Social media strategists take note! One of the most challenging aspects of running a social media campaign for a large organization is to coordinate the communications between departments. Many social media strategists find themselves in the marketing department, which really does the position, and the company, a disservice. Yes, social media professionals should be aware of and participate in marketing campaigns, but that isn’t the whole story. Participating in social media should also involve monitoring conversations about your brand and products, reaching out to help when appropriate, providing customer service, and offering information that adds value to your business community.
If your business is involved in launching a social media strategy, or if you’ve been participating for some time but aren’t seeing the results you expected, ask yourself if your company fits this description.
- Departments are siloed
- Social media is seen as marketing
- When you ask for input department heads tell you they don’t have time
- Team leaders are not included in social media efforts
- Department heads can’t provide the answers to questions posed on social media pages, or they don’t think it’s important
- Timely responses are impossible to come by
Social media in many companies is still in its infancy. I am fortunate to work for a forward thinking company that realizes how important being social is to their community; however there are many companies that still don’t get it. There is so much potential, if companies would only stop doing social and start being social. Relegating social media to just a marketing task fails to take advantage of the broad spectrum of interactions that can, and will happen, on your social media pages.
In a perfect world the strategist should coordinate efforts from customer service, marketing, human resources and, sometimes, front line operations, to facilitate the company in being social as an organization. Companies need to embrace this philosophy before their social media efforts will truly be successful.
If you find yourself in the position of social media manager in these circumstances, take heart! Step up and take leadership of the effort, provide meaningful metrics to measure your past successes, and ask for more support and coordination. Talk about what you are doing within the company and why you’re doing it. Involve the thought leaders and the decision makers in your company, and sell what you are doing to them. Your efforts will provide big dividends in the long term.
What’s your biggest social media challenge?