Archive for Customers

4 Types of Social Media Mistakes

oops 300x248 4 Types of Social Media MistakesThere are many examples of social media infractions by companies, but the good news is that these types of experiences force marketers and senior executives to take notice and become more responsible about social media. In an earlier post I shared tips on how organizations can respond to criticism on social media.

While examples provide a good baseline of what “not to do,” they also help you take a step back and explore the different types of social media mistakes you should avoid. Here are a list of top social screw-ups and what you can do to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Lacking a Presence

Not having a social media presence could be considered slander in today’s digital marketing world. Social media gives your brand the opportunity to have a voice that reaches a wider and diverse audience. Solution: Learn to let your hair down, be open, insightful and deliver to your targeted demographic. Also take some time to listen to what others are saying about you – this will help you understand the general sentiment and deliver content accordingly.

Mistake #2: Poor Customer Service

Sub-par customer service and poor-performing products have no place in today’s social landscape. Consumers are quick to share their dissatisfaction, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform. Solution: Listening will help you capture negative experiences customers are sharing. As an organization you need to set certain expectations and make it right with the customer.

Mistake #3: Poor Responses

Whether it’s taking too long to respond or offering oblivious responses to consumers – these are all reflective of your brand. Many companies are past due in realizing that anyone using a corporate account speaks as the voice of the company across social media. Solution: Offer organizational social media training that is compliant with social protocol and will also help mitigate embarrassment for your brand.  

Mistake #4: One-Time Fiascos

The reality is that mistakes happen (although one could argue that some are more obvious than others). Some mistakes even originate outside of social media, but the new digital landscape offers consumers an opportunity to relay their opinions and responses quickly. Solution: Create a social media disaster plan. The worse possible response you can have to a social media mistake, is no response at all. You need to show consumers that you care. This means developing a plan to get out a message, apologizing and participating in the discussion.

Are there are other mistakes/solutions that you’ve come across? Share them in the comments below!

 4 Types of Social Media Mistakes
Posted in Customers, Online Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments

Top 4 Content Marketing Mistakes

Content Marketing mistakes 300x200 Top 4 Content Marketing MistakesIn an earlier post I discussed how content marketing plays a key role in my overall social media strategy. Great content should inspire loyalty and interest from potential consumers. As more companies embrace the importance of content marketing, there are still many common missteps. Here are some content marketing mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Not setting clear goals

Attempting any type of content marketing without having any clear goals in mind is pointless. Your content will not be able to achieve what you want if you don’t even know what you want. What can you do? Take the time to develop goals that support your overall business strategy. Examples of some goals might be:

  • Increasing website traffic
  • Generating social referrals
  • Building brand awareness

Once you’ve established your goals, then you can create action items that can help guide your content marketing strategy.

Mistake #2: Not involving other departments

In many organizations content creators often work in silos, and more often than not these content creators are not communicating with each other. This results in confusion and mixed messages for consumers. If two departments are writing about the same topic without talking to each other, then this not only creates duplicated efforts, but if the content is not consistent, then it may confuse your customers as well. What can you do? Create a master editorial calendar that guides content for multiple platforms. This will encourage consistency and collaboration.

Mistake #3: Only using the blog to market your content

Are you only using your blog to market content? In order to broaden your reach you should include channels your customers are already using, and exploring different ways your content can be shared. What can you do? Try leveraging blog posts to develop infographics or even including videos in your blog posts. Exploring different channels may inspire additional opportunities for you.

Mistake #4: Talking too much and not listening

Nothing is more annoying than a brand that is always selling. If this sounds like you, then you’re missing the opportunity to engage with your readers. Listening to what your consumers are saying about you and other interests will only help you learn more about them. This will also give you the opportunity to respond to relevant concerns. What can you do? Try asking questions, or even responding to questions your readers put forward. You should also try engaging with the social community – share interesting and relevant content from others. You’ll be surprised at how much this can expand your reach!

Have you come across other content marketing missteps? Share them in the comments bellow!

Image courtesy of Under30CEO.

 Top 4 Content Marketing Mistakes
Posted in Customers, Online Marketing, Social Media | 1 Comment

Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

As a social media marketer, content marketing plays a key role in my overall social media strategy. Content marketing is not only focused on selling, but it should also inspire loyalty and interest from current and potential customers. With that said, as a business you should know who you’re trying to target. Many businesses attempt to appeal to everyone, but this can often lead to mixed messages and sometimes confusion. It’s important to narrow your market and select a niche to focus your social media content marketing efforts. This will allow you to craft targeted messages and content that will attract the customers you’re looking for.

Understanding Social Media Customers

I recently came across a study by VisionCritical which identified important factors for organizations to consider when trying to understand their social media consumers. The data was focused on their behavior and actions using different social platforms. Here are a few key points the study brought to light:

What social networks are your customers using?

In order to use social media to reach your customers, you need to understand where to find them. Understanding what customer segments are using which social networks is key. This will help identify opportunities and direct your social media strategy to address the needs of your different customer segments.

Social Media Audience Pinterest Facebook Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

Question: Which of the following social media sites, if any, do you use?

What do they want from your social media presence?

Users engage on social networks differently. For example, users may turn to Pinterest to learn about DIY projects, or Twitter to learn about current events. As a brand you need to understand what your customers like to do on each social network, and most importantly how they want to engage with you. The keys are to provide content that is relevant and understand the tone that resonates with your users.

Presense on social network Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

Does purchase lead to sharing or sharing lead to purchasing?

The study identified that the relationship between sharing and purchasing is largely dependent on the individual. There are instances where social sharing is a very weak indicator of purchase intent, but in other cases social sharing can lead a consumer directly to a purchase. The study found two important data points:

  • 41% of people purchased because they just happened upon it while researching and they hadn’t even thought about buying it
  • 88% of people purchased by searching for it and were already thinking about buying it or something like it

Key lesson: Ask your customers whether they share during their discovery process. This will help you focus your social outreach to customers who are actually researching your products.

You can find the entire study here (highly recommended). Research and images courtesy of VisionCritical.

 Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]
Posted in Customers, Online Marketing, Social Media | 1 Comment

Responding to Criticism on Social Media

facebook dislike button 300x127 Responding to Criticism on Social MediaSocial media is a great platform for companies to share, extend and enhance their brand awareness. It has the ability to bring brands and consumers together, but it also opens the door to transparency and open criticism.

Whether it’s an angry customer complaining about their experience, a former employee bashing you, or even a competitor snooping on your activities, these situations happen to every brand. By now you may have heard of the disgruntled British Airlines customer who spent $1,000 on promoted Tweets to share his negative experience. The result? His post was seen by more than 300,000 followers (negative brand awareness for BA!) and in the end, he was able to get his issue resolved.

So the question remains: What should you do in these types of situations? Here are some tips to help your brand respond to criticism on social media:

Listen

Before making any decisions, you should know what consumers are saying about you. The only thing worse than being criticized, is not knowing that you’re being criticized! Monitor keywords and social conversations to know exactly what’s being said about your brand.

Evaluate

Now that you’re monitoring what is being said, you need to evaluate whether criticisms are actually valid or not. Are your customers telling the truth? It’s better to acknowledge a weakness, than deny them. It’s important to remember that social conversations happen in public forums, so any response is a reflection of your brand. This means you need to take time to evaluate whether the criticism warrants a response.

Plan

Results from a recent study by Oracle illustrated that 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response from a company. What does this mean? When consumers criticize your brand or share a negative experience, you should acknowledge the issue or complaint as soon as possible. This helps consumers feel heard, and also encourages them to work with you because you’re showing that you care. Remember that social media helps you humanize your brand. You should treat consumers with respect as you respond.

Let it Go

The truth is, you can’t please every consumer or satisfy every critic. However, you should make an effort to show your community that you care. Making an effort to acknowledge and trying to resolve a situation will only benefit your brand!

 Responding to Criticism on Social Media
Posted in Customers, Online Marketing, Social Media | 4 Comments

Social Media: Employees Are Your Best Brand Advocates

brand ambassador Social Media: Employees Are Your Best Brand AdvocatesOne of the most under-leveraged resources for many brands comes from within: their employees. Research has continuously shown that people trust word of mouth or recommendations anonymously or via personal networks. So then this raises the question – why don’t more companies leverage the support of their employees? (Hiring interns is not the answer to this question).

While Social media has a reputation for distracting employees, it can actually have the opposite effect if used properly. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. can improve communication between an employer and its employees, along with employees and coworkers. Here are some steps an organization can take to start engaging employees in their social media activity:

Training

Employees need to be trained on the uses and misuses of social media. Along with this, they need to understand that they will be held accountable if they write something that damages the reputation of your brand. Don’t assume they know this! Have clear guidelines and a social media policy can help veer this discussion in the right direction.

Encourage Sharing

A great way to engage employees is to encourage them to share and lobby on behalf of the brand online. However, before you launch the proactive army of bloggers, Facebookers or Tweeters – you need to make sure you have a social media policy in place. A social media policy should be high priority for your brand, because sometimes even well-meaning employees can severely damage your company’s online reputation.

Lead by Example

If your company is not on twitter, then why should your employees? If your business is not blogging, then what incentives do employees have to write on behalf of the company? Offering an existing channel where you’re successfully sharing content provides good examples for employees.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a potential customer or potential employee, people will always research companies to find more information. Having a team of savvy and successful brand ambassadors can help set the right tone and shows that the company cares about what is said about their brand online.

 

 Social Media: Employees Are Your Best Brand Advocates
Posted in Customers, Engagement, Online Marketing, Social Media | 3 Comments

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