Social media as a channel

February 7, 2010

I’m not sure whether social media is a service channel but it’s certainly one for feedback. A short report from Right Now clarifies this and explains, obviously in order to sell their product, why we should take notice. The little pamphlet is entitled “Customer Service Meets Social Media – Best Practices for Engagement”, and you’ll find it on their web site. Even more appropriate for me is the term “engagement”, since anyone who has looked at my model will realise I promote “Citizen Engagement Management”.

I wonder how many councils even employ “Google alerts” on a daily basis to find out whats being said about them, without delving into the different social media? If you don’t I should get on with it!

However, the Right Now publication does offer some important guidance, such as (p.3): “Another major difference between traditional contact channels and social media is that when you respond, your conversation is often visible to a large audience” and on the same page and perhaps more importantly: “social media accelerates and democratises publication, which means consumers can create content about your organization.” The development of the alternative Birmingham City web site #bccdiy was one example with all the local and national social media debate that followed.

The report also provides a list of eight simple questions entitled “Before you get started”, which can be employed in many ways, and in many media, but check that you are prepared for the venture before you waste too much time and money on it, or before it comes back to bite you on the bum!