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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Archive for March 2013

How does your business use social media?

Posted Thursday, March 28th, 2013

British businesses admit that they don’t engage customers with social media

…but over half believes that it will surpass the telephone by 2020, according to new survey from Aspect Software*

A new survey from Aspect has found that 40 per cent of UK businesses claim to use social media as a two-way conversational tool for customer engagement, whilst 60%  admit using the networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn as a mass broadcast tool.

The study from customer contact and workforce optimisation technology provider Aspect, aimed to find out how respondents saw the position of social media within their organisation, how it is or will be used, and how closely it is integrated with other forms of communication with customers and prospects. Currently, 72 per cent say that they use social media within their organisation, with a further 8 per cent implementing it over the next 12 months and an additional 16 per cent seriously considering using it in the long-term.

“The customer conversation is changing; no more are we restricted to using the telephone when we speak with companies we buy from,” commented Mark King, Senior VP Europe and Africa at Aspect. “Although it is fair to say that most organisations now recognise that being present on the most popular social media networks is a necessity, as that is where their customers are, it should be much more than just another way of talking about how great your brand is and not developing that conversation. Business leaders just don’t know where it sits in the organisation, who within the business should own it, and the ever-increasing importance of harnessing the unstructured content derived from that conversation.”

More than 6 in 10 businesses (62 per cent) say that social media does or will have some form of integration with other business processes and communication channels. Respondents were closely divided when asked whether this was a purely manually-driven integration on a strategic level or full technical integration with 33 per cent and 29 per cent respectively stating this. 28 per cent said that social media is not or will not be integrated at all, and stood alone within the business.

King added: “60 per cent of those we asked prioritised pushing out messages and company updates as the primary function of social media, and 32 per cent admit that they do take customer queries, but it is not a one way channel. With 52 per cent of professionals admitting that they see social media as surpassing the telephone as the main method of customer engagement by 2020, there is this disconnect that needs to be addressed by shifting from broadcast to a dialogue. This will only be achieved by aligning social media with existing metrics and processes proven to work in the contact centre infrastructure in terms of business culture, strategy and technical integration.”

In terms of ownership, 40 per cent of respondents feel that in the main, responsibility for social media within the organisation lay with the marketing department, but over a quarter (26 per cent) believe that this was the job of senior management. 20 per cent say that social media is, or will be, owned by the contact centre. Only 2 per cent stated that social media was the responsibility of everyone within the organisation.

* Survey conducted in March 2013 of 100 business and IT decision makers by Aspect Software


Will giving up social media for a week cleanse your soul?

Posted Monday, March 18th, 2013

Russian Orthodox church advises people to avoid Instagram and Twitter when annual period of self-denial begins next week

The Russian Orthodox Church has long told its followers to give up milk and meat for Lent but when the annual period of self-denial begins on Monday its leaders want the flock to go one stage further.

There should be no tweeting or instagramming of the experience – and no social media at all, in order to better cleanse the soul, according to church spokesman, Vsevolod Chaplin.

Interestingly, Maureen Henderson did exactly that last September for a month and documented it in her article 3 Reasons you Should Quit Social Media in 2013. She claimed the 3 main reasons people should reconsider devoting so much time to social networking were: 1) it harms your self-esteem 2) your blood pressure will thank you and 3) online is no substiture for offline.

It’s an interesting thought and I’m beginning to see and hear more people who are threatening to leave social networks, particualry Facebook, but very few following through for any length as after all, it’s the centre of keeping up to date with the people, businesses and interests they enjoy staying up to date with.
So did we adopt social media too quickly and are the cracks now appearing? It’s quite possible that activity is just levelling out as it was never going to be possible to maintain the explosive rates of growth. As a business, there’s still no choice but to join social networks and have your business represented to the highest standard with significant activity. So why the call for people to leave social media when it’s so important?
It has to surely be assessed as to how people use the various platforms and with what motives. I know of people who reguarly remove posts if it has not received as many likes or comments as they would like. This type of use is a far cry from the hugely beneficial attributes social networking has to offer, such as keeping up with breaking news and engaging with our sporting heroes, it’s a darker side to social media use. It’s no wonder then that social media is critisized and people threaten to adandon the platforms. But with everything used correctly, social media is an indespensible tool for personal and business use.
We should remember that causes like red nose day was undoubtedly helped by Facebook and Twitter as people spread messages and encouraged people to donate.  It is the ideal way to keep up to date with your industryand talk to the brands you are buying from. Yes it can be misused, like everything else but that shouldn’t threaten why it is such an important part of our lives now and how with the right balance, social media can improve, not distrupt our lives.

 
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