Tag Archive | ROI

Your company is Tweeting, Facebooking, and Blogging. So what?

So, your company is on Twitter, Facebook, and has started a blog. So what?

Are you connecting to the right people? Are you seeing any results from your efforts?

Every self-proclaimed social media mogul says “listen first,” then speak. I agree, but where do you listen, who do you listen to, and how do you listen on SM?

I usually pick a “target audience” every few days and concentrate on building a relationship with them.

For example, let’s say your company wants to sell Zen Gardens to stressed-out CEOs. (It was the first thing I saw when I looked around my desk).

Step 1 – Connect. First, I suggest checking your database for all CEOs  that your currently working with. Run internal searches to see if any of them are on social media. It’s important to connect with people you already know, and see who they are connected with. Done that already? Then, how about running a boolean search (you can use this one) on Google and find CEO’s on LinkedIn that are also on Twitter.

Step 2 – Listen. How do you listen on social media? All those people you just connected with in Step 1, now it’s time to listen, not in a stalkerish way, but in a way that knows what’s going on in their world. Are they asking questions you can provide input to? Can you help sponsor an event? Do you have common personal interests/goals? All of those things are conversations to be on the lookout for. I like using Twitter Lists on TweetDeck so I can put people into categories and quickly monitor what that group is saying. By quickly, I mean scanning through their tweets once or twice a day.

Step 3 – Interact. I think this is where many companies potentially drop the ball.  They get their SM sites going, then, like Field of Dreams they hope customers will come. Building a true social media platform takes a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. Always thinking of ways to interact and build relationships.  A few basic examples: comment on a blog post, RT their information, support them in their speaking engagements, just interact with them! People on SM love when their content spreads.

Step 4 – Give. I like to use the word give because relationships never work if your a “taker.” So, give to your connections. Provide meaningful content via a blog or Twitter feed. Support their efforts whether speaking or blogging. Could they benefit from knowing another one your connections? Introduce them. Do you have an event they might be interested in attending? Invite them. Let your connections know that you are not all about you.

Step 5 – Engage. Now that you’ve had meaningful interactions with them, it’s time to pull the “relationship” even closer. Maybe they could guest author on your blog about the stress CEOs are facing. Or you could sponsor a series of Webinars for other CEOs. I’m making this up but you get the point. Your goal is for them to become an advocate of your SM efforts and of your organization.

I’m not claiming to be a sales expert. But, most sales people would agree that the best “deals” are done with those who they’ve built a solid relationship with. Social Media is a great tool to lay the foundation for a good relationship.

If all of this stresses you out,  I’ve got a Zen Garden with your name on it.


5 Missed Opportunities By The @SprintCare Social Media Efforts.

So, I admit it. I’m spoiled.

I had an excellent interaction with the Home Depot via social media, which set the bar for other companies to treat me as their customer. Besides that, being a huge Social Media (SM) advocate, I know that SM can build great relationships with customers, or help tear them apart.

I recently had an interaction with the Sprint Social Media team.  This post is not intended to “bad mouth” Sprint but rather, in my opinion, show areas of improvement in their SM efforts.

Long story short. A few months back I made the switch from what my buddies called a “sissy texting phone,” to the then brand new HTC Hero. Shortly after the holidays friends started asking me if I received their text messages. I brushed it off for a few weeks, until more and more friends/family began telling me they had tried calling or texting, but I never received them. I took it into a local store, they played with my phone for a few minutes, then sent me on my way. Ensuring me that the problem was fixed.

It wasn’t. And as irritating as it is to have purchased a “lemon,” what is more frustrating is feeling like I need to jump through corporate hoops to get my problem fixed.

I sent an email to the Sprint Customer service team detailing my problems and asking for help. After basically getting nowhere, I reach out via social media to Sprint.

My thinking was that if they were on social media, they knew the importance of authentic interaction and transparency with customers.

My first two tries to interact via Twitter were met by silence. Missed Opportunity 1.

Was no-one actually maintaining their account, or did they not have any searches set-up to find people that were talking about them?

Finally, after asking if anyone was running their account, had two responses. One from @rpesce and the other from the @sprintcare team. I thanked them for responding and asked to be put in touch with someone. I wanted a REAL person. But, I was asked to send a e-mail to sprintcares@sprint.com detailing my problem.

Ok. Fine. I had already sent an email to them a few weeks back detailing my problem, but for the sake of an argument I copied my previous emails and sent a screen shot of the conversation that had taken place on Twitter. (I was hoping their CRM database was robust enough to see I had several interactions with various Sprint reps., and they would escalate this issue.)

A simple follow-up to ensure me my problem was being looked at would have put my mind at ease. Missed Opportunity 2.

Meanwhile, I would expect their Sprint team to follow me on Twitter. After all, I am a customer (have been one for years) wouldn’t they want to connect with me? If nothing else, wouldn’t they rather have a conversation via DM rather than an @ reply?  Missed Opportunity 3.

You read that right. My son had an emergency at school, and they couldn’t leave a message on my phone!

I digress. My e-mail was responded to by another customer service rep. who had no idea what was going on with my problem. So I had to provide additional information to get her up to speed. With @HomeDepot Stephanie reached out to me via Twitter, and she was the one that handled my issue. Missed Opportunity 4.

Finally, thought I was getting somewhere when, Lee, a Sprint technician called me. He ensured me that my problem was a “high priority” and didn’t want to lose me as a customer. He said one of the other technicians would call me within 24 hours to, yet again, gather more details.

72 hours went by and never heard from the other technician. Since I didn’t have Lee’s direct number, I thought the Twitter team might be able to reconnect me with him. I sent a tweet to them asking if they could have Lee call me.

No further questioning. No additional help.  And It’s been almost a month and haven’t heard from anyone else at Sprint. Missed Opportunity 5.

Again, I say, this post isn’t to find fault with Sprint. Though it might seem like I am.

I believe, especially in Social Media, companies have to learn what works and what doesn’t. I simply wanted to show the missed opportunities that the Sprint SM team is having.

Solution to Missed Oppty 1: Search social media for what others are saying so you can quickly respond.
Solution to Missed Oppty 2: Follow-up with customers so they know you are working on their problem.
Solution to Missed Oppty 3: Engage and interact with your customers on social media.
Solution to Missed Oppty 4: Streamline the customer service process.
Solution to Missed Oppty 5: If someone asks a question you don’t know, find someone in the company that does and digg a little deeper.

Again, I thought about blurring Sprint’s name because I didn’t want to bad mouth them, but I think it’s important to show how some companies are understanding and embracing social media, and other’s, though trying to drive ROI on SM, don’t understand the relationship aspect.

What are your thoughts?