The popularity of social media is causing huge changes to how businesses communicate with their customers, spread marketing messages and build communities.
One thing is clear. During our interviews with leading innovative Australian business people the message we got from them was that you have to decide how many social media platforms your organization will communicate with customers on.
Paul Greenberg, Executive Chairman of the DealsDirect Group told us that:
“Multi channel retail is about allowing the customer to have multiple touch points. Nimbleness and agility are required because with capitalism the customer is in control. You can’t tell customers you can contact us via Email but not Telephone, Facebook but not Twitter.”
This week Telstra CEO David Thodey announced that they employ 60 people to monitor a wide range of social networks and communicate with customers.
Mr Thodey told a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane that:
“We ourselves have about 60 people who monitor every social media site … and you can imagine what is said about Telstra. If you can get ahead of that and say, ‘no we are here, we’ll talk to you,’ [there is] enormous change in terms of customer reaction. That is not to say that we get it right every day but we need to be far more dynamic, chat rooms etc, in terms of using this technology.”
However most Australian organizations are much smaller than Telstra and can’t afford to hire a small army of social media communications staff.
Hence it is important to make sure that the social media staff that you do have are involved in day to day tasks that are effective in communicating with the largest numbers of important customers as possible.
It may be necessary for a single staff member in charge of organizational social media eg for a womens fashion label to spend most of their time on just the few most relevant social platforms to their business such as Facebook, Vogue Forums, Twitter, the company blog and pInterest.