My Customer Experience New Year’s Resolution: Get a Social Media Strategy


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What has Social Media ever done for business? Well quite a lot actually. For instance, a recent study by Convergys found that one bad Tweet can cost 30 customers.

Here are some more facts and figures:

  • Big Business is embracing social media in a big way. Forrester Research says the sales of software to run corporate social networks will grow 61% a year and be a $6.4 billion business by 2016.
  • Total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PCs and mobile devices increased 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011. (Source: USA Today)
  • Consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites—roughly 20 percent of their total time online via personal computer (PC), and 30 percent of total time online via mobile. Source: Wikipedia

Yet, in spite of this and the recognition that engagement in the digital channel is central to Customer Experience and Customer Loyalty, Social Media still tends to be put in the box of ‘tactical’ initiatives. CEOs and other Board level Executives thinking it is ‘something about Facebook or LinkedIn we can let our lowest paid resource implement’.

Beyond Philosophy considers this a fatal strategic mistake, symptomatic of poor understanding at board level of Social Media’s critical role in driving revenues, cutting costs and its central strategic role in how leading firms are reconfiguring their business models to drive value from Customer Experience Management.

Think about it! This channel is becoming ever more important in the customers buying decision making process. Of course if you buy a bic pen then it’s unlikely this is going to be a key criterion but look for a hotel and we all tend to go to sites such as TripAdvisor. Indeed this spread of word of mouth and social engagement can only become more important with the growth of Apps and the integration of Social Media into TVs.

So what are you doing in your business to plan for this new world? We suspect that there has been a lot of talk, but only now is Social Media starting to put its head above the parapet as a strategic imperative. And even then, because board decision makers are typically of the pre Internet generation, the full understanding of what Social Media can do for our business is either lost or poorly conceived by agencies more used to tactical thinking.

Here at Beyond Philosophy we believe that Social Media should be one of your key strategic initiatives for 2013. Why? Because it is not just a channel but a means of building loyalty with your key customer groups whether these are B2B or B2C.

One of the first things you will need to do is audit your organisation. Ask yourself the question where you are in Social Media today, and is your company even fit for purpose to engage in this new world. To give just a small example, is Social Media appreciated as a means to build loyalty or a threat to current ways of operating – a feeling often present within insights who should really be the first to embrace it.

Looking at your company, we would use our Naive to Natural model to talk about the stages a company goes through to achieve ever higher degrees of loyalty. We see a similar approach to Social Media and how it can be used as a channel strategy to move your firm into higher levels of Customer Experience centricity.

Naive to Natural Model

Beyond Philosophy’s Customer Experience Centricity Model – Naive to Natural

One of the main failure points in an organization which leaves Social Media at a Naïve level is simply the lack of board level understanding of Social Media. As it creeps higher up the agenda it is imperative that Board level Executives engage with understanding if their organization is taking a strategic approach to Social Media. The N2N framework can help understand whether an organization is ‘fit for purpose’ and what to do about it.

Our advice: get a strategy before it’s too late!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Walden
Steven Walden is Director of Customer Experience at leading CX firm TeleTech Consulting (which includes Peppers and Rogers, iKnowtion and RogenSi). Steven is instrumental in efforts to develop the CX practice promoting thought leadership and CX community engagement and IP development. Prior to TeleTech he was Director of CX at Ericsson, developing their Experience Management Centre and also Head of Research specialising in emotion and journey mapping agency side.


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