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Social platform and marketing skills:

Overview

Approaches to customer service, marketing and communication are evolving, with social platforms increasing in prevalence. The workforce will need to become skilled in new media literacies, in order to engage with customers and achieve sales and marketing targets. 

There is a current project underway looking at developing Consumer Engagement through Social and Online Media to improve social platform & marketing skills. This project is one of nine cross-sector projects being undertaken by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee to address common skills needs, minimise duplication and consolidate existing training units. 

36% of IRC Skills Forecasts identified this skill as a priority

Industry skills needs

Social Platform & Marketing skills are ranked as the 6th highest-priority by industry, with over 36% of individual IRC Skills Forecasts identifying these skills as a priority for their workforce.

When considering the IRC’s ranking of generic skills, Customer Service/Marketing (which aligns with Social Platform & Marketing skills) was also ranked 6th (out of 12).

The following industries identified Social Platform and Marketing skills as a priority in their IRC Skills Forecasts:

  • Aquaculture and Wild Catch
  • Australian Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Business Services
  • Client Services
  • Community Sector and Development
  • Complementary Health
  • Culture and Related Industries
  • Dental
  • Direct Client Care and Support
  • Enrolled Nursing
  • Furnishing
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Local Government
  • Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Public Safety
  • Public Sector
  • Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Sustainability
  • Technicians Support Services
  • Textiles, Clothing and Footwear
  • Tourism, Travel and Hospitality
  • Wholesale and Retail and Personal Services.
With the following skill areas identified as priorities:

Branding Sales/Marketing Customer Service Social Media Community engagement

 

Case studies

Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services  

The Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services identifies industry encompasses a range of sectors. The Retail and Wholesale, Floristry, and Funeral Services sectors specifically identified customer service and engagement as a priority for their workforces, however, throughout the Skills Forecast these skills were also connected to the Community Pharmacy, Hairdressing and Beauty sectors.

These quotes from the Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services IRC Skills Forecast highlight why customer service, and social platform and marketing skills are a priority in this industry:

The retail industry is recognised for the significant role it plays in providing many young Australians with their first job and a suite of highly transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, customer service and conflict resolution.

The ability to market online has become a significant factor for business success. Social media platforms and online engagement strategies are now an integral component of online engagement efforts. Social media is key because marketing is no longer a one-way communication from business to customer: it is about a broader notion of ‘engagement’ or ‘conversations’ to build relationships with customers and clients. Employers have embraced social media as a way to stay in touch with their customers and give potential new clients access to customer testimonials and information about products and services. The uptake of social media means highly-developed digital literacy skills are essential. Businesses need to not only possess the skill for engaging online, but also understand the potential reach and benefit of social engagement. In addition, employers must have the ability to manage social media crises and problems that have the potential to cause irreversible damage to business reputations.

Business Services

Although not explicitly listed in the ‘priority skills’ section of their IRC Skills Forecast, the Business Services industry identified the ability to engage with customers online as essential for their workforce. This aligns closely with two of the priority skills which were identified by this industry: communication skills and ability to embrace new technologies.

Quotes from the Business Services IRC Skills Forecast highlight why social platform skills are important for this workforce:

Digital technology is altering the way consumers are interacting with business, with consumers seeking to engage with businesses online.

There is strong demand for new fields of customer engagement such as social media management and digital engagement, with a focus upon customer experience.

Consumers are becoming more connected, consuming services and shopping online... Consumers are also seeking to engage with businesses and brands online beyond a purely commercial relationship. The PwC report ‘Connected retail’, found that consumers reward brands who provide personalised service and will seek to engage with brands that are seen to have a purpose beyond selling products. This is leading to an increased focus on customer engagement and experience.

Updated: 29 May 2018
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