April 18, 2014

Ten Social Media Reads, Vol 5

Here at Watershed Studio we’re always scouring our RSS and Twitter feeds to see what’s going on in the world of technology and social media. Here’s Volume 5 in nice, easy to digest, posts. Enjoy.

If you have any social media reads that you’d like to suggest, please contact us or Tweet us @watershedstudio.

Making Sure Facebook Fan Page Fans See Your Updates

Yesterday we wrote Fixing The Facebook News Feed which focused on the end user. But what can anyone who is using a Facebook Fan Page for marketing purposes do about this to ensure that your Facebook Fan Page fans are seeing your Facebook Fan Page updates?

As you may already know, when it comes to the constant layout & functionality changes at Facebook, you, as a marketer, are at their mercy as to what you can and cannot do.  With this most recent change your best course of action is to contact each individual Facebook Fan Page fan and educate them on the change as far as what it means to them and how they can make adjustments.

You probably do not have the contact information for all of your Facebook Fan Page fans, but luckily Facebook offers a way in which you can send them messages through Facebook.

Here’s how you send a message to all of your Facebook Fan Page fans, or to a segment of them if you so choose.

1) While on your Facebook Fan Page, click on the Edit Page button in the top corner.

2) Click on the Marketing link and then click on the Send an Update link. (If you’re logged in as your Facebook Fan Page you willl be prompted to send the update as yourself.)

3) Compose a message to your Facebook Fan Page fans to let them know about the changes to Facebook and let them know how to fix this.

At this point your Facebook Fan Page fans will be sent the message and will be able to make the necessary adjustments in their Facebook account.

Fixing The Facebook News Feed

If you’re like me you may have logged into Facebook and noticed that your “Most Recent” Facebook News Feed was suddenly missing a lot of updates from your friends & the Facebook Fan Pages that you’re a fan of.  It seems that in their recent roll out of changes, Facebook decided that by default you only want to see updates from the friends & Facebook Fan Pages that you interact with the most.

I don’t know about you, but that is not what I want.  If there are people I don’t want to see updates from I can either not be friends with them or I can hide them.  For Facebook Fan Pages, I would not opt into a Facebook Fan Page if I did not want to see their updates. But sticking by their M.O., Facebook has decided that is indeed what everyone wants.

Never fear, there’s a way to fix that.

1) From your home page at facebook.com, click on the Most Recent arrow link to bring up your options.

2) Click on Edit Options to bring up the Edit Your News Feed Settings screen.

3) In the “Show posts from” drop down check the “All of your friends and pages” options and then click on the Save button.

Now you’ll start seeing updates from your friends and Facebook Fan Pages again.

Top 5 Steps for Successful Customer Service in Social Media

What is your company’s goal in using social media? Marketing? Building customer relationships? Expanding brand awareness? Was Customer Service in your list? As companies jump on the social media bandwagon in increasing numbers, many fail to recognize that their social media accounts will become one more channel – often the first – customers use when trying to get problems resolved. The companies that recognize this are using social media to improve customer relationships by dealing with problems quickly and efficiently. Companies that fail to recognize social media as a customer service channel often harm customer relationships and may ultimately lose customers. The top 5 steps for successful customer service in social media are:

1) Have a plan: Many companies make the mistake of jumping into the social media pool without having a written social media plan. Just as you wouldn’t launch a marketing campaign without having a clearly defined plan, you should not attempt to craft a social media presence without having a written social media plan. A basic social media plan should clearly state the company’s goals in using social media, should include a team roster defining roles and responsibilities for each team member, and have a content calendar plotting content focus on a quarterly or yearly basis. A good social media plan should continually evolve to adapt to changes in business and in the social media terrain. Because a good social media plan must be modified frequently, every social media plan should have a designated schedule for review and modification. For more information on getting started in social media, download my presentation, “Consistency in Social Media” from http://slidesha.re/b1afYx.

2) Monitor, monitor, monitor: Companies with the most effective customer service strategy monitor their social media accounts 7 days a week AND regularly run searches to catch references to their company that did not use the correct account name or that used an abbreviation or misspelling of the company name. Successful customer service requires setting up a monitoring schedule among your social media team members to ensure your accounts are being checked 7 days a week. Scheduling coverage outside of business hours is advisable when possible. Set up searches on the appropriate social media channel and/or use Google Alerts to find mentions of your company. Create searches using your company name and every possible abbreviation or misspelling. A great example of a company using this strategy is Constant Contact (Twitter: @ConstantContact; @CTCTHelp; Facebook: ConstantContact). Constant Contact monitors their social media accounts religiously and has multiple searches set up to monitor every possible iteration of their name. I once tried to solicit feedback on their services without showing up on their radar and found it impossible.

3) If you build it, don’t desert it: Many companies, especially those who didn’t have a social media plan in place, create social media accounts which they use for a few months, abandon, but fail to delete. Abandoned accounts create a sucking void in customer service. Customers post needs and issues to these accounts, not realizing they are no longer active, and become increasingly frustrated when they perceive their needs being “ignored.” Examples of companies with abandoned accounts include M&I Bank, Shabby Apples and many others.

4) Keep social media bidirectional: The mantra that social media must be kept social cannot be repeated often enough. If social media isn’t social, then it’s merely media and is no different from using mainstream advertising channels. Companies should not create a social media presence unless they are ready to engage and interact with their customers.

5) Have a written escalation plan: Every company’s social media plan should include a team roster that clearly defines each team member’s role in responding to customer issues shared via social media channels. The plan should also include a designated escalation plan that clearly defines when, how and to whom issues should be escalated if the primary social media team cannot correct the situation. (For the sake of efficiency, granting the social media team sufficient authority to address and correct most customer service issues is a good idea.) Staples (Twitter: @StaplesTweets; Staples on Facebook) and Comcast (Twitter: @ComcastCares) do a good job of quickly responding to issues, triaging them, and escalating them to the appropriate corporate office for resolution. It is also a good idea to take issues offline as soon as possible once they are escalated.

In summary, social media is becoming many customers’ primary source of communication when trying to get customer service issues addressed. If your company wants to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing business climate, you must adapt your customer service practices to embrace and leverage social media.

6 Simple Tips to Help Small Business Owners Beef Up Social Media Efforts

by Chris Vanasdalan

A little time investment goes a long way with social media, and it’s something customers are starting to expect. Facebook and Twitter accounts are some of the first places potential customers check when shopping for deals, checking store hours, and looking for coupons and special offers.

Hopefully by now you’ve already created a Facebook fan page for your business and are actively engaging customers on Twitter. If not, take the time to set up your accounts today. It may seem overwhelming, but here are 6 simple tips to help you connect with your customers in a way that won’t eat up all of your time.

Schedule Status Updates

One of the complaints I hear from business owners struggling with social media is that they just don’t have time to update and monitor different accounts. That used to be a valid argument, but now there are plenty of tools out there that make consolidating social media accounts much easier. Websites like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck let you integrate all your accounts: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Foursquare and even WordPress. That way you can create a single update and post it to a variety of platforms at once.

These sites also have a schedule feature so you can program when you want your updates to go out. If you’re a restaurant owner you can update the lunch and dinner specials in the morning and schedule the updates to go out before the rush starts. Set it and forget it. Put aside an hour or two on Monday and you can schedule updates for the rest of the week or even the whole month.

[Read more...]