Organizational integration is one of the key challenges faced by the social media industry:

Here are the important points in this issue:

1. An organization has to understand the importance of social media and transparency for the future of your company/organization
2. An organization needs tools to make it easy for customers and prospects to participate (product reviews, service reviews, ideas, enhancement requests, online catalogs and other tools need to embed social media)
3. An organization needs the ability take action by routing and assigning the feedback to be acted on by R&D, Marketing, and Product Management.

I see two issues with why social media isn’t being utilized to its full potential.

1. Agencies shy away because they were unsuccessful with their one off attempt

2. In an organization, there is an lack of ownership of the content. Does the media team take ownership? Does the PR team write the content? Should the creative be in charge of what is going out the door? Or is it the account managers?

The real answer is all of them. Instead of having a social media team that is in charge of content, you need a social media point person who is able to provide that structure and dole out who does what across an agency while giving support/guidance.

Organizations need to understand SM and develop a specific strategy to fit their organization exactly where it is in its understanding. Trying to move the earth by re-engineering will result in failure. A good strategy will understand that prove out a step-wise, scalable solution that will allow for progression.

Can you really energize your customers if you’re not listening to them first?

What I think is interesting is that:

1. There are companies that have deployed social media and gotten amazing results (ie. reduce operating costs and increases in revenue. But the media keeps saying that there isn’t that much success yet.

2. Perhaps the nay sayers keep focusing on where social media got its starts- Marketing and PR, both of which are harder to measure than say, Customer Service.

3. Most Chief Marketing Officer’s , CEO’s and other executives who have seen the results that can be produced in customer service social media initiatives feel that while social media is important to Marketing, PR and Advertising, the real transformation of business comes from deploying a customer service social media initiative. That’s because that’s where customers complain and where customer’s product and service issues get handled and when companies take that voice of the customer information back into the organization.

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