Social Media - Not a Passing Fad
Social Media – Not a Passing Fad
It wasn’t long ago most corporations chose not to engage in social media. “Why give our dissenters a voice?” was the collective reason not to. What corporations didn’t see then was those dissenters were already using social media as their voice and they were using it effectively. By choosing not to engage in this new form of dialogue, corporations were left defenseless.
Today, most companies realize social media is an essential way to reach out and connect with target audiences, and when done correctly, it promotes an active brand focused on communication. The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Simply creating a social media profile, though, isn’t enough. A social media strategy needs to be considered, developed and managed. Without it, more harm than good could result.
“I’ve been doing this for a while and I’m still amazed at the power of our social media profiles” said Craig Taffs, Alberta One-Call Corporation team leader and manager of its social media program as well as ClickBeforeYouDig Manitoba. “But we didn’t get here overnight. You can’t create a profile, leave it alone and think it will grow organically. It needs to be planned, developed and implemented with a strategy, and then revised and improved and promoted with weekly content – and that’s the easy part.”
He is right – that is the easy part. The true virtue of a social media program resides in its ability to meaningfully engage and support the owner’s values and objectives. “You can’t allow yourself to get drawn into a war of words” said Taffs. “People who reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook have chosen to use a medium they are familiar with and we need to meet them there. Once we’ve connected, it’s our job to help them manage their safety.”
“It seems like a tall order, until you break it down and manage the workflow," said Sher Kirk, operations director at Alberta One-Call. "For us, we direct all social media correspondence through Zendesk, our customer relationship management and support system. When a person connects with us on any of the social media profiles and platforms managed by AOC, a ticket is automatically generated in Zendesk and Support Staff are notified allowing subject matter experts to respond.”
With 2,465 Twitter followers, Alberta One-Call has four less followers than all Canadian One-Call Centres combined and 727 more followers than the Common Ground Alliance in the U.S. across a population of over 328 million.