====Published on Memeburn====
Social media in the corporate environment, both from an internal and external perspective is taking on greater importance in the South African market. Some are doing it well and others, well let us just say that they have tried, or are trying in some form or another, with limited success.
Social media needs to be positioned across all functional departments and business units within a company to truly achieve long-term success and customer engagement.
Whether you are a clothing brand or an airline – once you delve into the world of social media, it is crucial that the synergy within your organisation is carried through into your marketing and communication activity in the social networks. I am of the opinion that a complete mindshift is required regarding social media and businesses, its practices and application, its inherent value, and the implications of social media in business.
Social media needs to be entrenched in every department within a company. Not only that, but every department should, in my opinion, appoint a social media “connector” within that department to coordinate activities between their department and the social media team. Savvy companies understand the multiple opportunities within social media. They create leaders for each department, with strategic goals, and the ability to collaborate with their counterparts in each department. Zappos.com is one such company that has mastered the art of internal synergy and projecting this in all forms of online communication.
Zappos may be an online brand and have a leg up on many companies in terms of their thinking, but their success can be replicated when it comes to achieving corporate synergy in social media. When your employees are more concerned with what is in or out of their job description than doing the right thing to help the customer, that’s not a culture that’s likely to build trust and advocacy for your brand.
Social media is way beyond just a function of public relations and marketing, it is an integrated way of thinking, communicating, engaging with, and ultimately branding your business. With social media you have the opportunity to expose the “soul” of the company online and in so doing, you can either go very wrong or capitalise on the opportunity and bring your customers into the inner realm of the organisation – catapulting your brand in the minds of consumers.
The synergy between departments is then crucial to ensure that the flow of information between the activities on social networks and what really goes on in the company is correct and truthful.
With social media you cannot hide behind your corporate website and hope that whatever you may have done wrong just goes away. You are elevating your sense of accountability as a company, and with that, the accountability internally needs to be part of the process.