"There’s very little separating sales, marketing, and customer service, and all three departments rely on real-time collaboration. The speed of social media has fundamentally changed the way these departments work, and how much they overlap. "
This interview with Ulrik Bo Larsen recently appeared in BizReport.
By Kristina Knight
Social media isn’t just offering brands another place to put their weekly special or customer service details. Social media is changing how shoppers engage with their favorite brands. Here’s how brands can ensure their relationship is strong.
Kristina: What role do social media platforms play in building customer relationships? How is this evolving?
Ulrik Bo Larsen, Falcon.io: Social media is an important way to humanize your brand and showcase its many personalities. All great brands are self-aware and they understand the importance of extending their personalities to build relationships, or make friends, especially throughout an increasingly complex and uncertain buying cycle. Our platform gives you the ability to manage these interactions, so that you’re building relationships based on context and mutual interest. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. We’re doing our best to stay ahead.
Kristina: How is social media becoming intertwined with marketing and customer service? Can social be a tool for bringing these departments together?
Ulrik: There’s very little separating sales, marketing, and customer service, and all three departments rely on real-time collaboration. The speed of social media has fundamentally changed the way these departments work, and how much they overlap. For example, a conversation on Twitter (Marketing) can lead to an inbound (Sales) that hinges on a vendor integration (Customer Support) — making it almost impossible to differentiate department borders. But, no matter the mess, it all comes down to using technology to extend communications channels and create value for customers. We are finding that customers struggling with integrating separate tools across departments are seeing significant relief upon combining marketing and customer service social efforts under one unified social tool.
Kristina: How can companies use social media to streamline efforts across departments (i.e. marketing, customer service, and HR)?
Ulrik: Our goal is to make work more satisfying for employees and that starts by enabling efficient, two-way communication across traditional business silos. We do this by prioritizing features that contribute to a more open and transparent process — permission settings, smart assignments, audit trails, channel groupings. This has become increasingly important as we are seeing many more departments make use of brand content for public communication. Marketing, Sales, Customer Service and HR are all utilizing and rallying around different variants of content. A unified social strategy enables employees across department to streamline their efforts in making use of this content, whether it be for social selling, branding, customer service or fan engagement. In addition, we work closely with our customers to make sure their company’s organizational structure is taken into account. This includes a detail-oriented deployment phase to train and onboard employees.
Kristina: How should social management strategy differ from small companies to large enterprises?
Ulrik: Big or small, managing multiple social media accounts requires curiosity, attention to detail, and a commitment to conversation. But the main difference is volume. Our platform is built for enterprise, which means that most of our customers manage hundreds, if not thousands, of inbounds a day. Our products are built in-house and designed to work together — because the web is fragmented enough.