Cultural challenges of social media


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Presentation at CPM's social media forum (14th Nov 13)

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  • Example of how mishandling a customer complaint or adopting an inappropriate, over-officious and unfriendly tone of voice can have serious repercussions. The fashion and homeware retailer, Next, recently found itself in the middle of a social media storm when one of its social media team spotted a customer complaint on Twitter. The language used by the complainer was a touch fruity, although the Tweeter was not directly addressing her complaint to Next - i.e. she didn’t address her diatribe to @Next but to her personal followers. The Tweeted response from the person at Next was particularly clumsy: “We kindly ask you to remove your original tweet as the language used may offend other readers.” Another Twitter user, tracking the conversation, wasn’t impressed: “Dear @nextoffical Perhaps address/sort the complaint first before ticking customer … off for language?” A veritable Twitter-storm followed, summed up by another Tweet from an interested observer: “Bad delivery service, bad twitter management … is there anything Next can do well?”
  • Cultural challenges of social media

    1. 1. Cultural and organisational barriers inhibiting the ability of organisations to embrace social media Martin Thomas @crowdsurfing
    2. 2. “Digital communications is a destabilizing force in a bureaucratic environment. And I am sitting right in the middle of a bureaucratic environment.’” Senior corporate communications director “We’re not set up for this shit” UK CEO
    3. 3. A cultural phenomenon Our expectations of all institutions have changed: o More agile o More open o More transparent o More responsive o More collaborative o More engaging
    4. 4. Social media dramatises cultural & operational weaknesses  Slow  Hierarchical  Bureaucratic  Process oriented  Distrustful
    5. 5. Alternative perspective Social media as a positive force for cultural & organisational change Good social = Good business Good business = Good social
    6. 6. “70% of business professionals believe social business is an opportunity to change the way their organisation works ” MIT Sloan & Deloitte. July 2013 “We believe social media is about changing our business culture, the ways we work and the ways we engage with our colleagues and customers”. Modern Marketing Manifesto, April 2013
    7. 7. Operational & cultural traits of successful organisations Trusting Open Agile Informal Collaborative
    8. 8. 1. Trusting o Bedrock of strong internal culture o Allows shared responsibility & real time decision making  The best company rulebook ever written?
    9. 9. Trust the people in uniform "It comes down to culture of an organisation & degree of trust you have in your frontline officers. You have to allow them to make mistakes and deal with them as a mistake, rather than coming down heavily on them.” "The message has to be: 'We trust you with a baton and with the right to take away someone's liberty, I think we can trust you with a Twitter account.” Gordon Scobbie, police national lead on social media
    10. 10. Building a high trust organisation o Establish freedom within a framework o Rebalance risk and opportunity o Smart delegation o Regard occasional mistakes as an acceptable price to pay o Train or replace 10
    11. 11. 2. Open o Transparency & honesty non negotiable “Companies are learning that they can’t count on information about executive pay, finances, employee relations or environmental behaviour remaining private for long. Thanks to social media everyone with an opinion can be heard” PWC CEO Study, Feb 2013
    12. 12. No Closed Doors “faith in big businesses is lower than it’s ever been because people have stopped trusting what’s going on behind closed doors. So, from today, there is no ‘behind the scenes’ at Asda. Our aim is to be a truly open, accessible and transparent business so that we can rebuild trust, and drive customer loyalty.” Andy Bond, (former) CEO
    13. 13. From litigation to ‘civil dialogue’ “the one thing we’ve changed in recent years is we have been a lot more open about engaging in dialogue with people so long as they aim to be constructive” (Steve Easterbrook, UK CEO, McDonalds)
    14. 14. Right idea … poor execution 11,466 tweets using the #AskBG hashtag, peaking at 160 tweets in one minute.
    15. 15. Operating an open culture o Embrace scrutiny and criticism o Grow a thicker skin o Avoid self delusion of perfection o Apologise … resolve problem … move on 15
    16. 16. 3. Agile o Ability to improvise & operate in close to real time rather than institutional time 32% of customers expect brand to respond to tweet within 30 minutes* But only hour* 9% managed to respond within Committed to answering Tweeted queries within 30 minutes during office hours * The social habit (2012)
    17. 17. Speed of response o Photo hoax went viral on Twitter o Quickly countered by social-media team with Twitter statement o Stock price rose 5% the following day
    18. 18. Creating an agile organisation o Timeliness more important than perfection – Embrace Colin Powell’s 40/70 rule o Strip out the bureaucratic ‘fat’ – Over-engineered approval processes o Plan and train for spontaneity 18
    19. 19. 4. Informal o Being willing to show a human face & a personality
    20. 20. Think human … not corporate 20
    21. 21. Authenticity more important than art direction “Too much perfection is actually a barrier to collaboration and co-creation, as it disinvites participation. To thrive in the world of social media, leaders need to acquire a mind-set of openness and imperfection and they must have the courage to appear raw and unpolished” (Six social media skills every leader needs: Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton, McKinsey Quarterly, Feb 13)
    22. 22. Embracing informality o Think human not corporate o Stop wasting money on polished perfection o Capture the authentic moment 22
    23. 23. 5. Collaborative o Tapping into spirit of collective self expression o Leveraging people’s willingness to shape service & product offers  70% of companies regularly create value through use of web-based communities (McKinsey)
    24. 24. The Power of Communities Mutualisation: Collaborating with readers and communities to better understand, explore or reflect situations, topics, perspectives or experiences
    25. 25. Social customer service “Social agents are 4x more efficient than telephone agents and result in better NPS ratings” Ben Kay, Head of Digital, Everything Everywhere “Each view of a YouTube customer support video equates to an £80 saving” Laura Price, Social Media Manager, British Gas HPs social support community has solved 20% of all problems, helped 40m customers, equating to a saving of $50m in support costs. 25
    26. 26. Community-powered business model o People-powered mobile network (O2) – Members receive points for recruiting new people, making suggestions and solving problems, which are converted into discounts • 20% actively involved • 25% of members will get ½ cost of calls returned for contribution to community – Plans to involve community in pricing and marketing decisions o Not reliant on call centres, expensive marketing and product support
    27. 27. Harnessing community power o Identify and empower your fan-base o Research/ NPD, customer service and marketing are not restricted to departments 27
    28. 28. If you want to succeed as a social business Trusting Open Agile Informal Collaborative
    29. 29. Get your culture right … & the social media will look after itself @crowdsurfing