By 2014, organisations that do not use social media to communicate with customers will be as unpopular as those that do not respond to emails and phone calls, according to predictions from the analyst Gartner. For organisations that use social media to promote their products, responding to inquiries via social media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected.
‘It’s crucial that organisations implement approaches to handling social media now,’ said Carol Rozwell, VP and analyst at Gartner. ‘The effort involved in addressing social media commentary is not good cause to ignore relevant comments or solvable issues.’
Gartner suggests that organisations develop a framework to deal with social media commentary on relevant topics. The framework must specify how to deal with a direct enquiry received through social channels and address whether a response is warranted, who should respond if it is, what action is necessary following any response, and which media is best suited to responses and attempts to resolve issues.
Some further guidance is available from Gartner free here. Rozwell will also present on the risks and benefits of social engagement, and debut a ‘social maturity model’, at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit on 19-20 September in London.