In this multi channel digital world within which organisations now operate, social activity prevails more than any other discipline outside of the organisation's domain, within Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other social, blog and forum sites being dominant.
Organisations have been sucked into participating on the public social sites through the promise of greater brand and business engagement, but for many, the jury is still out on whether their investments are delivering an ROI. Just last week I was challenged: “So if my destination website is receiving 25,000 unique visitors a day, then why have I only got 2,000 followers on Facebook?”
The truth of the matter is that social media marketing is still under-funded. Social is still seen by many organisations as a departmental responsibility that sits either inside marketing or customer service departments without senior management or board level representation.
And as a consequence, the vicious circle that Social finds itself in is that without investment the channels won’t perform, but without a clear ROI the social channels aren’t trusted, and so don’t receive investment from their organisations...
Against this business backdrop, the benefits for bringing social engagement inside the organisation, as a separate channel complementing the organisations other digital assets can be appreciated.
I argue that organisations investing in their own social hub, which use the public social networks to draw engagement into the hub, will:
- enjoy a step change in the quality of engagement achieved
- gain the trust of their online communities
- generate more participation, more ideation, crowdsourcing
- enjoy more visits, recommendations and referrals
- drive increased visitor traffic to other digital assets.
- be able to measure ROI through access to real feedback and analytics.
Once Social has been embraced by an organisation, the vicious circle can become a virtuous circle: As with greater organisational engagement and investment, the benefits that Social promises are achieved and the trust of senior management won.