Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why you should expand who uses social media in your organisation

By now, most organisations have cottoned on to the benefits of social media. They get that it’s a bright, new world where customers need to be listened to and conversation is king. This is a Good Thing.
However, frequently social media is delivered from the communications function and this can mean that we’re missing a golden opportunity.
At Wolverhampton Homes, social media used to live solely with my team because we were the most interested in it and we pushed to try out our ideas. But is that the best place to get the most out of social media?
I’m not suggesting that the communications function shouldn’t play a big part in an organisation’s social media presence, after all, we manage reputation. But perhaps it would be more effective for it to be one of the many teams with responsibility for social media?
Indeed, other parts of the organisation that are closer to customers may have more to give and more to gain from using social media.
An area with obvious benefit is customer services. If a report of a repair comes in to the communications team, we can either pass it on to customer services or try to unpick it ourselves. Either way, it begs the question; wouldn’t it be more efficient for customer services to respond directly? This is what most major customer facing organisations do. Two good examples are Argos (their twitter and facebook) and Tesco (their twitter and facebook).
Another area in that could benefit in the housing sector is tenant engagement and many providers already do this. When staff spend their whole day talking to customers, listening to them and working out what makes them tick, aren’t those people in a great position to carry on those conversations online?
Some organisations seem to have expanded social media use very easily. The great example in the housing sector is Bromford. But how can other organisations expand social media use?
I’ll be talking about this topic at a Verse One seminar in Manchester next week and will be posting my slides on here soon after.

1 comment:

  1. Good piece Kate. One of the lessons I learned very early in using social media for work was the more of us who posted - the greater the engagement we got. Initially we had a single user in the engagement team and essentially all responsibility fell on them. That's a pretty lonely existence! More providers need to carry the offline relationship online as you suggest. Thanks for the Bromford reference by the way - It's no secret that you and the team were a major influence to us and to me personally in how public sector comm's can use new media to build relationships.


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