- Establish a direct, relevant connection with your customers as a source of voice of the customer for new product development (e.g., through an on-line community)
- Improve customer satisfaction (e.g., enable customers to share experiences on-line by creating a self-running community where customers can interact with and learn from their peers)
- Increase the speed for troubleshooting and R&D by reducing the distance between customers and engineering
- Join the on-line technical conversations about your products that your customers are already having, by either leveraging your own community or listening to and participating in other companies' communities
Best-in-class organizations are adding a new social media role to their organization to capture these opportunities. The social media manager may report to the digital, interactive or web marketing team; integrated marketing communications; directly to the CMO if it's a new and/or especially important area; or even within product teams within more decentralized organizations. Potential responsibilities include:
- Establish the social media strategy in collaboration with the digital marketing team, PR, events, product management as well as other parts of the organization. (Refer to a prior post: BtoB Marketing's Response to Social Media: Have we Lost all Control and Impact?)
- Provide the training and infrastructure to empower your organization to interact with customers and prospects on-line (e.g., ambassador training program by Logitech, Intel's digital marketing training program)
- Develop community sites within the company web site (e.g., Citrix's community site offers a clean, comprehensive community site design with many unique features)
- Collaborate with product management, engineering and customer service to monitor and contribute to on-line communities. (internal and external) In some cases the social media team may act as direct contributors to on-line content or they'll provide the infrastructure and guidelines to facilitate contribution by other internal teams.
This role is only in the early stages across the technology industry; however, those companies that best leverage this new area to connect with prospects, customers and their markets will increase their differentiation in this increasingly mature technology industry.
Contact me at email@example.com for a copy of our recent telebriefing on "Key Success Factors for Your B-to-B Social Media Strategy". Do you have a social media role within your company?. . . please share your insight in the comments section below.