Anyone with a grasp of the big picture begins to realize that PR, marketing, sales, and even customer service are not four distinct silos that compete for dollars and face time with senior executives. They are four sides of the same square. What one does affects the other side. Each one of these facets is a part of social media.
In the book No Bullshit Social Media; The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, Jason Falls and Erik Deckers remind us that social media is where our customers are. They identify and offer insights about precisely what social media can do for a brand:
- Enhance brand awareness
- Protect brand reputation
- Enhance public relations
- Build community
- Enhance customer service
- Facilitate research and development
- Drive leads and sales
Not just that, but these two take a deep dive into how to properly use social media, and who should be at the helm. This last point is particularly interesting.
Social Media is for Senior Staff, Not Interns…
Social Media is NOT an entry level position- it requires extended strategy, experience responding to customer complaints, an understanding of marketing, ROI, and market research. With an entry level person, a company will simply have a twitter and Facebook presence with not much to show for it.
Think of it this way: the new PR associate doesn’t do media interviews during a major company crisis, the marketing intern doesn’t oversee the entire spring launch of your product line, and the new corporate attorney doesn’t defend your company in a civil suit three months after graduating from law school. You would never dream of letting new employees take on something like that, so why would you do so with the most public-facing communications channels your company will ever have? Other than PR and marketing, no other channel reaches so many people so permanently and widely as social media.
A more experienced employee is more able to draw upon real world, full-time work experience and understand the gravity of what is at stake. The more experienced employee understands the strategy behind campaigns, execution and measurement of them, and how to handle customers with a sense of purpose that reflects the company mission.
Your social media people perform a multiple functions- public relations, marketing, sales, and customer service. These people better be customer-focussed, diplomatic, sales-minded brand experts. This job requires a high level of self-starting, problem solving, planning ahead, and agility. Multiple skills, experience and good judgment need to be in place for this person to handle issues in a timely way without the delay for input from above.
This book offers so much more that is worth the consideration of every C-level executive and business owner… this book should be required reading.