Its quite common for leading brands in Asia Pacific to utilise a digital agency to assist with a range of social media services from content creation thru to community management of the brands’ social media assets. The brands look to agencies to provide thought leadership and expertise that the brand itself doesn’t possess or isn’t willing to hire full time.
Agencies are often very adept at using social media as a marketing channel for outbound publishing and promotion but they often forget about the other side of the coin – Engagement. In my experience, Agencies have a large gap in terms of the workflows they can offer and the reporting they can provide around Social Engagement.
When Agencies are running full-scale community management on behalf of their clients, they will use a software product to cover the marketing piece. Often the marketing software provides metrics, which the agency then uses to report back to the client on the effectiveness of their joint marketing efforts. For engagement they will they often by default use the engagement side of the marketing tool, a lower-end social engagement product or the native tools from the Social vendors. In each scenario the Agency is exposed. None of these options will help them process even a moderate volume of social traffic, escalate issues, handle a social media crisis or provide adequate reporting back to the client.
Agencies need to consider using an Enterprise Social Media Engagement tools with the following characteristics:
- Context: Tools should have the ability to show prior interaction history. So if one person has tweeted multiple times then you should be able to see all of these tweets on the one screen of glass to give you more informed information on the tweeters outreach resulting in a more educated decision on how to respond.
- Prioritisation: Social media is full of noise making it difficult to identify sensitive issues that that matter. Tools with inbuilt Intelligent Prioritization allow priority issues to be escalated for immediate attention.
- Real-Time Analytics: Real-time analytics are key to continually monitoring the SLA & KPI attainment of community managers. Additionally, tools should provide historical insights into trends over time to deliver actionable insights for brands.
- Security: Regardless of industry, comprehensive safeguards need to be in place to ensure information security and regulatory compliance. Look for software that provides role-based permissions, an approval workflow, IP locking and a fully searchable, exportable archive.
- Pro-Active Customer Service: Brands using tools that only process @mentions are likely to miss service issues, or potential sales opportunities. A tool that provides proactive searches over social media will broaden your scope for engagement, meaning you don’t miss out on valuable conversation opportunities.
- Workflow: With the high incoming message volume social brings, community managers need to work seamlessly to balance workload and avoid duplication of effort. Tools need to have a layer of automation and smart workflow to deliver better and faster processing.
So what are the commercial opportunities for Agencies who want to leverage Enterprise class tools for Social Engagement?
Firstly, Enterprise-class tools typically collect advanced metrics like Response Times, Handling times and Sentiment split by brand specific tags. This provides Agencies with a wealth of information to give back to their clients & show in detail what they have been doing for the client as part of Community Management. These reports can be provided weekly, Monthly or quarterly.
The second opportunity is around crisis management of social issues. It’s well documented on how a myriad of Social Media crisis have caused damage to the reputations of brands & celebrities alike. What all the experts agree on is that in a Social crisis you need to acknowledge the problem quickly, escalate the appropriate person in PR or Legal and then respond quickly.
Traditionally when an issue arises the Agency will take a screen-shot, send this to someone on the client side, wait for a response, then copy back into the Social response tool of choice. Needless to say this process takes time & the end-customer plus the brand can really suffer from this type of experience. This type of dis-jointed workflow is hard to properly benchmark.
Enterprise class Social Engagement tools have advanced workflows that allow the Agency to work directly with their clients on issues that arise on the Social Channels. The Agency would grant the client access to a couple of licences. When an incident occurs, the Agency Community Managers will quickly tag and assign the issue to the appropriate PR, legal or manager on the client side. The assigned person will then be notified via email or text that they have an urgent issue to attend to. They can then via the use of the Enterprise tool quickly get a full understanding of the situation and the issue can then be quickly addressed and put to bed. The whole end-to-end process can then be benchmarked for later analysis.
In summary, Enterprise class tools give Agencies a whole new line of business to monetise. Agencies are experts in Content Creation & Management plus experts in providing the best analysis for their clients. Why not open up another revenue opportunity by streamlining their community management and Customer Service operations whilst improving further on the reporting that’s provided?
If you valued this article, please share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. If you want to know how to leverage Social & Messaging technologies to drive engagement with your customers then feel free to fill in the contact form below.