Social media has truly come of age, as its adoption by businesses around the world attests. Smaller corporate entities need to realize that smart usage of networking platforms can create massive scope for growth among existing as well as new markets and customers. However, those wading into the vast social media terrain unprepared sans advice and support of expert will likely find themselves overwhelmed by the speed and complexity they encounter.
It is necessary to get off on the right foot by tackling the various strategic aspects related to social engagement and interaction. The ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’ kind of approach can lead in failing to capitalize on the immense benefits of social media. It can also lead to a major customer relationship and public relations nightmare. Likewise, fragmented approach to it simply won’t allow organizations to operate new media channels at desired scale, with appropriate consistency and controls across the whole enterprise chain.
Such haphazard measures create risks like inconsistent customer experiences, lack of regulatory compliance, and fruitless investments in precious human resources and technologies. Indeed, the issue is not ‘How can we begin?’ Rather, it’s ‘How well can we impart structure and bring commercial return to this dynamic and vibrant form of global conversation, and ‘how best can we utilize resources into something neither fully ‘controllable’ nor accountable?’
Another key aspect is to fathom both the power and certain risks of social media. Marketers are learning this, as they experiment with social media to connect with their customers. The new media channels give companies the opportunity to create loyal fans, to rally the organization to get more customer-centric; and to build new reliable revenue streams. It also has a few inherent risks.
Those ignoring the increased demand will probably be caught off guard and end up missing out on the next wave of relationship building; and those who fail to grasp what it takes organizationally to embrace and leverage it will not be able to exploit social media’s promise. In effect, it is critical to evolve a comprehensive social media strategy. Getting started with it can be initially intimidating. However, with timely intervention of social media specialists it can be a paying proposition from the outset.
Companies that have been highly successful in leveraging it have been those committing resources – time, people and money. To avoid stumbling or being completely consumed by the rampaging social media wave, a brand must put in place necessary a solid management framework that can help the organization to deliver a prioritized roadmap for implementing the social media processes by bringing in requisite technological, organizational, cultural and behavioral changes to achieve the end goal- lasting customer relationship, more business, higher sales and increased profit margins.