Of all the nonsense about social media, I can’t say I have heard it represented as a money saver until I read this interview with Jane Postlethwaite (Social Media Can Save Council Money). Man it’s weird to call a YouTuber buy her full name when you basically barely know her first name. She’s StylistBrighton, damnit (and SytlistBrightonStyle). I met the fashion stylist/model in London, but who knew her name was Postlethewaite?
Anyway the former fashion model and YouTube weblebrity is now the Brighton and Hove City Council Social Media Officer, and she’s opening the UK government’s eyes to using social media to reduce costs. It’s a fair point. When you have 9,000 employees and take 400 calls a day, there’s got to be an efficiency angle… keeping or improving relationships with the public without the burden and cost of mail and phones.
I have a client that receives 500 calls daily in a customer-service department with only about 4 or 5 people. If customers could gain access to basic information (the 80% of the calls that represent the same 10 questions), why shouldn’t social media provide cost offset? As an example, I no longer call stores to check their hours or directions… Google covers that for me, and its’ faster and has zero cost to me or the company.
So kudos to Jane for being brave enough to enlighten a government office to social media (far braver than me trying to do it for pharmaceutical firms). And extra credit for conceiving it as an efficient channel of communication that can maintain or improve public relations and also reduce calls, letters, lines of people…
One day, when the US catches up, I hope I can update my driver’s license in a single tweet. A girl can have her dreams.