Aligning Social Media to Business goals

Having mere presence in social media makes no sense to a brand. It is just a waste of productivity and human resources involved behind it. Any organization must have a Goal and Target with respect to its presence in Social Media.

Goal: This is the brand’s desired end point. For example, Increase net new transacting customers.

Target: This is a specific value set to the goal with a finite time frame. For example, 100 net new customers in next 2 months.

Once, the goal and target is fixed, then the strategy and tactics should be identified to achieve the target.

Strategy: A strategy is the plan designed to achieve the goal/target. For example, considering above set goal, the strategy is to Use Facebook to increase reach and prospect to customers.

Tactics: This is the way with which strategy will be carried out. For example, the above said strategy is implemented by providing a discount on 1st purchase of all new connections on Facebook and another discount on second purchase for whoever shares the offer post in their timeline.

“Objectives should dictate Tactics. Not the reverse!”

So, Its always a good practice to first set goal, target and then turn to social media with a strategy and tactics to execute it. In this way, the social media team also get a clear picture about their task. Hence, productivity can be ensured!

Social Media & Top 5 Business Functions

A social media program must positively help the organization in a way or the other. It should cater to the needs of the organization. Following are the top 5 business functions to which social media program will help organization:

1. Sales : Ultimate need of any organization is to sell. Make Money. Social Media helps in selling – directly and indirectly. But the point to be considered is, if you focus on selling by being social (in social media), it is going to be very tough. You cannot sell easily being social. But, Social Media can help in driving sales. People can recommend and influence their network to decide on buying your product. Reach, engagement and influence – the three factors to make social media help the organizations sale. Dell is a very early adapter to this strategy and has been very successful till now.

2. Customer Support : People talking about a brand is public in social media. Nowadays, the brand’s customer support team can very easily monitor and keep track of all its mentions on various social media platform. This also provides an opportunity for them to join the conversation if necessary. Consider a situation where a dissatisfied customer makes a negative mention about the brand. Here, if customer support immediately pitches in and addressed the complaint/grievance – It ends up with the customer being satisfied and happy about the quick turn around response of the brand. 🙂 Following are the advantages of adopting social media customer support:

  • Constant real-time feedback from customers and general public.
  • Quick response to mentions.
  • Faster resolution time – Cost reduction compared to other regular modes of customer support
  • Proactive way to keep customers happy

3. Human Resources : When recruiting, one can go through piles of applications or hire through trusted network of peers and colleagues. LinkedIn is the best example which can be quoted here. It has evolved a lot. Recruiters can easily search for people of certain skill set. People can upload their resume, connect to blog, get recommended, join groups, follow companies and many more. from the organizations end, it becomes much easier to find and evaluate a profile for certain position.

4. Public Relations : PR is another area where social media can help an organization significantly. With the ability to keep track of all mentions of the organization, any negative mention taking a hit on reputation can be immediately looked into and responded. Similarly, deliberate attacks or false rumors can also be sighted and addressed quickly! This is called Online/Digital Reputation Management. Crisis Management can also be very well handled in the same way.

5. Business Intelligence : Again, with the power to monitor all the conversations happening online in social media, it enables the organization to identify new trends, customer expectations around a product or domain and make decisions based on that. Also, competitors can be easily monitored and compared to make certain decisions too.

The above mentioned are the business functions for which social media analytics is most commonly used.

Creating the Social Company

“Social Media success doesn’t happen by accident. It is Engineered!”

Any company or brand which has been successful in it’s social media campaigns or other plans, should have put in lot of efforts behind the scenes. Social Media enables people to connect with rest of the word easily, conveniently, meaningfully and in their own terms. Back in olden days, businesses treated customers as friends. The more a customer is welcomed and pampered, the more customer continues to make business and also recommended it to others. Customers were greeted by name on  Over the days, this started fading. And now, again, social media is enabling businesses to get back to that style. It helps brands to get into one-to-one conversation with a large scale of customers.

Social Communication: Social Media is an infrastructure which enables social communication. People share videos, photos, talk, like, express opinions, post thoughts etc on social media. This what people do with social media. And, this activity and interaction is called social communication.

Social Media Program: A social media program planned by any organization cannot be just a marketing plan or blogging. The purpose cannot just be conversation or engagement. It is a force-multiplier. It helps in amplifying any PR or advertising plan implemented by the organization. It can help in providing instant feedback from customers. It also helps in collaboration with customers. Be it Lead generation , Customer retention, Crisis management or Trend identification , a social media program can fit into any need of the organization.

Engagement: Initially, communication between brands and audience was one way. The brand would send a message to audience. The audience would either accept or ignore the message. If at all company wanted to hear from audience, it was through comment cards or customer service.

One Way Communication

One Way Communication

Then, during early Web 2.0, the online experience became more collaborative and user-centric. Blogs, Forums, Comments in websites enabled customers to talk louder and mostly direct to the organization/brand. Customers started feeling the strength of their voice. So did the Organizations.

Two Way Communication

Two Way Communication

Finally, now, social media platforms enable not only communication between organization and customers, but also between customers! This people to people communication has opened the doors to lots of opportunities and challenges for the organizations. On communicating within themselves, people discuss about a brand/product and share review about the same. This influences others in their decision making towards this brand/product. This is called the word-of-mouth. This channel also knows no geographic barrier. It cuts across the globe!

people to people communication

people to people communication

This word-of-mouth has to be positive and should be earned by an organization. And, this is why every brand should integrate Social Media into it’s business model and engineer its success in the same.