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With his social marketing company Syncapse, former Facebook Director of Sales for Canada Michael Scissons works with many of the most notable brands in the world. He shares his views on the importance of social media for business.

When Michael Scissons started Syncapse in Canada in 2007, he had the objective of helping multinationals to build and manage their relationships with customers via social media. That the company has achieved such success in a relatively short space of time goes some way to showing just how crucial gaining an insight into social media has become for Fortune 1000 companies.

“We have worked with a really diverse mix of clients,” Scissons explains. “We offer the right solution at the right time, starting from zero four years ago and growing to 220 employees working from offices in the US, Canada, the UK and now India. It’s been a fun journey to say the least.”

With a background in media sales, Scissons made an investment in Facebook and stayed with them, as part of Interpublic Group, in the role of Director of Media for two years, blazing a trail with Mark Zuckerberg at the early stages of his social media phenomenon. This has obviously given Scissons a unique insight into the developing potential of the platform. He was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010.

In terms of achieving business objectives, Scissons states: “It’s always been important to build and maintain relationships with customers, that’s not new. Social media enhances this, it’s just that the avenues and tactics have shifted. It offers a feedback loop that traditional processes don’t handle. You can have a more meaningful relationship with more customers – which can be an opportunity and a challenge in terms of the sheer numbers companies are dealing with.”

Syncapse works to leverage best practice across organisations, providing the technology to do this, and then evaluating what’s working and what’s not, solving complex business problems for some of the largest brands, including Coca Cola, Diageo and AB InBev. “We have a service side to our offering as well as the technology platform,” adds Scissons. “It’s about achieving consistency and getting the whole company up to a level where they are able to generate value from their engagement with social media and see a result in scale and efficiencies.

“I think anyone who maintains relationships with customers can see benefit in using social channels. Facebook alone gives you an audience of 800 million plus.”

Scissons believes that as time passes, we will see a move back to assessing the value of traditional disciplines such as customer care, PR and marketing, but managed through the social media function. He says: “We’re starting to see Facebook become more of a platform than just a social media site, and other platforms are becoming more social.

“Social media is one tool in a marketer’s overall toolkit. The main thing to keep in mind is what you want to achieve as a business objective – deciding on your tactics for getting there comes second. Experiment to understand what works for you and what doesn’t, and always measure what you’re doing to ensure you’re using your time and money wisely.”

5 business lessons

  1. No success comes without hard work: If things came easy, you’d never fully appreciate the lessons that come along with the journey
  2. Listen, listen, listen: Don’t make assumptions or jump to conclusions
  3. React quickly: Don’t just talk about doing it; do it
  4. Seek advice: Surround yourself with people whose strengths complement your shortcomings
  5. Get some 'R&R': Listen to your body and know your boundaries – don’t forget to take time for your friends, your family and yourself

To find out more about Syncapse visit: www.syncapse.com

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