Institute of Customer Service (ICS) in partnership with Interactive Concepts hosted a presentation by Japie Swanepoel on Harnessing Social Meiea for Service Delivery. The entire presentation can be found here.

From the hashtag #ICSKenya we have gathered some great lessons that were presented at Nairobi Club by Japie Swanepoel:

  1. Social Media is great for Public Relations, Events, and Marketing
  2. Social Media a platform to strengthen brand
  3. Key to Social Media is Proactive Communication
  4. Success depends on proper choice of social media channels/platforms
  5. Create rules of engagement

Advantages of social media over other communication outlets

Power of one to many – A message can reach thousands as opposed to phone calls that is one-one conversation

Wider Reach – Though other online platforms like e-mails provide a one-many possibility, social media still provides a better option as up to millions can be reached within seconds. Sending E-mails to hundreds even with mail merge is still time consuming and highly involving.

Affordability – Advertisements on radios, TVs, Print Media etc are very costly

We can say that Swanepoel’s presentation majored on:

1. Importance of social media – Given the introduction above, there are many compelling reasons that should lead businesses to adopt social media for their Public Relations, Customer Service, Events, Marketing and Sales functions. Safaricom was identified as the organization that has excelled in perfecting the use of social media to execute these critical functions.

2. How a business should adopt social media – To effectively incorporate social media as a communication platform, a business needs to determines its social media strategy, identify correct platforms and tools for deploying this strategy, advertise its presence in social media, and allocate resources for proactive use of social media.

3. How to use social media – The use of social media should be in a manner that ensures timely response to issues, responses are in a conversation based format, there is a reward mechanism for loyalty, and consistency in messages delivered.

4. How to monitor social media feedback – Businesses should utilize the social media analytical tools for tracking the extent and quality of engagement with customers. The results should provide the business with an idea on how their brand(s) perform.

In Summary, basic principles of customer service, public relations and marketing are applicable on Social Media interactions but social media in itself provide businesses with a platform to reach hundreds-thousands-millions of customers in seconds. It is up to businesses to creatively utilize Facebook Pages, Groups, Twitter Handles and Twitter hastags, YouTube Channels, etc etc in order to not only disseminate information to customers and fans, obtain feedback on products, services and brand, hold conversations e.g. #ChaseDebate but also to provide customer care services such as attending to customer complains and enquiries.

#ICSKenya was another great lesson learnt online thanks to Twitter. Here are a few great tweets from the hashtag #ICSKenya:


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