Customer service is hard. Just walk down the hall to the CSR “wing” and listen in to a couple of calls throughout the day. Customer service on social media platforms, however, adds a whole new level of drama to the experience simply by taking place in a public forum. Social media marketing allows for a direct line of communication, hitherto unavailable to the common consumer, and it’s public- suggesting that the user holds great leverage over the actions of the brand. Sometimes these public posts are legitimate inquiries regarding products/services. Sometimes, however, users just want to stir the pot. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow when determining whether or not intervention is necessary.
Here are three tricks of the trade when managing customer service on social networks:
1) Don’t feed the trolls. This cannot be mentioned in community management/customer service class enough times. As University of Central Lancashire lecturer Claire Hardaker so eloquently points out at the bottom of this infographic, the only way to combat trolling is to ignore it.
2) Elongate the conversation. This simple practice will weed out the trolls after your first or second response (trolls are too busy for an actual conversation). A good way to do this is to institute a character limit on yourself in your responses. You won’t be able to provide the full detailed resolution in your first 100 characters, which will allow you to carry the conversation over multiple comments during the resolution process.
When responding to legitimate inquiries (read: not trolls), always include a question to finish your response. 90% of the time (strong estimate) you, or the customer, do not know what the inquiry actually is. Don’t assume that the customer is entirely familiar with your product or your brand. This simple practice will cover most bases when managing your page; extracting all details, determining validity of the claim, showing personal attention in a public forum, etc.
3) Assume a “first name basis” with everyone. Always use the inquirer’s first name in your response. You will surprise yourself at how disarming something this simple can be, and the respect given will show throughout the conversation. It is not recommended, however, to use your own first name when representing the brand publicly. Use initials publicly, and your first name when responding in private messages.
Incorporate these three tricks today, and your community will silently thank you!
For most marketing directors, the ROI question as it relates to social media budgeting continues to loom as a conundrum. Here is an extremely simple way to place value on your social media users to better budget and plan.
Step One: Identify your conversion.
Are you looking for leads, sales, or walk-ins? All three are applicable when valuating your users. For leads, ensure that you can place a dollar amount on your average lead count during a month-long period. Your sales and walk-ins will already have an inherent dollar amount attached to them (hopefully).
Step Two: Create a social promotion.
The promotion should be able to capture all lines of your business. If that seems unreasonable, go ahead and plan multiple promotions. Ensure your promotion is on-par with promotions your have held in the past. You do not want to specialize this one at all.
Make sure you have tracking tools for the results. With lead generation, make sure you create a specialized landing page for click throughs from social media. Do not publicize this URL anywhere other than your social media platforms.
For sales, make sure you are utilizing a custom segment within your analytics service that will only report on traffic that comes from social media URLs. This, coupled with a discount code within your Ecommerce platform, will accurately depict direct sales from social users.
Tracking walk-ins is a bit more tricky, but leaning on the discount code in the form of a digital coupon will go far in tracking results.
Step Three: Assign the value.
The preferential treatment for assigning value is to base it on the engagement that occurs during the promotion online. For instance, for a Facebook-only promotion, you will want to assign a dollar value on each individual “Engaged User” (column L in Facebook Insights) during the promotion period. On Twitter, you will want to count mentions during the entire promotion period, and divide your total net sales from the promotion by that number. Example below:
- Promotion: 25% Off Entire Catalog for Facebook Fans!
- Promotion Period: 14 days
- Total Engaged Users during Promotion: 1500
- Net Sales from Promotion: $50,000
- Facebook User Valuation: $33.33 per Engaged User
Keep in mind, $33.33 per Engaged User would be absolutely incredible, so don’t be too disheartened when it turns out to be $1 or less. Remember, conversions are the last step in a well-built strategy. If you aren’t satisfied with the numbers, feel free to contact Intrapromote to build a strategy that will return some results.
Now you have a valuation for your Facebook fan base, and a good way to project future sales and determine ROI. You’re welcome.
Facebook marketing, as Intrapromote has stated many times before, is an invaluable commodity to brands when done correctly. Unfortunately, Facebook receives a bad wrap from many brands whose inexperience gets misinterpreted as a bad experience. This does not surprise me at all, as Facebook marketing is the sovereign platform representing a new wave of consumer communication that is still cutting its teeth.
Philosophically, Facebook marketing is incredibly dynamic. More so than any other marketing platform that brands have utilized in recent memory. Since the platform itself is only 8 years old, with a brand presence equaling half of that, the proper use of the technology has yet to be mastered fully. Without some basic understanding of this concept, brands will be hurt by their own disorientation.
Facebook marketing is not online marketing, as is the general consensus, because online marketing (online advertising, SEO, link development, etc.) is modeled after traditional marketing. Put the brand in the consumer’s periphery, magic occurs, and, voila, you have a new customer. Applying this philosophy to your Facebook marketing will only lead to discouragement. The reason is simple: people do not go to Facebook for the sake of Facebook itself.
This creates a problem for traditional marketing executives. They want to use Facebook the same way they would use a billboard or a television ad run. They want to ride Facebook as a vehicle to reach the goals of the campaign. The problem is that Facebook itself is not the vehicle on Facebook. So what is?
The answer will not surprise, as you’ve probably stumbled across this concept many times: relationships are the vehicles that achieve goals on Facebook.
A lot of people and brands understand this concept, but have a difficult time trusting in it, applying it, and executing strategy based upon it. Traditional means of marketing professionals are so ingrained that breaking the mold becomes incredibly uncomfortable, especially when they work so well with other channels. When a strategy based on relationships is put in place properly, Facebook marketing begins to pay dividends that all of us “social media marketers” keep promising.
So download your Facebook Page Insights from the past 90 days and hold off on that coupon code for a few more minutes. Here is your checklist to see if your fan base will be responsive to your “Black Friday/Cyber Monday Facebook Extravaganza!”:
- Take your “Weekly Page Engaged Users” number (column M), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Engagement Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 10% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is a growing consumer base; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 5% – 10% = Your fan base is ready to become consumers; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <5% = Your fan base needs to build a relationship with your fan page; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
- Take your “Weekly Viral Reach” number (column Y), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Virality Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 150% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is marketing your brand on Facebook for you; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 50% – 100% = You are reaching the second tier (friends of fans) at a good rate; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <50% = Your fans are not letting their friends know about your brand; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
- Take your “Weekly People Talking About This” number (column C), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Performance Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 10% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is growing and interacting; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 5% – 10% = You’re Facebook page has a solid foundation, and your growth is steady; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <5% = Your Facebook page is underperforming as a marketing channel; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
If your page is performing as an “1”, you have established the relationships necessary for Facebook marketing to be appropriate. If you have a “2” performance, your page is on its way to becoming a solid marketing channel.
Traditional marketing tactics and methods will lead to a “3” performance on Facebook. This guide is simply a diagnostic tool to understand how your page performs as a marketing channel. Please contact Intrapromote to have a custom strategy built to meet the needs of your current Facebook page performance.
* – Engagement Percentage, Virality Percentage, and Performance Percentage are all metrics designed by Intrapromote to better serve our clients. Contact Intrapromote to learn more about our reporting and campaigns.
Introduction – by Dylan Price
Last week we asked the greatest social media community manager on the planet, Katie Hehn, to go without the internet in her personal life. The basis of the experiment is simple; let’s see if Katie can survive a week in the “Dark Ages”: an age where no search engines were available, an age where social media was writing a letter and dropping it to the USPS for delivery. Could one of the children of the internet revolution get resourceful in her adult life and accomplish the day’s simple tasks like it was 1996?
In Day One, Katie was tasked with finding, navigating to, and checking-in to a coffee shop that she’d never been to before. Check out the Day One recap!
This is how it went, from Katie’s journal:
As someone, who relies on Pinterest, for recipes, making dinner without the Internet can be quite difficult. The only cookbook I own is for Crockpots, which is weird because I don’t have a crockpot, so I was in desperate need of some recipes for dinner. My challenge on Tuesday was to crowdsource my resources to find recipes for a dinner entrée, side dish, and dessert. I ended up calling my Mema, Aunt Johanna, and co-worker Jessica for their recipes. Luckily, I received fairly simple recipes, but looking back now on it, I wish I had asked more questions to clarify a few things before cooking. The nice thing about the challenge was that it gave me an opportunity to talk to relatives, who I mostly communicate with over the Internet. The food that I made was good, everyone I called gave me wonderful recipes. Howevever, there were a few things that I think would have been different had I been able to find recipes online. The cheesy potatoes were made in a dish that was too big, if I had Internet that probably could have been avoided. I also added too much flour to the rosemary chicken. If I were following a recipe online, I would have had exact measurements (even though my Mema told me not to put too much flour).
I’ve never had to listen and write down a recipe over the phone because the Internet has always been so readily available to me. After writing down recipes not very accurately, I would have been more precise. I realized after I got off the phone that I didn’t ask for a single measurement while on the phone. Rookie mistake.
My favorite social media platform is currently Pinterest. If you know me or have read any of my blogs, this is very clear. I have held “Pinterest parties” where my friends and I will craft or cook things from pins we saw on Pinterest. I am 100% the demographic that Pinterest is aiming for. Before I fall asleep, I browse through Pinterest every night. I’ve had to live without Pinterest before since it is still relatively new. Before Pinterest, I was not nearly as crafty or skilled in cooking (I’m still not very skilled). Pinterest makes people better! It helps you share ideas and make your world a little bit more pretty and sparkly.
Other than that, it was a successful experiment! I am really beginning to miss social media. Not being able to browse through my timeline throughout the day has made me feel very out of touch (but I am being very productive at work!). So far, the only thing that I’ve given up that has affected me is not having access to social media. Not being able to Google or browse the Internet as usual has not caused me as much frustration as not being able to communicate via social media.
Introduction – by Dylan Price
Last week we asked the greatest social media community manager on the planet, Katie Hehn, to go without the internet in her personal life. Katie is a great candidate for this type of torture mostly for her age, being just barely over double digits when Intrapromote was founded, but also the degree in which she is immersed into social media personally.
The basis of the experiment is simple; let’s see if Katie can survive a week in the “Dark Ages”: an age where no search engines were available, an age where social media was writing a letter and dropping it to the USPS for delivery. Could one of the children of the internet revolution get resourceful in her adult life and accomplish the day’s simple tasks like it was 1996?
This is how it went, from Katie’s journal:
Today was the day that this experiment began! Day 1 is already a bit frustrating: once Dylan changed my Facebook password, I realized that my Spotify account would no longer work. So annoying. I am always signed in to Facebook to monitor our client’s accounts, so I always have access to my personal Facebook account. I’m already missing my Facebook and Twitter…I have no idea how I’m going to get through the next few days!
The week before I gave up the Internet, I tweeted 80 times, posted 12 Facebook statuses, posted 6 pictures on Instagram, and re-pinned somewhere around 200 pins on Pinterest. To say that I am not social media obsessed would be putting it lightly. I am also the type of person that will Google the random questions that pop into my mind throughout the day. I do not watch the news or read a newspaper; I get all of my news from the Internet and social media. I listen to Spotify throughout the work day and have a subscription to Hulu plus. I do not know how to get anywhere without the Mapquest app on my iPhone. I am connected to the Internet in every possible way.
Dylan’s first challenge was for me to find a FourSquare special without using any Internet, including FourSquare. Lucky for me, I knew what area the coffeeshop was located in, so I didn’t need to attempt to use a map or a phone book. Thank goodness. However, I did need to confirm with my mom over the phone that a street number of 2060 means that its on 20th St., not 2nd St. Once I got there, it was closed, but I made it there! Once I was there, I “checked-in” by calling 5 friends, just to let them know I was there. While on the phone with Dylan, he made a good point that if I had the Internet, I would probably have known that the coffee shop was closed.
Living in a world without FourSquare or GPS would be such a sad place. Can you imagine not having the opportunity to check-in wherever you go and possibly be surprised with a “check-in special”? Those specials are such great surprises! I like being able to go on FourSquare and see who I’m beating in points or who I just ousted as the mayor. (Side note: The day before I gave up the Internet, I was outsted as the mayor of the Butterbeer cart at Harry Potter World at Universal!) The friends that I called to let them know where I was were pretty annoyed that I was calling to let them know I was at a random coffeeshop. Could you imagine annoying people letting them know where you are throughout the day or would people just not care? I guess constant FourSquare updates filling up Facebook and Twitter feeds can be annoying too, so with or without FourSquare, you are still annoying people. But doesn’t everyone want to know where everyone is every minute of the day? We need to figure out a happy medium.
I haven’t gone crazy yet, but I really just don’t know how people survived without Facebook and Twitter. I keep thinking “oh, I should tweet that”, but nope. I can’t.
Campaign Drives Traffic & Revenue While Decreasing Brand Reputation Issues
Read the summary below or you can see the full case study here!
This client is a provider of professional products through a network of franchisees (distributors).
The goals of the campaign were simple: increased social traffic to the client website and gaining market share from their largest competitor on social networks. The largest existing challenge was the fact that the client had little to no positive engagement on their social networks since there inception. Most of the messaging from users was focused on customer service inquiries and criticisms.
The focus of the social media marketing strategy centered upon growing the social audience and engagement with that audience. This involved curating content for the client’s social media accounts that spoke directly to the audience’s demographic and interests, evaluating performance, then readjusting the strategy based on analysis. From years of experience managing social media strategy for clients, Intrapromote knows that engagement directly influences traffic to client websites as well as conversions on-site.
After just six months, the result of the social media strategy led to a 164% increase in engaged audience members on social networks. These engaged users make up 1.6% of the client’s total audience, and when compared with the 0.3% engaged audience from their largest competitor, our client is the clear winner. While the engagement on social sites increased, we gained 115% more traffic from the social audience to the client’s website over the same period. This same social traffic then generated a total revenue increase of 170%, and the average per-visit value increased by 62% from social audience traffic.
This is only a taste of the great success we have seen with this client’s campaign. Read the full case study here.