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Step In Time: Developing a Coordinated Social Engagement Strategy

Marie Rose
By Marie Rose on Aug 3, 2012 2:37:00 PM

Bitesize - The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service: Part 6/10

Here's part six from the series of bitesize posts from our 'Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service', a practical handbook for executing a Social Customer Service program from the ground up. You can download the guide in full 

Last week we spoke about who should be pulled into a Social Dream Team. But before they’re ready to execute a social media strategy, there are certain ways in which a coordinated social engagement strategy should be approached. Incorporating several different sectors allows input to come from every angle, and it better represents the interests of each area of the business. It is important to set clear guidelines as to how social media will be used throughout the company, and to make all members of the team aware of these from the start. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before you lose your footing, and run into trouble.

Set Objectives

Before you even begin to think about the details of social strategy, you need to clearly determine your reasons for having a social presence, and your goals for achievement and insight. Sometimes different departments have different goals that need to be reconciled, but everyone should be focussed on delivering a consistent and quality experience of your company for customers. Get every stakeholder talking together to make sure each one is behind your company’s social customer service strategy.

Determine responsibilities

In order for a social media team to work, clear guidelines as to who’s in charge of what are essential. Just some of the responsibilities to assign are:

  1. Who establishes tone of voice and makes sure everyone follows company guidelines?
  2. Is updating Facebook and Twitter the responsibility of marketing or customer service? This can be further developed if a company decides to have one Twitter handle for customer service and another for marketing, similar to Tesco’s @UKTesco and@UKTescoOffers.
  3. Who deals with incoming communication? Depending on the subject matter, this could fall into the hands of customer service agents or a community manager. Or will you fully commit Customer Service to the frontline?
  4. Who tracks social engagement performance? Each department will take an interest in different data gathered from social conversations. How will you measure success as a company?
  5. Who is responsible for collecting and analysing social customer insight, and who needs access to that information? This could collected by a customer insight team, and then passed on to marketing and product management.
The Social Media Dream Team’s First Act:  Connect a Customer Service Representative to Facebook and Twitter

It’s impossible to do customer service without a customer service representative. But this first social customer service agent has a special role - to forge a bridge between social and customer service teams. When starting with one, this doesn’t need to sit firmly in one department, and has information to share between both. In order to smoothly transition into social customer service, a company must make sure that their social engagement team has access to all the same information as the regular customer service team.

Once all of these decisions have been made and the groundwork has been put in place, a company is ready to launch a serious social customer service program, which can scale without headaches. If all parties in the Social Dream Team stick to company guidelines and are aware of their personal responsibilities, the Social Customer Service can run smoothly.

Missed the last Bitesize post on Building a Social Customer Service Dream Team? Check out Part 5/10. Or, move to Part 7/10 on Hiring and Training Your Social Customer Service Team.

How have you structured your social engagement strategy? Are there any key elements to its success? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.

 Got any suggestions for what you’d like to hear from us? Send your thoughts to marie@conversocial.com, or @Conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas.

Topics: Best Practices

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