In marketing, it can sometimes be hard to keep up as brands are desperately re-structuring teams. As they are updating/renewing/ripping out old technology and business practices in favor of new approaches. All with a goal to engaging, building relationships and transacting with the connected customer of today.
If you’re like me, you will geek-out on the opportunities to cross-fertilize data streams, integrate new technologies, smash apart “the way we do things”. Generally disrupt, rebuild and make better! If you’re not, I understand how digital transformation can seem like a scary and daunting prospect.
Whatever you mind-set, if you are thinking about digital transformation, you should be putting social at the heart of your plans as you move forward. Here are five of the many reasons why:
Your customers are social animals
This doesn’t mean they are all on Facebook – far from it. But they are human and they are social by nature. They are behaving and communicating as a person of the social age. Consuming vast amounts of content. From a range of different sources, connect via their devices, with high unwieldy expectations and short attention spans! If you ignore this point, you are not embarking on true digital transformation – most likely you are building a new website!
Social data will teach you more about your customers and their behavior
If you don’t know this yet or not, social media is the world’s largest focus group. Its surprising but most companies still don’t know much more and their clients beyond name, gender, age and an email address. The rich context of social media data can add a level of understanding about your customers. What they like and don’t like, how they communicate, what they think of your brand, what they want from you and from others. If you are embarking on the digital transformation initiative, then you need to know who you are doing all this transforming for, right?
The future is not email
Sorry, but it’s not. Certainly not how most brands today use it. There is even talk that email will disappear from the workplace forever. While I’m not prepared to agree with that yet, there is clearly a shift away from email. As generations of people migrate away from email, to social networks, from Facebook to Snapchat, from text message to WhatsApp it’s quite easy to foresee a future where the role for email – perhaps re-titled “Social CRM” – is much smaller than in the past.
Social data should be enriching your CRM / single customer view
Whether we are talking about interacting with customer service agents on Twitter, a comment on a Facebook post, a click on a LinkedIn share button or a sign-in on your mobile app, social interactions, social signals and social data should be fueling your CRM. Done right, this opens the door to engaging the customer on whole new level, cross platform with a seamless experience.
It means providing useful, relevant, helpful, timely content, offers and products – potentially in real-time. Again, there is not a magic tool that will make this happen. Solving the complex problem that is connecting, integrating and utilizing social data in building customer relationships is what digital transformations is all about.
Social media breaks down silos
Social media, it gets everywhere, seeping into every department, challenging how we traditionally interact with customers and with each other internally and externally; challenging how PR & communications departments respond in a crisis; challenging how customer services respond to queries and complaints; challenging how HR teams recruit and build their employer brands. You get my point.
But in to “transform” properly the whole business must engage in the process, and that is a ‘people’ thing. It’s the people within your organization who will bring about change, not technology. The reality is that social media is already bringing more departments and people together than ever before, to solve problems, to develop new processes and create solutions. If you need a Trojan horse as part of your digital transformation project, or at least a prominent set of work streams at the heart of what you are doing, look no further than social media!
Thank you so much for reading!
Joshua B Lee
Mark Your Calendar –
Join Joshua B. Lee & Rachel B. Lee Wednesday, August 18th at 12:30pm CST for a LinkedIn LIVE Q&A with special guest Phil Randazzo–Founder of American Dream U. It all happens on Joshua’s Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuablee/