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Getting Started with a Social Strategy

Webinar hosted by Francois Ruf, Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft during the Convergence 2014 event in Atlanta.

 

The presentation was focussed on the Microsoft Social Listening product set which will be available from Q2 2014 in Dynamics 2013 and forms part of the ‘Social Stack’.  Francois discussed the high-level strategy for organisations to develop a social platform utilising the technology stack provided by Dynamics 2013.

 

Everyone is becoming more aware of the connected world, vast amounts of data is generated online every day and the growing challenge for any organisation is how to process the relevant data.  This truly is the age of the customer, with 1.2 billion posts per day on Facebook and Twitter alone!

 

Many potential customers are 57% (according to some statistics) through the buying cycle before they even reach out to an organisation, these interactions happen on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter among other online places, if you are not actively interacting at these touch points the potential buyers may not even be aware of your organisation.

 

Consumers also expect much more agile organisations with 20% expecting a response to a query within 1 hour via social media.  44% of consumers now complain via social media.

 

In a social age, organisations must be aware of and be able to address:

  • Trust – People trust people, not organisations.
  • Transparency – People are able to know everything about your product, the good and the bad.  They also know all your competitors.
  • Access – People are able to easily get recommendations from friends, their network and the global community.

 

It will be no surprise that conversations in social media have become more influential to the buying process than the traditional sales and marketing tactics.

 

This has a BIG IMPACT on the sales, marketing and customer care processes in your organisation!

 

So what can organisations do to better engage online and better leverage the potential of social?

 

The biggest opportunities will cover:

  • Customer Experience – Understanding the consumer, learning from competitors, engaging with the customer socially.
  • Social Media Marketing – Brand reputation and presence, lead generation, etc.
  • Risk Management – Discover marketing and customer risks in real-time, an early warning system.
  • HR – communication and spotting top talents.
  • Analytics and Big Data – Understand your data by including social data and trends.
  • Collaboration – Internal to maximise network and knowledge within the organisation.

 

How do you get started with a social strategy?

  • Start with listening.  What are your opportunities, where are the touch points with customers?  Do most of your potential customers interact on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or a combination?
  • Listen to competitors.  How are they approaching social?  Can you learn from what they are doing?
  • The Business Case.  Align your goals with your core business KPI’s.  How would you measure success?  The number of followings on Twitter may not indicate success for your organisations strategy.
  • Evaluate tools and vendors.
  • Build a roadmap.  Start simple but have a complete end to end scenario.
  • Assess the knowledge already in the organisation and assess education and training requirements.
  • Get Executive sponsorship.  You have your opportunities, competitor information, a business case, an understanding of your organisation and a roadmap.

 

Organisations must be careful about some pitfalls; the social strategy must be organisation wide and not just part of a small silo (such as marketing for example).  Not aligning the strategy with business goals is another common issue, what are you trying to achieve?

 

With Microsoft Dynamics, the entire social stack is seamlessly integrate into Dynamics 2013 giving you the power to unlock social for your organisation.

 

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Mark Rowbottom

Mark Rowbottom

IT Consultant and Director at M Rowbottom Consulting Ltd
Mark is an experienced IS Consultant with extensive experience within Solutions Architect & Business Analysis roles complimented with experience in Project Management (PRINCE2). He's the owner of M Rowbottom Consulting, specialising in the Retail Sector, Solutions Architecture and Process Improvement.
Mark Rowbottom

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