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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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!
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.
As I work with clients on developing their digital marketing plans, one of the most common questions I receive is “how many ‘likes’ should I have on my Facebook page?” I always find this question a good opportunity to take clients through the importance of targeting in social media. It isn’t the number of fans, likes, or followers you have, it’s where they are and what you’re doing with them.
On Facebook, there are some great companies to look at and follow especially when a business is looking to get started. The problem, though, is I think sometimes examples like Ford, Oreos, Skittles, and Coke, builds delusions of grandeur or unrealistic expectations for businesses. Let’s face it, unless you have a multi-million dollar marketing budget and a nationally recognized brand, you are probably not going to have hundreds of thousands of Facebook Likes. To help put numbers into perspective a bit, here are some stats from a study the Sysomos did in November 2009:
- 4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans
- 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans
- 77% of pages have less than 1,000 fans
- 35% of pages have less than 100 fans
You wouldn’t purchase a TV ad in another state…
After setting some expectations for total likes on Facebook based on research into the client’s customers and Internet users around their target sales areas and demographics, I am sometimes presented with examples from the client’s competitors who use some other services available who have thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of likes on Facebook. While initially this seems like a great thing, I typically start digging a bit to show them where these likes come from. Many times a significant amount of the likes are from users in different states or countries.
An example of this comes from a client’s competitor that is using a service that uses various social games and giveaways to increase the number of likes to the page. When looking at their latest contest, the top three players were from Malaysia, Florida, and Minnesota. The client is a local car dealer in Connecticut! Granted, having a large number of fans might make a page more appealing to gain future fans, how is having users to communicate with all over the country going to help the local dealer sell more product? The dealer would never pay for a television or newspaper ad in another country, so why market to them on Facebook?
When 5 Facebook Likes are Better Than 5,000
So when does having 5 Facebook likes matter more than 5,000 likes? It is when those 5 users are part of your target demographic. Is it hard to get those targeted fans? It can be but if you have proper listening as part of your digital marketing strategy, you’ll be able to find these customers and successfully reach them without worrying about the other semi-irrelevant 4,995.
When I first heard about RockMelt, the “social browser”, I was intrigued. When I found out that I could test a beta copy of it, overly excited would probably be a good measure of my reaction. For those of you who may not be familiar with RockMelt, basically it is a new web browser still in beta, that adds social media like Facebook directly to the sidebars of the window to make it easier to share web items through a user’s social media accounts. Overall, I think it is heading in the right direction, but not quite a tool for professionals who need the ability to use extensions as part of their browser.
Have you used it yet? What do you think?
I still remember my dad’s video camera growing up. It was one of those RCA units where the camera was one piece and it connect to a separate VCR deck with a special cable. So if you wanted to record on the go, you’d be lugging a heavy camera, heavy tripod, and a boombox sized VCR deck with you. Talk about practical! As most consumer technology goes, the video camera has evolved drastically over the past 30-years to being faster, lighter, and smaller. The quality has also increased so much that many consumer-level cameras can rival pro-level equipment in the right hands.
It seems as time goes on, as well, that these small and good quality video cameras are also being placed into almost every consumer’s hand by being in highly portable devices like small digital still cameras, FlipCams, mobile phones, and even iPods. Some of these device makers, such as with the Kodak Zi8, create their software with the ability to upload directly to Facebook and YouTube. To take it even further some devices, such as the new iPhone 4 or Ion Audio’s Twin Video, are equipped with cameras on both sides of the devices that allow for recording video of both the user and their surroundings at the same time. This, coupled with editing software built in directly, as with the new iPhone 4, means that consumers have the ability to create engaging video content for the web at almost anytime.
So the question then becomes what are you doing with consumers’ ability to create, edit, and upload video at almost any point during their day? According to YouTube, every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to it’s site. How much of that video is talking about your products? Reviews about their experience in your store or restaurant? Impromptu commercials for a special contest you’re running? Stories about how they are using your product or service to better their lives?
What are you doing to turn these consumers with access to amazing video technology into your brand advocates?
I’d love to hear about how you are using this evolving technology in your Internet marketing. Comment below!