“What people failed to see regarding the Dell or Comcast success stories in the early social media days, is the amount of work that went on behind Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. The true transformation of these businesses what not in taking to social network, but instead building the back end to start fixing the problems that created negative experiences in the first place. In my list above, I mention the power of stories, and both Dell and Comcast utilized these online conversations or stories to help drive improvements. I am sure both companies will admit that this is an ongoing process and that wholesale change does take time.”
Frank Eliason nails it in a way that few can. It’s shocking how many orgs try to front load ‘social media’ in the same way that they have front loaded marketing, sales and support for decades. IMO, the customer is systematically disinter-mediating your marketing department more and more every day. They get the basics from the social web, and then they want to talk to the experts we hide inside cubes, who designed and built those great products. To get those brains infront of customers and prospects, you need this back end that Frank describes. And that comes from a well managed engagement channel operation but also from linking the rest of your employee base. The tools exist; the mindset now needs to catch up.