originally posted on Concept Hub
More and more I am reading reports that are making the connection that what has been happening on the World Wide Web is and will continue to impact more than how organizations communicate with their audience. It will impact how organizations do business.
Not only are consumers now explicitly expressing their wants and needs, but they are finding very niche channels to get those needs met. The inside information that used to be passed over the fence is now being broadcast to entire networks.
Competition for attention has always been fierce, but now it seems that companies are competing with more than just those directly in their industry, they are competing with their consumers.
Several organizations have already started looking for response strategies. At the basic level they have established a monitoring system to seek out conversations that might have devastating consequences on their reputation. Many have launched campaigns to build communities around their products or services or to engage in conversations within other communities. However will that be enough to maintain a competitive edge?
Sure consumers appreciate that companies are “listening” and engaging them in conversations – but they will want more. They will want to be served! They will want to be treated as individuals! and if they do not get their way, their voice will be heard!
Social media is changing more than strategies within the Marketing and PR departments – it is changing R&D, Product Development, Customers Service, Sales and so forth. The result is that the “Best In Class” companies will have to adjust their internal organizational structures to be able to respond to the market at a compatible pace.
Aberdeen Group released a report highlighting Benchmarks for the Best In Class. In their Competitive Maturity Assessment within the Executive Summary they show;
65% of the Best in Class companies have a formalized process in place for monitoring consumer generated content
52% of Best in Class have dedicated personnel, such as a director of digital communications or director of social media monitoring
42% of Best in Class companies have a formalized process for detecting potential threats to the brand (i.e. early warning system)
More importantly the report states that to achieve Best in Class performance, companies must:
Secure buy-in at the C suite level because, more than technology, social media monitoring and analysis involves business processes and organizational changes, including the hiring of dedicated personnel.
What return would a company get from all this effort? Well it depends on what they do with all the information they are able to gather. As stated later in the report;
social media monitoring and analysis can generate actionable insights that result in smarter business decisions across multiple parts of the organization.
Social Media will affect every aspect of an organization – therefore every department of an organization needs to be involved in the organization’s social media strategy.
Are you prepared to be a Best in Class company?
Great post summarizing the impact social media is having not only on the PR department but on the organization in general. Also, as a sponsor of the Aberdeen report you mention it’s great to see that you got some insights from it. Listening is definitely the place to start for any organization. In fact it’s because I listen to the social media monitoring space with our Radian6 solution that I found your blog.
Looking forward to other posts in the space.