Live @ Loyalty World: Marketers as the captains of the social media journey?

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Marketing, Loyalty, Christer Holloman

How to incorporate Social Media into the core of your business practice?  Christer Holloman, Head of Digital Product Development – The Times & The Sunday Times, News International

How do marketers perceive their social media efforts? Well, the prevailing opinion might be something like this:  "I own social media" or "I am the captain".

However, in order to excel in the use of social media, not only the marketing department should be engaged, but it should also encourage other business units to participate. Social media should be seen as a journey the whole company is on, which nevertheless should be managed by a centre of excellence.

Social media had a tremendous effect on customer interaction. Nowadays, great customer service is also delivered through social channels and social profiles of customers can be connected with customer data in order to deliver outstanding value to customers. Moreover, social media can be used as a "social currency". The more friends and interactions a customer has, the less he pays. In addition, social media can also be employed beyond marketing and consumer interaction. There could be a move forward from traditional marketing towards the interaction with employees, e.g. for idea generation and in the product development process. Also B2B centred companies can now incorporate social media by i.e. setting up a highly specialised Youtube channel for your customers.

Companies should extend their view on social media beyond the traditional marketing approach towards a more integrated view.

Finally, how can marketers justify the power of social to senior management?

Well, there are several KPIs that can be employed – headed by the ROI (return of ignorance) which measures the return of NOT engaging in social media. Alternatively, other KPIs such as share of voice, audience engagement, conversation reach, active audience or satisfaction source may also be used.

The key take-away for marketers to excel in social media is to move away from seeing themselves as captains and to invite other departments to join in.

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