Social media is a new complex situation to that is changing the structure of marketing departments of large and small organizations. Websites initially were products produced as collaboration between the technology departments, and the marketing departments. We find that social media is a product that is found somewhere between customer service and a marketing departments. The reason for this need for collaboration is if only one of those departments is handling social media we will see a failure. We find that marketers are good at creating their messages and pushing them out, while customer service is more oriented to listening to the customers and helping them through issues.
I believe it is important to establish a social media monitoring team that is a combination of these two departments. The reason why, is you need both departments working together to create synergy and prevent corporate silos of information. With my current position I see how my organization is utilizing Facebook and Twitter to promote news stories, and other information. It is promoting very well, but our organization has completely left the customer service factor out of the game. As a result, we are seeing great stories out there but there is no response to the tough questions that are being asked on Facebook or Twitter. People are becoming more disgruntled and disappointed with the organization because it is not responding to them. This is not because the organization does not care about their constituents, but because the marketing/communications department is not trained on how to respond as a customer service rep would.
I also think that social media is a great way to help develop your SWOT analysis. You can really begin to listen to your customers’ wants and needs. Once you get past the complaints and approvals, you can listen to what the trends are. You might find that your customer demographic is beginning to shift and you need to expand or eliminate certain products or services. As organizations begin to really understand social media, they will begin to develop tools needed to track their constituents and learn more about them. They will begin to know what music the customer likes, where they go on vacation, what they want for Christmas.
I believe a social media department is probably going to be one of the most important departments in future organizations. They are the front line, who will know your customers better than anyone else in your organization. The social media department will understand the intricacies about the customer base. This knowledge could evolve the company, and allow it to prosper if it is fully integrated with the organization from top to bottom.