In the world of Digital Marketing, social media is still in its infancy. While other more established methods like email marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) provide increasingly profitable results, most companies continue to struggle with social media marketing. Many marketing experts believe that corporations have failed to understand the inherent nature of social media. While most marketing mediums (such as television, email, and print) allow for unilateral communication, social media is infinitely more complex. In practice social media platforms are part broadcasting channels, part social listening tools, and part customer service centers. In addition, social media platforms are public forums, which creates yet another challenge for marketing teams. In a recent Forbes article Duke Chung, co-founder of a new social analytics company, was quoted:

“The social channel is the only channel out there that’s public. Phone, email or online support are all private so no one else sees your complaints. In social media, everybody sees it and that is creating a power shift to the consumer.”

Another problem is that many companies, presuming their marketers should know the most about target customers, have put their marketing teams in charge of corporate social media strategy. Unfortunately, this tactic has proven problematic, because most marketers aren’t prepared to deal with customer service related questions that commonly appear on Facebook walls and Twitter feeds. In fact, studies show that more and more customers are going to social media channels to ask customer service questions, because they find it easier than calling an 800 number or sending an email. Ultimately marketers just aren’t trained to handle customer service issues, field angry complaints, or remedy mishandled situations. Really the core problem is that most companies don’t understand how to manage their social media strategy. They have created an unnecessary disconnect between between their marketing and customer service teams, which should be jointly managing social media accounts by dividing tasks according to speciality. Obviously the marketing team should continue to manage the creative and promotional aspects of social media. For instance, they should have creative control when announcing a new event and choosing a picture to post alongside it. Alternately, they should not be left to handle the disgruntled customer – especially in front of a public audience. Instead customer service teams should be responsible for handling customers who are causing a sort of virtual scene. Contact Predictive Response today for help launching your successful digital marketing campaign!

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