The days when social media was a business experiment carried out in a small corner of the marketing department are over. As a growing, dominant trend in internet communications, social media now informs all aspects of business operations from marketing, sales, customer service, legal, and financial departments. The well being of every company is determined by its human capital. Here are some some of the ways that social media impacts business operations:
Human Resources: According to Mashable, businesses saw a 43% improvement in quality in the hires they located on social media. In sales, social media is a launch point for monetization of content and product promotion.
Customer Service: Helping customers now extends into social media, where hashtags (#) and handles are monitored for complaints that can be resolved via tweets or Facebook posts.
Legal: To address legal demands, Google introduced its HIPAA Business Associates Agreement that guarantees HIPAAA compliance for companies legally responsible for protection of privileged health information.
These are just a few examples of business operations impacted by social media in a way that demands that employees have a depth of knowledge and agility in decision making that can only come from a thorough training in social selling, social customer service, social media marketing, and social media management.
More Than Social Media Managers
All teams (not just marketing) are responsible for their company’s social media monitoring and engagement. Social media dynamics have exploded into a tsunami of information, affecting every aspect of business. MIT Sloan Management Review says: “As a business solution, social has evolved, moving well beyond the marketing department, to address business objectives across the organization.”
The company-wide relevance of social media has decreased the need for a singular social media manager role, and increased the need for social media expertise in every role. According to CNN Money, the once burgeoning rate of social media manager hires has slowed to a grinding halt. Managing social media is now everybody’s business.
The necessity for a true grasp on social media was exacerbated by the explosion in the use of hand-held digital devices as a communication and information search tool. This trend is extremely beneficial to businesses active on social media, as it expands a business access to consumers and increases customer purchasing activity in a way that is unprecedented in human history. The complexity and rapid growth of the social media landscape demands strategic planning and mastery of social media dynamics.
The consumer-brand dialogue catalyzed by social media levels out the global marketplace in regards to branding and communication. SMBs now have to think like Fortune 500 companies and vice versa. Companies have to be in control of their presence and voice within the global marketplace while retaining local relevance and profitability.For example, social media trained employees at BestBuy tweet on behalf of their store. They answer questions, and share promotions. When employees know the best practices for social, they are empowered to represent their brands well in social media.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this white paper, where we’ll talk about the financial risks of not training your staff on social media, and how to get buy in from your C-suite.
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