Social media is filled with risks at every turn. It’s fast-paced, ever-changing, and open for all to see. Prove that you can keep up in real-time, and you’ll earn the respect of your audience. Make one misstep, however, and you could face repercussions for months – or even years – to come.
That’s why enterprises need to be aware of the risks associated with the landscape. Only then can they assemble the tools they need to protect their brands and deliver valuable customer experiences.
Just look at leading companies that are already doing it.
In a new report, Sprinklr and Harvard Business Review surveyed 600+ managers and executives from companies that, on average, generate $5 billion in revenue. The study found that leading companies have something important in common: They excel at understanding and managing the risks of social marketing.
Microsoft, for instance, provides training programs and online coaching for its community managers. It also funnels all content through its Social Media Command Center to make sure each post matches the brand voice.
As Douglas Palmer, a principal at Deloitte, said in the report, “Companies need a technology that gives them a single view of information as it is routed across the various lines of business and functions—marketing, sales, and customer service.”
This helps each participant understand exactly what is acceptable to publish on social media. It also helps companies protect their reputations. With all that social media has to offer, there’s no reason to be brought down by one misspelled Tweet or off-brand Facebook post.
The challenges of social marketing don’t end there, however. Many enterprises also need to overcome risk-averse cultures that stunt experimentation. As the report found, 18% of executives from leading companies say they struggle with this issue, while 31% and 46% of under-performing companies say the same.
After all, you can’t respond in real-time if your approval process takes two weeks. And you can’t pioneer new platforms if you’re too scared to try. That’s why brands need to break through these barriers and set pre-approved guidelines so no-one has to miss a beat.
Every company that uses social media faces risks. The difference is, those that can anticipate and manage those risks come out on top. Those that can’t get left behind.
Take Microsoft and IBM. They don’t just avoid bad press. They also out-invest competitors, generate impressive sales through social outreach, and build valuable customer relationships – proving that it pays to operate at the speed of social.
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