Public Relations? They certainly are having conversations with influencers and key players. Sales? Customer Service? It’s an on-going debate if any one division should “own” social media. Marketing is a natural place for social to be created. Public Relations, sales and customer service are the divisions within a company that manage client conversations. They’re already talking about the company’s products and services. Since social media is a conversation, the entire company should own it. Turbo Tax does an amazing job at how the conversation gets managed during tax season: the entire company, even the CEO, does “duty” to post content in order to answer client questions and provide insights.

Who’s getting it right? Brands using social to listen, determine customer sentiment, influence product development, add to their customer service efforts and create customer communities understand how to harness social media to enhance their brand and make their business more present and reachable. As a first step, some brands are experimenting with social media as a one-way communication platform before they ramp up their efforts.

Be present, be reachable–if you’re going to venture into social media think through all these issues. Social media is about connection and having a conversation. How powerful is it to use a platform, like Twitter, and connect to someone in another city, or for that matter, another country without meeting face-to-face? What’s even more powerful is the fact you met that way, you exchange information and have the potential to start a deeper conversation and build a relationship.