She said WHAT?? Customer Service in the Social Media World

As I scanned the social media accounts owned by my clients the other day, I noticed open complaints that had been missed by a couple of my clients.  I contacted the client, we formed a plan of action and implemented  – happy customer!  Yay!

This got me thinking that maybe YOU want to hear some of the pitfalls we trip over when it comes to sticky public relations situations:

(Seasoned Social Media User Disclaimer: If you have been in this space for a while, this is probably nothing new to you.)

Taking offense: Of course you take it personally!  It’s your business. You think… “she said WHAT on twitter / facebook / my blog!?!?!”  and “Boy, was that mean!” – well you might have thought that with more descriptive words 😉  So this begs the question, “Do people have to be so mean / rude / un-understanding?” No, they don’t.  But what are you going to do?  I suggest keep your head on straight and remember your business and social media objectives.

You occupy this space to:

  1. Make money
  2. Provide a great customer experience
  3. Engage and retain customers
  4. Improve WOM marketing

Don’t be stuck in ‘old school’ communication methods:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Contact Us webform

Try not to make wrong assumptions about:

  • intent
  • mode of communication
  • normalcy
Is it too late?  Nope! It’s ok to say “Wow!  Sorry I missed your tweet about ___” and then address the issue.  Just remember, what gets talked about in public needs to be replied to in public, using the same medium as the original complaint.  Talk to your clients in the way and place they choose.  You can then move the conversation to another medium (DM, Email, etc…)
And don’t miss the opportunity to post the happy results from your clients next tweet- or your resolution with a thank you to the client for speaking up!

It’s really NOT free advertising.

How are you using your Facebook business page to provide services to your followers?

When I talk to clients using Facebook to reach people,  they rightly express a desire to entice / encourage these people to spend money with them.  I mean, really, why else would you BE there?  Right?

Well, yes and no. You do want people to spend money with you.  It’s good for the economy (especially yours and the people who work for you). But let’s think back… why did you decide to sell what you are selling to begin with?  (Disclaimer: IF you started selling whatever it is you sell because you thought it was something people would buy… I may not be talking to you.) BUT if your business or product started as a dream for something better  – listen up!

What WAS that dream? … and more importantly, where is it now?  Have you forgotten it in the midst of promoting your wares?  Fear, lack of purpose and lack of vision are absolute sales repellants. Re-find yourself.  Re-find your dream.  Promote THAT.

Remember, it’s not an advertising tool, it’s a ‘service providing-information giving / getting – make the world better with what you have’ tool.

Are you listening?

If so, what then…?

Yast recently ran a promo from their blog.  They made it fun, interesting with blatant honesty.

My friend (who taught me most of what I know about Social Media) loved the candor about their “useless gadget” and Tweeted about it:

and @Yastdotcom Listened and then Rewarded.  THIS is how you train your customers, fuel WOM marketing and provide a healthy open environment.

Now I have to use Yast because Lundie loves it so much AND they have great customer service.

Social Media in your face!

7 easy steps: Privacy and posting – Check your FB posts as other people

So, my friend, Jackie loved yesterday’s post about privacy settings and then asked me to check her page as someone else to see what it looked like. (To be sure she was locked down to her liking)  So this is how you can see posts AS SOMEONE ELSE!

1 – Click on your NAME in the upper right hand corner of Facebook.  This is your profile view of your wall… what your friends see when they visit.

2 – Next make a post and label it “Friends except Acquaintances” 

3 – When you view your wall you will see the post: Mine is “Testing post for “Friends except Acquaintances” Woot.” (You will see it because you ARE your friend. lol)

4 – Now find someone you added as a friend as an “Acquaintance”  or temporarily make someone an “Acquaintance” (Do this by clicking “Friends” to the left, under your picture.  Then just take the first person on the list, hover over the “friends” tab and click “Acquaintance”

5 – Go back to your Profile view (click on your name above)

6 – Now Click “VIEW AS” button.  Enter the name of that first person who is now an “Acquaintance”

John is a great guy, but now he can ONLY see posts that are “Friends or Public” He is now only one step above “TOTAL STRANGER WHO MAY NOT SEE ANYTHING THAT ISN”T PUBLIC.”  Sorry John. Do you see how my “Test Post…” is not showing above the “Had a chance meeting” post above?

7 – Don’t forget to make “John” or whoever you made an Acquaintance a friend again 😉

PS. Jackie, I had my friend check your page … I will send you what she saw. 🙂

That’s it for now.  If you found this post helpful, be sure to leave a comment letting Jackie know that HER questions helped YOU!

Privacy settings on Facebook

My good friend, Jackie, is freaking out.  People can see posts on her wall and she doesn’t like it.   Well, that’s not entirely true… she only wants her FRIENDS to see posts so she doesn’t pick up any stalkers. 😉 Does this sound like you? or maybe your friend?

The easy answer is set your “Audience Selector” to “Friends (+friends of anyone tagged) And only post like that.  If you don’t want MY friends reading the post.  Don’t tag me. Otherwise you can just send me a message.

Friends except Acquaintances is new.  You may have noticed when you accept a friend request you can now list people as “Acquaintances” or “Friends”  This will help you further filter who sees what.  What I really like is that you can make groups or “Lists” so if you only want your family to see something, just select your family. You will have to make those lists.  Facebook does do some suggesting for you which will help.

This is from Facebook Help:

When I share something, how do I choose who can see it?

Before you post, look at the audience selector. Use the dropdown menu to choose who you want to share a post with.

  Public (Maximum audience for adults)

  Friends of Friends (Maximum audience for minors)

  Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged)

  Custom (Includes specific groups, friend lists or people you’ve specified to include or exclude)

You’ll see this tool wherever you share content, whether it’s a status update or information on your profile (timeline).

The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it. For example, if you choose Public for a post, your next post will also be Public unless you change this audience when you post.

If you want to change who you’re sharing with, open the dropdown menu and choose a different audience. Remember: anyone you tag in a post, along with their friends, may see the post.

To make it clear who you’re sharing with at all times, the audience you select appears along with whatever you are saying, every time you share. You can also use the audience selector to change who you are sharing with after you post something.

**An added bonus! You can “bow out of conversations now by unfollowing post”  YAY!

“Like ·  · Unfollow Post · 17 minutes ago via mobile ·”

Facebook Launches DEALS in Beta for Business Pages!

I thought I heard a while back that fb was done with ‘Places’…. I must have heard wrong because today I saw an amazing site when I logged into one of my facebook pages!

facebook deals image

YUP!  Deals…. beta. Mark Zuckerburg noted at this years F8 Developers conference that, “The last 5years have been about signing people up and getting them connected with each other.  The next 5 years, the next Era is going to be about apps.” (That is a rough quote. You can see his keynote here)

Select businesses can use their CLAIMED places page (let me know if you don’t know how to claim your places page) to offer deals to individual clients, groups, loyal clients or to donate to charities.  This is pretty big news.  I have been looking at Foursquare a lot more lately, for some of my clients, because I wanted to help them better get the word out about their locations and specials they are offering.  BUT…. with an already huge established netword / database – Facebook takes the cake on this one!

At the beginning of the F8 this year (is it every year?) Zuckerberg (parodied by SNL’s Andy Samberg) came out singing “All I do is win” and then said “We’re gonna change the Universe!”   Facebook is one step closer, for sure.

Looking for the “Big Wow” news on Facebook’s new look?

Facebook is littered with posts about the new Facebook not looking very different.  Chances are they (you?) don’t have the NEW new Facebook.  Facebook started rolling out updates a couple weeks ago, but the new “Timeline” version of Facebook is ‘coming soon’ for most of us.

If you are anxious to get it, like me – or just need to prepare yourself for the big horrible newness of it all- you can go to Facebook Timeline to preview what the NEW new facebook will have to offer you.

Is this you? “I don’t understand the new facebook, ugh!”

Lots of posts today about not understanding / hating the new facebook layout.

When I logged in, like you, I saw this:

ACK!  I wasn’t expecting to have to learn an entire new system this morning.  For me, however, it’s my job.  For most of you, it’s just a way of keeping on top of what your friends or favorite brands are up to, struggling with, offering and needing, right?  So, ick.

So, FIRST let me say that  you can go to the help for explanations for how the new layout works

And in my feed I see:


Then I read this post (Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?)

And then this….(Not sure if this is sarcasm, cluelessness, or if the changes have not yet propagated to his site yet)

I even saw a “repost this if you….” lengthy, but clever post about how “you (and your fancy algorithms) don’t know me, Facebook”.  (and btw, I NEVER “repost this if…”, I also never forward emails to prove I am…. w/e.  Don’t get me started on that. Let’s just say, if it is worth reposting, the content itself will tell me, you won’t need to.)

I don’t know how realistic the “Social Networking” movie was – or how true to the character’s persona it came.  But IF it was close to true, then lots of changes make sense and should be expected. This product is driven by trying to figure out (and write a program to do it) human behavior as perceived by its creators.

Not to mention the fact that in business, if you are standing still (read:not changing / growing) you are dying.

But really.  This is a free service.  You aren’t paying Facebook to develop what you want. Advertisers and the developers themselves are.  And what seems like a nuisance to you and me, can be a major break through for a developer.  That’s realistic right?

But all our complaining and no ‘doing’ to back it up simply affirms Facebook  “powers that be” in ignoring the whiners.  Everyone complains at first AND they never actually stop using the service.   It’s never bad enough to convince your friends to go to friendster, hi5, or (gasp) back to MySpace.  My friend Sara said this,

“It reminds me of how stupid I feel when they move things around in the grocery store. Just when I get comfortable and efficient they have to change it. Then it’s back to being slow and feeling clumsy and stupid. I guess it’s feeling stupid I dislike more than upgrades. Once I can find everything again I probably won’t dislike it as much.”

What I am not saying: “Stop whining.” On the contrary, advertisers want you on Facebook so they want you happy and in a round about way, you may be heard.

What I am saying: “Relax, embrace the change as an opportunity to think differently, to look at the world (and your friends) through someone else’s eyes.”

It’ll all be ok.  You can do it.

How people interact with Brands on Facebook

I want my stuff to be noticed. And you probably want the same, right? So there is this unending search for the right formula.  But the science of marketing (Dan Zarella talks about this in the Science of Timing) is much like the science of medicine…you have Doctors, also called practitioners. We are all trying to figure out this thing called the human being and how it operates.

One of the best ways to understand the beast called human is to ask it. …and study it.  Constant Contact did just that and shared their findings with me… well, with the world actually 😉

So what do you think?  Does this look like the way YOU interact with pages you have “Liked”? What are YOU looking for when you “Like” a page?

here we go again… authenticity

I lean to the side of harping when it comes to this topic.  Maybe ’cause ever since I was a kid I could snif out disingenuous interactions between people.  Maybe cause I read somewhere that my name meant “truth to God” (Elizabeth) in one of those “Baby Name” books.  Either way, I hate Bull****.  (However, I am respectful enough of my readers not to bust out the **** word just like that!)

fb page statsIn my last post I talked about how people think that Social Media is a free way to push their sales message.  But what they need is a reality check. They need to revisit WHO they are, WHY they are in business and start, instead of advertising, a branding campaign.

I think ConAgra may be learning this message today. Read this post about how they asked bloggers to a dinner event with a top chef, but instead ignored the available facts about their target audience and fed them frozen lasagna. They also filmed the bloggers’ reactions secretly intending to use the footage in commercials at a later date. This is an example of inauthenticity.  It’s frowned upon in the world of Social Media.  And it back fired.

Your message, no matter how cute, how important…. no matter how great your product actually is… will be muted, blocked, hidden, deleted or marked as spam if you are not connecting with your audience.

No.  You cannot connect or resonate with everyone.  This is why it is important for you to know who YOU are, who your BRAND is, and how you want to represent yourself in public.  Then simply let the people go who don’t like you or your stuff or the way you say it and engage with the people that ‘get’ you.

Now you can start advertising, subtly, in ways relevant to your brand and its followers. (I mean now that they really know who you are and you have proven that you get who they are)

Let the conversation begin!