Are you using social media in a social capacity, or just as a push mechanism? It turns out that most organizations are receiving a failing grade when it comes to adding the “social” to social media.
I have discovered some amazing statistics that organizations should take into serious consideration:
70% of businesses ignore complaints on Twitter
95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands
These numbers are ridiculous! They are inexcusable. Why? Because although media is unidirectional, social media is multi-directional (Note: it’s not bidirectional, as social media can move and spread across many channels – hence viral)
Social media is ultimately successful when people are engaged.
83% of people who complained on Twitter liked or loved a response by the company
In short – if you take the time to listen and respond, people feel validated.
Aside from the statistics, I can tell you through my personal experience of managing multiple social media accounts for several organizations, that engagement is crucial. Just like every conversation, there are good and not-so-good days. The key is to be honest, transparent, and listen. It also helps to have a plan for managing issues, or at least a template such as this one.
The Good News!
You can turn this around right now. You can take action and engage people. A few starting steps:
Listen. What are people saying? What are they not saying?
Decide who will respond. Choose someone who understands communications, your policies, and the content.
Start to respond. If you stay in line with your organizations values, maintain a level head, and remember that there is a real person at the other end – you’re on your way.
It’s official – 2012 is the year social media has reached the next level of maturity. Air Miles has just announced that it is closing down its own Community in favour of using other social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Here is the main message from the Air Miles has sent out
“Due to the tremendous popularity of our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter, we are refocusing our social media efforts to where our Collectors are.
As of November 30, 2012, our Community will shut down. We want to personally thank you for making the AIR MILES Community a place of open sharing and connection. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
If you haven’t already connected with us through our other social media channels, you can stay in touch with us through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.”
Why is this important?
Corporations are beginning to understanding that they no longer need to build their own social media tools to engage with customers and that existing online tools have advantages such as:
They offer greater access to both a larger and a more engaged fan base
They are more cost effective as there is no need for companies to build, and maintain, a custom community application. This means a greater potential return on investment by shifting money from away from development and directly to engagement activities
Users share significantly more personal data through their social media accounts
There is less risk for companies in terms of ensuring the security of the users information
The corporate community is not dead, but I expect that over the next year we’ll see a continued shift away from the “build in-house” to the “engage with existing social media” communities for engagement. After it, it makes more sense to bring your message to where your audience is talking, rather than standing in an empty room and hoping someone comes in.
Over the past few months I have had limited time to update my blog. It’s not for lack of effort, as I certainly have several articles at 90% ready to publish, the challenge has been where to invest my time. While this blog is important to me, I have focused my time on the following:
Twitter: I have been very active on Twitter. The easy-to-use interface allows for the distribution and sharing of content. For my latest updates I highly recommend viewing my Twitter account.
Pinterest: It’s hard not to love Pinterest once you start to use it. It’s a platform that establishes the fact that there are brilliant people creating invaluable content. I love the plethora of marketing and communications infographics that are available. Here are some of my Pinterest favourites.
LinkedIn: If you’re a professional and you’re not on LinkedIn, go there right now and setup an account. Aside from creating a powerful online resume, it is a fantastic way to connect with people in your community. Honestly, it’s not an option – all professionals must have an account. Here is mine.
Aside from my own social media, I have been very active in a variety of work and volunteer projects. The 2012 Chatham Sunrise Rotary Ribfest was a great deal of fun and deserves a case-study (It went superb, even the issues management component). I have also been lending my skills to a variety of businesses through my consulting company and of course mentoring a very skilled colleague.
The bottom line: I’m online, active, and engaged. So please feel free to join the conversations.
These two examples show how companies stopped, identified the problems, found solutions, retooled, and started again.
We rebuild when the current design is no longer maintainable.
When does something evolve?
It’s undergoing incremental change
It’s experiencing a refresh
A core process is slightly-modified
The evolution of an entity signifies that it is keeping pace with society.
I hear how governments and private companies are “rebuilding”. While if may be feasible to do this, it’s generally not practical. In order to rebuild, you must completely stop what you’re doing, break it down to its components, and then assemble again using new and recycled materials. That’s what rebuilding means. What most organizations do is evolve. They do it because it means that business may continue as smaller changes occur. Communicators must use the term evolve in their materials and not use rebuild… unless they mean it.
I have recently seen two examples of QR codes that actually worked well.
1 – A website promoted a mobile app and they used a QR code on screen. I was able to hold my phone up the screen and scan the code – no need to type in a weird website address into my phone. Awesome targeting of the market, in this case me, and applying technology to make my life easier.
2 – A real estate agent used a QR code on their window display to take me to a mobile version of their website. I could see all of the properties they were selling, plus other houses for sale in the area. The one thing that was missing was the “reason” to scan the code in the first place. I did it because I wanted to evaluate what they were using the code for… but the fact is that a person should never have to guess what the code will do.
There are two examples of QR codes done well. The key lessons:
Make the code easy to scan
Identify why you want me scan the code
Make the result applicable to the destination device
It’s Saturday afternoon and I just heard an ad for Victory Ford in Chatham on the local rock station. The ad was promoting the high-end Lincoln model of vehicles, and normally I’d let something like this slide, but not today.
The ad uses two main characters that sound like hillbilly’s. I’m sure their nice people, but their trying to sell a vehicle that competes with brands such as BMW and Audi. I have to wonder what they were thinking choosing this setting.
The second question I have is around the production quality of the ad – it’s mediocre. For example, part way into the ad there is supposedly a voice mail left for them by an insurance agent (good partnership!). The problem is that the supposed voice mail does not sound like a voice mail. Excluding that the speaker sounds like they are reading directly from a script, the audio technician has not made the actual voice sound like it’s been played off of a voice mail.
Overall, the ad misses the mark. It might work if they were trying to sell a truck, but not a high-end luxury vehicle.
I hope they go back and retool the ad before they hurt the Lincoln brand any further.
If you have thoughts, twitter me: @andrewtompsett.
It is no surprise that the 2011 Coca-Cola ad – Reason to Believe – is award winning. In a world that is filled with cruel political ads, back-stabbing tv reality show ads, and mindless sugar-fluff-style ads, it’s refreshing to see that a brand can break the mold.
This ad is inspiring.
I congratulate Coca-Cola for investing thought, care, and passion into something that is more artwork than advertising. I realize that there are many reviews about this ad (I’ll list some at the bottom of this posting), but it has struck a cord in me and calls to my greater ethical sensibilities as both a communicator and a person.
Please take the 90 seconds to enjoy the following video:
P.S. Did you click on the link above to check out the Reason to Believe website?
Have you ever noticed that as things get busier, we instinctively allow ourselves to work harder and harder. The old adage “work smarter, not harder” may sound like the fools gold of time management, but in my opinion it is the only way to become more productive.
By spending time addressing how and why you do something, you will ultimately find ways to improve what you are doing – and save time!
Pick your best three-way
There is always 3 ways to accomplish the same outcome. Are you choosing the best way?
Pick your best option or you’re wasting your time.
There is a fourth way, so use it
As an addition to your three-ways, once you find the best way to do something, guaranteed there will be a fourth way to do it. Plus, 6 months from now there will be a fifth way.
Evolution of process happens because innovation never stops. If you stop evolving, you’re done.
So work hard, then stop and review what you’ve done, change (evolve), work hard again… repeat!
Tablets as useful tools are becoming a reality. Aside from developing useful apps – that’s a given - there are a few things that need to happen in order for the tablet to become the next “killer device”.
Follow me for a moment on this principal: the cell phone and tablet are companion devices and must be seen as one device. Here are a few features I want:
They must share a data plan. Not two separate data plans, but one. Oh, and the tablet must contain it’s own cellular hardware so it does not have to use the phone connection.
I want my phone to act as a mouse for the tablet (wired and/or wireless). Not a touchpad, but an actual mouse that I move.
The apps must crossover seamlessly and work perfectly together. When I update an app on one device, the other device should automatically follow suit.
The phone can display the tablet screen and vice-versa. If I’m in another room and want the tablet to do something – show me it’s screen on my phone.
They must share storage space easily. Yes, they need independent storage, but that storage should work as one.
There must also be power options that allows for “single use” functionality of each device. This means they can be just a camera, or mp3 player, or phone, or e-reader, etc. This will add hours to battery life and eliminate some user headaches as well.
As 2012 rolls into the middle of it’s first month, I find myself rigorously reviewing all of the strategies and processes that I employ in my professional, business, and personal life. Actually, I’ve been reviewing things for about a month now and am creating a very solid plan of action.
A plan can save countless hours, a good plan can save countless days, but a great plan makes us masters.
I see all too often people and organizations focused on the quick win and not looking for the BIG win. The BIG win is the coming together of planning, strategy, and execution.
Ok, this sounds nice, but what is the one take-away that you need to remember? Make everything measurable and accountable to that measurement.
Want to meet more people – then decide how many each month.
Want to exercise – then how long and how many days each week.
Want to give back to the community – then how much time/$$$ every quarter.
The Big Secret
Not a lot of people plan to plan. If you set a goal of investing energy (say 2 hours a week) into your planning efforts, then you’ll be ahead of many of your colleagues.
So here they are, the two “must use” tips: plan to plan and measure your plans.
It’s easy, as long as you don’t mind working at it!