Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

Apr
04
2012

Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

I was having a discussion today with a recruiter about facebook and customer service. And I heard myself say something amazing, "It’s just like AOL was back in the days before the net."

Picture this: online modems were the only way beyond your physical network. email was huge and online scheduling was gaining traction. And if you had a problem with a tech company you went to AOL (America On-Line) and you searched for that company. At one point, before the net, 80% of tech companies were using AOL for customer support.

Today Facebook is that conduit.

Sites like GetSatisfaction and Yelp are great for lodging complaints or reviews, but how do you get a question answered. Again, you can go their website and look for support, or contact us, or "HELP." OR, go to their Facebook page and …

Let’s look at a typical Facebook brand page:

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.12.21 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

41 million likes, and what do you get? Let’s look at their ABOUT page, maybe there’s something there… (That’s about 431-to-1 Likes to Interaction.)

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.14.50 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

Okay, but there’s surely more to Coke’s massive Facebook ad and social media campaign, right?

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.17.04 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

That’s a bit better. And obviously Coke doesn’t really want to encourage the growth of their customer support queue. But something is missing. Something BIG.

First let’s look at the "Ask Coca-Cola" page.

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.20.25 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

All right, let’s look for someone who’s kicking ass at support on Facebook.

Facebook Home:

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.28.14 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

And there it is, far right… Nike+ Support:

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 at 3.28.56 PM Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net)

BOTTOMLINE: Meet your customer on Facebook. They are already there.

Facebook is your interface to 800 million potential customers, but also know that your customers are all on Facebook. So you might start treating Facebook like a communications channel instead of a broadcast network. It’s it’s why we call it "social" media.

Today most companies are on Facebook. But they are not doing a very good job of engaging the customer. Many of them don’t even allow posting by the public. And if you’re not asking how you can SUPPORT your customer, well… you might be missing a great opportunity to show how you actually care. And to the 80% of Facebook questions on brand pages that go UNANSWERED, shame on you.

Facebook is two-way. Let’s remember that and do better and putting the options and process in place.

Inspiration: The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition Your Customer Service Web is Facebook: Remembering AOL (before the net) (Amazon affiliate link)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: http://uber.la/2012/04/facebook-brand-page/

Other posts to help you kick ass in social media:

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Apr
03
2012

Twitter Blocking: "Sorry, you can’t follow the user (because they’re blocking you)"

Screen Shot 2012 04 02 at 9.59.22 PM 300x177 Twitter Blocking: Sorry, you cant follow the user (because theyre blocking you)

It’s a sad moment, when Twitter reports back, "Sorry, you can’t follow the user (because they’re blocking you) Learn more."

Okay Trent Reznor was a surprise. I’ve asked him several times, "Do you know me?" I’m kind of honored. I’m not sure how it happened, but when the "I’m gonna f you like an animal" dude is blocking you on Twitter, well, something big is happening.

The local blockers are more understandable. See, back in 09, I had a hissy fight with @omarg, a tech journalist with the Austin American Statesman. Seems Mr. Omar runs in similar circles and when I dissed him, his Twitterati began defending him, dissing me, and ultimately blocking me. There’s nothing much left on the interwebz of the encounter, but there are a few remnants, as there always are. http://topsy.com/twitter/omarg/site:uber.la But let’s not dwell on the past, or the TwitterSniper himself.

Let’s look at a few of my firm beliefs about social media and online interactions.

  1. Nobody forwards a boring email, or retweets a boring tweet.
  2. If you’re going to comment, do it where you can get a response.
  3. If you don’t allow comments on your blog, it’s not a blog and it’s not social media.
  4. Trolls must be tolerated, but eventually bullies should be caged and publicly exposed.
  5. If you make a claim, back it up with facts, posts, links, data.
  6. Reputation is earned not bragged about.
  7. If somebody isn’t blocking on you Twitter, you might be doing it wrong.
  8. Most people don’t really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can’t help it. (from Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement)

So I guess I did call Omar Gallaga a jerk. And I guess he’s going to block me forever on Twitter. (Ya know, I’ve tired of asking for a face-to-face / water-under-the-bridge makeup with him.) And perhaps his colleagues will also feel compelled to put me in their own personal Twitter purgatory. Oh well.

I’m doing okay. The wisdom of their Tweets is lost upon me now, but not for lack of desire, only lack of courage and open dialogue.

Here, the comments are always open.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: http://uber.la/2012/04/twitter-sorry/

See: The Twitter Way

Other posts to help you kick ass in social media:

Get the most valuable business information on the Social Marketing page.


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Apr
02
2012

To Be a Leader In Social Media… "Tell me where you participate." (BTW: LinkedIN is not enough!)

Screen Shot 2012 04 02 at 2.35.22 PM To Be a Leader In Social Media... Tell me where you participate. (BTW: LinkedIN is not enough!)You don’t have to actually tweet more than a couple times a month. You don’t need to worry about your Klout score, or reach, or number of followers. If you’re applying for a position with a gaming company you don’t necessarily have to have a top score on the leader boards, or even an active profile on their system. To lead Facebook marketing campaigns, you don’t really need to participate in Facebook groups, causes, or games. And you want to be hired as a community manager you don’t really need to be active participant in an online community. Right?

Oh, wait a minute. Scratch that. I’ve got it backwards.

Social media is not an academic pursuit. You cannot lead and explore what you don’t yourself understand. And the only way to grok it is to jump in, feet and fingers first and be social.

It was a while back, at a large corporation, when I was part of a social media programs team, where my manager wrote in an email, "I don’t know how I overlooked following you on Twitter. I have fixed that." This was after I had been working on their team for about three months. Twitter was part of the strategic initiatives we managed as a group.

To this manager it was a moment, "Snap, I need to follow my team on Twitter." To me it was an ah-ha moment.

If you want to lead in social media, get social. If you want to become a thought leader, then share what you’ve learned in the process of doing rather than thinking about doing. A mentor once told me, "Thought leadership is really about how you present your information. If you are helping people learn something, that’s leadership. Often, people are just promoting themselves and not giving anything away."

One of my favorite interview questions for social media applicants is, "Where do you participate in social media?"

You’d better have a pretty compelling answer. And if you draw a blank, maybe you had better get started. (And no, LinkedIN is not enough.)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: http://uber.la/2012/04/to-be-a-leader/

UPDATE: And you’d probably best get started on your blog. Because if you’re not sharing your thoughts about social media, nobody will know you are having them. Here’s my last month of stats from the wonderful Gaug.es analytics software.

Screen Shot 2012 04 02 at 11.10.04 PM To Be a Leader In Social Media... Tell me where you participate. (BTW: LinkedIN is not enough!)

Other posts about kicking ass in social media:

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Apr
01
2012

Results of my 2012 Evolutionary Online Marketing Plan: Um, Excuse Me, Are You Listening?

<MY PLAN>

The 3 Step Evolution of my business plan for 2012:

  1. THE Biggest Mistake In Social Media Marketing: Not Asking for the Business Now I need to give that solution, or the framework for that solution, to you for free. Well, in exchange for your email address. You can opt-out if you like, but without contact, I’ll never know you were here other than that blip on Google Analytics. (Awareness of the problem)
  2. The Social Economy: I’m Trying to Give It Away, What’s the Problem? (So Is Everyone Else) And perhaps the problem is this: Everybody is giving it away. The Hubspots and Chris Brogans of the world are fishing in the same waters as I am with much larger nets and more powerful offers. So how can I take it personal? What can I do to localize my offer that the big boys can’t do? (Offering a solution)
  3. Monday Morning Consulting Offer: Cost = Nearly Free; Value = Priceless I’d like to meet you and talk about your business and the whole spectrum of online marketing opportunities that could contribute to your success. (Taking the Offer Direct)

That was the plan. Starting on November 29, 2011. I started getting my act together on this blog, and putting my practice into practice, so to speak. And on February 27, 2012, I threw down the ultimate gauntlet, FREE. I can’t do any better than that. I can’t BEG. Well, at least not yet.

<MY RESULTS>

So here are the results after 30 days with the ultimate offer in place. The ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

SWOT reviews = 0

Disciplines of Social Media [eBook] download = 10

FREE morning coffees = 0

Um. Okay. Clearly I’m missing some huge component to my strategy. And if I were planning on living on this income stream, I’d better start looking for backup offers at Starbucks, or something. At least they have insurance.

Perhaps there’s another approach?

I’ve also been doing the PAY IT FORWARD consulting approach. "Sure, I can help you with that. Let’s meet up at Whole Foods."

Free meetings delivered = 4.

On these meetings I am not looking at the value of the potential client. I am merely helping out. Need a site? Need to promote your business? Don’t understand Twitter? Let’s grab a table some where and chat about. it.

Finally, when I friend called last week about brushing up on SEO and SEM I referred her to my Social U. page. 6 – 7 video trainings, all under 2 minutes. "Seriously, if you just watch the videos, I am trying to deliver a small actionable lesson very quickly. It’s the best I can do. I can’t explain it any more efficiently or clearly to you."

Video views, since November 2011 = 1,500+ (video marketing)

Posts on Uber.la since Nov. 3, 2011 = 143 (content marketing / seo / sem) Here’s the post index.

BOTTOMLINE: business generated =  ZERO.

<MY CONCLUSION>

I’m not crying or complaining. I’m fascinated. All the way to the poor house. All I can say is, thank goodness I have several late-stage job interviews in progress. And at the same time I am pushing harder than ever on my Evil Plans(tm). But nothing, in this economy, or political climate, or "social media hyped" economy is actually driving business. And my guess is, I’m not the only one struggling to scrape up even the smallest glimmer of a lead.

Take hope. Keep pressing forward. Don’t panic. Stay social. It’s gonna turn around. There’s no where else for it to go. The "evolution" for me is back towards employment with consistency and teamwork.

Note: Of course, what I am offering is a bit abstract. Hopefully you are having better luck with a more concrete offer. Let me know what’s working. Comments are always open.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: http://uber.la/2012/04/results/

Other posts about kicking ass in social media:

Get the most valuable business information on the Social Marketing page.

My YouTube video results page:

Screen Shot 2012 04 01 at 3.29.06 PM Results of my 2012 Evolutionary Online Marketing Plan: Um, Excuse Me, Are You Listening?

Click to go to the Social Media Marketing Playlist


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