The meteoric rise of social media has had a profound impact on the way we run our personal and professional lives. We've reached a situation where the majority of customers and employees are social, but many businesses are not. This creates a clear obstacle to overcome and forces organisations to challenge their existing methods of communicating with prospects and customers.
Some customers may still prefer traditional business communication channels like email and telephone, but there is a huge pressure on organisations to become truly 'social' businesses and to meet their customers digitally - where most of them are to be found. Failing to make this social transformation can result in customers feeling frustrated and isolated, leading to loss of brand loyalty and customer retention.
As 75% of the digital buyer's journey (Forrester) is made online today, there is a huge risk of missing out on a large chunk of business if you're not already in on the act with a strong digital and social presence.
Being a social business doesn't only impact on your customers. We need to think of social as an all-encompassing structure which should involve the whole organisation from employees to customers and just as importantly, to your vendors and supply chain. Every department should be trained in social media (not just marketing and sales!) to further the company's strategy.
Engaged employees can become excellent brand advocates by sharing authentic company content via an Employee Advocacy Tool. This enables you to create true brand guardians within your business.
The customer experience should drive everything we do in a social business, each and every customer touchpoint is a valuable opportunity to gather information and understand what makes our customers tick. Put simply, that's being social!
To successfully move social from the sidelines to the center of your business, you have to rethink and remap your customer journey. Highlight the recurring touchpoints where social can support and amplify purchasing decisions in an agile and cost-effective way. Track the existing points along the path to purchase – from awareness all the way through retention – where your target audience is likely to interact with your brand on social. And be cognizant that this is different than identifying where your audience could interact with your brand.