Ben A. Smith’s Social:IRL events have brought a series of nationally known speakers to cities like Wichita, Kansas City, and Ben’s current hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. I attended the Social Media Customer Service Bootcamp featuring Peter Shankman in Lawrence. Here are a bunch of notes, not particularly smoothed out.
|Peter Shankman works the crowd|
The point of the day: How to generate revenue.
Try things. If they don’t work, try other things.
Saturday is the best day to pitch USA Today. They are making the Monday paper.
If you are creating content, have a backup plan for when you succeed. Anything can blow up viral on you. What will you do with those thousands of visitors?
These tools let us make content quicker, faster, better. Because we have the ability to do quicker and faster, people forget about doing it better. 99% of what is posted, no one cares about it, because it’s crap.
You do not control the direction of your site or company. The customers do.
If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will. If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.
Create engaging content: if they *want* to read your emails, they will be 5x more likely to buy your stuff.
4 Rules Learned from HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
1. Honesty will kill problems.
The United Breaks Guitars video goes viral. United Airlines responds: this is a good social media lesson for us to learn. This isn’t a social media lesson. It is a customer service lesson.
2. Your audience is fragmented.
Want to know where they are, where they get their info? Ask them. (AMEN!)
How a Midwest gas station got at 38% increase in incidental sales in six months. First they trained clerks to ask any customer carrying a phone, what kind of phone it was. The majority had smart phones. They built an app to reward purchases. Then trained clerks to tell people about it and walk customers through downloading it.
You have 2.7 seconds to reach your audience. Learn how to write.
Social media is headline writing.
4. Top of Mind.
It’s about them. Not selling.
Shankman spends 25 minutes every day.
Reach out to 10 people in your network today.
Top of mind is all about customer service.
Getting in front of problems.
Two mistakes: waiting too long, and thinking it will go away.
The problem is, you lost control of the message 30 years ago.
The only thing you can do is try to shift the direction.
Nothing pisses me off more than finding your company is online, and doesn’t use it. (You have a Twitter account, but you’re inactive.)
90% of people in the US, have sent or received a text.
4% have sent or received a Tweet.
Which group do you want to market to?
Embrace the concept, not the brand. The concept is mobile. The brand is Twitter.
The most dangerous type of complaining customer: has never complained before, and you have never heard of him, and he has an audience. You must respond immediately.
Set up an email address for a real person for service issues. Never give out the generic complaints@ email for immediate response.
Responding to problems online
Rely on the ‘DM Sent’ Rule
Five responses can cover 80% of problems your customers will bring up online. If you’re in a big corporation, you can get legal to approve those five responses. The other problems are covered by sending the customer a personal message, and replying publicly with “DM sent.”
99% of problems can be handled in 30 seconds or less, if you get to it within a couple of hours. If you respond within an hour, solve their problem, and give them a bonus, you create a someone who will do your PR for you.
Listen, analyze, reply.
Is it engagement or stalking?
Stay at the customer’s level of engagement. If they check in on FourSquare, but don’t broadcast it, they don’t want to hear from you with an offer.
One San Francisco restaurant searches Twitter for “landed” and “SFO”. They look up the person sending that tweet in their database. If they have never been to the restaurant, they offer a discount. The result is a 22% conversion rate on those offers.
Tweet out interesting information that customers want to know. Use Google alerts to bring info, then tweet it.
If you’re doing online presence for a university, you have experts. Tie them in to the current news.
Frequency: let your readers judge. Follow your numbers. Tweet until people get pissed off.
The only reason to collect Klout scores or other online info on customers is to connect them to some offline special or offer.
Engineering: you have tons of stats and facts. Explain how stuff works, the engineering behind the news.
You’ve got to be constantly refreshing your content.
You can’t make something viral, but you can make something good. And something good can go viral.
As big as you are, it comes down to one person, either online or in person, talking to one person.
Do your people have interesting, nontypical hobbies? It may seem unrelated, but people connect to people.
Need to get the CEO to blog? Give them a LifeScribe pen, let them write and dictate.
Responding to customers who have problems makes a big difference. Following up later makes an even bigger difference.
Any time you can make any of your customers feel cool, let us not underestimate the power of cool.
What are companies doing wrong in online marketing right now?
- Acting too slowly. Too many layers of approval.
- Worrying too much about offending.
- We’re not listening enough.
Companies issue press releases, people tweet.
Do not tweet in haste, do not tweet in anger.
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.