Archive for ‘Social Media’

July 17th, 2014

Don’t Be Like COMCAST: Keep Your Social Media Customer Service Up to Par

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In case you didn’t hear, COMCAST has a bit of a customer service scandal on its hands. Ryan Block, former COMCAST customer, called to cancel his service and received the run-around from an unnamed customer service representative.

The rep repeatedly asked Block why he was cancelling, and despite Block giving myriad reasons for the cancellation, the rep refused to back down. So 10 minutes into the call Block decided to start recording. You can listen to the remaining 8 minutes 14 seconds of the conversation here on NPR, but it basically amounts to a customer service rep refusing to disconnect service and trying to badger the customer into staying.

Clearly this is a terrible example of customer service, but the number of bad reps in the world is astounding. Even worse is the number of social media managers who are ill equipped to handle complaints and are incapable of responding tactfully. It’s almost impossible to see it coming — that is, unless you take these precautions. Here are 3 ways you can avoid the social media equivalent of the COMCAST Service Scandal:

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1. Have a plethora of policies in place.

Try saying that 5 times fast. While having rules certainly won’t guarantee that your employees won’t break them, it will make it far less likely that something horrible will happen. Some companies go as far as to write scripts for dealing with common issues. While that doesn’t always work (mainly because people aren’t all that predictable), it can help prepare for the issues that come up the most often.

By creating robust social media management policies, you can dictate the kind of language and tone your employees are allowed to use. For example, COMCAST could have avoided some of what happened if they had a policy that said, “Unless it directly conflicts with another policy created by COMCAST, do whatever service-related thing the customer asks immediately.” Of course, then you have to create other policies dictating what you don’t have to do, but you’re safer that way.

Legal departments love this stuff. Ask them to help you draw something up, and you’ll be firing on all cylinders in no time. Then, incentivize strict adherence to policy with your social media managers.

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2. Have multiple people in charge of your accounts.

The most dangerous situations arise when only one person has access to the social media accounts. This creates a precarious situation that lacks any kind of accountability, and it would be so much easier for an employee to go rogue.

If you have an entire team of people on the job, all attempting to follow policies, one is less likely to go astray.

3. Hire or appoint only the most poised and experienced interpersonal communicators.

The truth is, you can probably tell how someone will do before they start if you know what to look for.

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First, look for experience. While social media isn’t that old, it is now an established enough medium to have experts, or people who have successfully managed accounts in the past. Better yet, hire an agency. But still make sure you speak to the person specifically running your account so that you can observe the next trait:

Watch the way they select their words. Do they blurt out whatever comes to mind and then add in corrections and clarifications? Or are they slower to respond but do so with good diction? The latter will be less likely to go off on a customer in an unforeseen way.

Lastly, test them. See if you can put them on the defense for something. If there’s a gap in their resumes, go at it. See if they get flustered or if they respond carefully and pleasantly. Again, the latter would be far more suited to run the customer service side of a social media campaign.

In conclusion, don’t be COMCAST. Make sure your customer service folks on social media are professional by creating policies, establishing accountability, and choosing the right team members.

 

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a writer and account manager at 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with well-known brands around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Social Media’

July 10th, 2014

How Mature Is Your Social Media Marketing Program? [QUIZ]

BabyOnMobile Have you ever wondered where you stand compared to other brands regarding your social media marketing? Or do you have a pretty good idea of where you stand but need some resources on how to take your program to the next level?

Well, look no further. We here at the 60 Second Marketer have developed this quiz to tell you just how mature your program is. In addition, you’ll get links to resources along with your results to help you take your campaigns to the next level of maturity.

Let us know in the comments what your results are!

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Archive for ‘Social Media’

June 29th, 2014

What Department Should Own Social Media?

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What department owns social media in your company? Is it marketing, the option most people would think of first? Or is it maybe HR, who can keep an eye on everything with a certain set of considerations others may not think of?

If your company is big enough, you may have a communications department separate from marketing, and social media may live there. And some companies (especially in highly technical or regulated industries) even have social media under IT, relying on their technological expertise to ensure information security.

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But where should social media actually live in your company? Well, it depends. But what we can definitely tell you is that all 3 (or 4 if you have a separate communications department) of those departments should have a say in what goes on. Policies, guidelines, and standards should be established by every department who would potentially be affected. IT should be able to give input regarding information security. Marketing should help develop the strategy for

But as for who should actually execute your social media strategy, there are several considerations to make:

  • Who has the resources to pay for the necessary advertising and promotion?
  • Who has the manpower to execute the strategy or find an agency that can?
  • Who has the power to make decisions regarding messaging and promotions?

But those considerations are secondary compared to the big question you need to answer:

What is the primary goal of your social media campaign?

There are a lot of different answers to that question, but for our purposes we’ll take a look at the top 5. Based on your answer, you can better narrow down who in your company should own social media operations.

  • Generate leads or sales (or perpetuate your brand) — This is the single most common reason why companies venture into social media. Typically, this sends social media to marketing, and rightfully so. Marketing’s entire job is to understand what makes customers tick, and this makes them the best equipped to use social media as a lead gen or sales tool.
  • Keep interested parties up to date on company and industry happenings — This one is a bit tougher. If it’s simply to keep people in the loop, this would typically go to the communications department. If you work in a highly technical industry and have no comms dept, it may best go to IT. Otherwise, marketing should hang onto it.

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  • Recruit new employees — Recruiting is sometimes its own department, or at least a complete subset of HR. If your company’s sole reason for being on social media is for recruiting purposes, HR is the clear winner.
  • Communicate internally — Do you have a communications department? If so, they’re probably responsible for internal communications and should therefore own social media. If you don’t have one, though, HR should handle anything intended for internal purposes, unless it is specifically IT- or marketing-related information being communicated.
  • Share sensitive information and files with others, both within and outside of the organization — IT should always be responsible for information security, even if it’s just to educate other employees. If this is your purpose and IT can’t own social media for one of the other considerations above, it should at least be involved in educating those who do own it.

Hopefully now you have a better idea of where social media should live within your organization. Just remember — the more people you consider when putting together your strategy, the more likely it is to be effective.

 

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Social Media’

June 17th, 2014

Email Marketing Outperforms Social Media in Terms of Reach and Features [INFOGRAPHIC]

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If you’re working on a shoestring budget and are trying to figure out where it would be best used, maybe this infographic can help. Brought to you by Host Papa, it breaks down email marketing and social media marketing to see which outperforms which in what categories. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Social media helps build your audience faster and increases search engine ranking.
  • Email is a fairly inexpensive and easy form of direct response.
  • Social media is growing more, but email is still more widely used.
  • The features and reach on email marketing are surprisingly robust.

See the full infographic here:

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Archive for ‘Social Media’

June 10th, 2014

Social Media Advice From Those Actually Doing Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Ever wish you could get social media advice from someone in the trenches for big brands every day? Well, now you can.

This infographic from Referral Candy is full of wisdom from some of the top experts in social media. With advice from social media managers of some of the world’s top brands, it offers an insightful look into the world of social marketing. Some of our favorite quotes are:

  • “Having a Twitter account today is like having a Web page 10 years ago.” -Lauren Teague
  • “Think strategically and act with purpose. Think, ‘What does this do for my business?'” -Katie Morse
  • “You can’t be all things to all people, but you can have a real impact where it matters if you stay true to your brand.” -Paul Haskell

Check out the full infographic below:

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About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

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