Whether good or bad, one of the things I hate doing in stores is asking technical questions of customer service people… especially in “big box” stores. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t saying that all of them don’t know the answer. I have just found that more often than not, they have a similar understanding that I do. This is why I LOVE the idea of social media customer service. Connecting to a person who has the entire Internet in-front of them as well as any number of technical service manuals or other helpful tools to answer my question at a moments notice. This past week in a few different interactions I was reminded of how far social media customer service has come as well as how far it has to go.
Something that I am always talking to my students about is how important it is to have a good, complete, and locked up social media presence when beginning their job searches. It is of course, not only critical that they be present on different platforms in different ways, but also the types of content and people they appear to be. Online Colleges recently released an infographic that helps to outline how job seekers and employers are connecting online as well as what those employers are looking for.
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For months now there have been rumors floating around that 2012 would be the year of the Facebook IPO (initial public offering). While many users and would-be investors are chomping at the bit for their chance to own part of one of the largest social networks on the planet, others (me included) are a little skeptical. This hesitation or “wait and see” attitude is caused in large by the disappointing IPOs for other companies like Pandora, Zynga, and Groupon in 2011.
Facebook and social media have been called tools of “mass distraction”. It is a common assumption that things like social media and the Internet distract people and students from the work they need to do. But is that true? A new study is out that could make you think otherwise!
Totally agree with Shel Holtz on a lot of his points. Don’t much see Google+ as a “Facebook Killer”… then again, it is still early. Biggest problem, I agree with is that there are over 750 million people using Facebook. I’m using Google+ because I work in the biz, but the idea of reestablishing social connections on another platform when I’ve already done it on Facebook (and manage connections with lists) is really tiresome and I don’t see casual users doing it…heck I don’t want to do it. Then again… it is stil early. So will it move beyond just a Internet Marketing/early adopter hang out? Time will tell.
PR and Communications Implications of Google+ (and Other Observations)
It seems one of the fastest growing type of website on the Internet is a deal/coupon service. The biggest of these so far is Groupon but there is also Living Social, Homerun, and about 1,000 other variations. Heck even one newspaper here in Detroit is doing it.
In case you’re not familiar with Groupon and the like, they are basically websites that offer a super discounted service or product from a business local to the user for a limited time. Groupon is only one day, but other sites like Living Social, AppSumo, Zulily extended their offers for a week or more. For example, today’s deal on Groupon for Ann Arbor, MI is 62% off a round of golf for 2 with cart.
Jumping on the bandwagon of this, probably after Groupon rejected Google’s purchase offer of $6-billion, is Facebook. In April, Facebook revealed Facebook Deals. Now it is running in a few testing markets (all you lucky people in CA) and setup as pretty much a Groupon clone.
Now you might ask, if Groupon is so huge, how is Facebook going to compete? Well I honestly think they’ll hold their own and stand a chance of beating Groupon outright for a couple reasons. The biggest is that they are hitting users where they are. For Groupon, users must either navigate to the site daily or open the daily email from Groupon. With Facebook Deals, the deal is show in the user’s news feed. Before the end of the summer, Facebook will most likely roll over 700 million users worldwide. That is a lot of eyeballs to place on Facebook Deals content verse the 35 million Groupon users reported in January.
The second main reason I think Facebook Deals will beat Groupon is that sharing is automatic and very easy and obvious. For Groupon, there is a small sharing section on each deal. While it is there, it isn’t integral. Plus users will have to connect Groupon to their Facebook profile to enable sharing.
Facebook Deals, on the other hand, has sharing front and center. In addition, depending on the user’s privacy settings, if they purchase a deal, it is automatically shared out to their friends to see.
As mentioned, Facebook Deals is currently only running in a few test areas in California, Texas, and Georgia. But I believe that if/when they roll it out, Groupon is going to have some serious competition for the top “local deal of the day” website.
Don’t get me wrong… I love Twitter. I like reading tweets, connecting with others in the social media industry, and seeing links to really great content. It’s because of this that I put up with the “Fail Whale” frequently yet continuing using Twitter. For someone to yet “see the point” or to use it, dealing with site errors and overages could mean the difference of them becoming a user or just trying it and walking away.
Twitter, I love you… but if you can’t work out all the kinks in your reliability, I don’t see you moving past 10%-15% usage for the adult Internet population in the US.
CMOs need to discover new ways to do the old things that still matter: Offer products and services that someone truly needs, admitting that you want to sell stuff to them, and then properly serving them after they’ve given you their business. Sounds so easy as I type it but doing so has gotten so incomprehensibly complicated. Maybe the news coming out of Pepsi and Burger King is a wakeup call that we need to make all of this simpler, not harder. I think it starts with quitting the glib new rationales for avoiding these traditional and difficult challenges.
May silly social media R.I.P., and may smart social live to serve businesses better in the future.
This is an infographic provided by OneForty that gives a lot of good information after surveying 150 social media professionals about the monitoring tools they use. Covering items like average cost and making suggestions as to which tool to use for individual situations, this is a great place for someone to start their research into the quickly growing world of social media monitoring tools. You can download the full PDF from OneForty by clicking here.