Tag Archives: social media

Social Media pro fun and what is the future of social media

9 Feb

Recently I’ve come across a few funny social media virals on the inter webs. As a social media coordinator myself, I find these funny and I’m sure you will too!

I'm fairly sure this is how most people who comment on social media brand pages think.

It got me thinking, less than a decade ago my job didn’t exist. I mean, marketing existed, but the social media side didn’t. Not to the degree of today. The internet died for about 2 hours at work today and I was besides myself. I span in my rolly chair and moaned that I couldn’t do my jobbbb waaaaa waaaaaaaaa much like you see in that youtube video. I made a phone call to our account manager who was trying to send me some critical information “Hello this is a phone call from 1992 where the internet hasn’t been invented yet. Can you hear me me me me, im time travelling-ing-ing”. Yeah I thought that was pretty funny.

Marketing used to be quite one sided and brands told you what they wanted you to know and to think. We are pretty lucky in this day and age as marketers to be exploring this whole new world of engaging with consumers and people who use your product and are willing to connect with you and share their ideas *cough* EvenIfSomeOfTheirIdeasAreVeryUnreasonable *cough*

We are kind of at a turning point right now. Sort of like when Television started to grow in popularity and people were buying them as soon as they could afford to and stations were figuring out how to create content that people would like. New types of shows and genres developed and rules and tips were created along the way. Then 1999 hit and reality TV was created and the sanctity of television slowly died.

Social media is evolving and changing so rapidly. Sharing is the key to getting the best out of social media at this point in time.

Pintrest is the latest social media platform that encourages sharing of images (cool images) between people you know and people you don’t know. Twitter has retweets and Facebook has the share button which is starting to be widely used.

If you are running a brand social media page right now the best thing to do is post photos that make people want to share your content. Cute photos, funny sayings, cats…. people want to share that with friends and then with their friends and then their friends and round and round your brand name goes. Remember that is all virtually free advertising! High 5 sharing!

Quirky is also key. Being slightly off the cuff, funny and delighting really drives engagement particularly is that is not the normal style of your brand. It really endears people towards you.

Since social media is changing so fast there are no social media experts. Really, every 16 year old girl probably knows as much about social media as I do, I just do it for my living. Heck, when I was at university 4 years or so ago there was no mention of social media. My friend who is at university currently is hardly learning about it and is in fact trying to help write a syllabus about it.

As with everything, eventually people will become cynical about the very things they currently embrace. I am super excited to watch, from my front seat view, how social media will evolve and change in the coming years.

What do you think the future of social media holds?

Gamification. How can games build your sales

4 Aug

Mc Donalds on Farmville

We all love to play computer games… well I know I do, so what happens when a company makes a game that helps you to remember their brand and makes you feel favourably towards them? This is happening a lot these days.

In around 2003 I was really into the clothing and lifestyle brand Emily The Strange. On their website was a really cool game called Homework hex and I would play it all the time. It’s kind of like checkers. That was the beginning of associating game content with a brand.

These days companies integrate games onto social networking site such as Facebook to encourage users to invite friends to play which increases Facebook fans for the brand and of course grows the brand salience.

Farmville is a cult favourite game on Facebook and Lady Gaga took it over a few months ago with her own areas of the game. McDonalds has also had a virtual presence in Farmville. With over 70 million active Farmville users (that stat sounds crazy high to me) this is a big marketing coup to capture the types of people that I imagine would play Farmville.

Real estate company Century 21 here in Australia has just launched an innovative new game where users are given $1 million to buy and sell real estate in a virtual neighbourhood to become a property mogul. CLICK HERE TO PLAY. It fuses the online world with the real world in a very clever way. When you log your postcode you are helped along in the game by your very own local real estate agent who is in avatar form… but is actually based on the real person. It also integrates properties that are on the market right now and you gain badges for achievements. If you visit a Century 21 open inspection and speak to an agent you can gain extra points for the game. Players can also entice their friends to start playing too.

I think this game would appeal more to women, probably because its kind of like The Sims and I know how much I like The Sims!

I think this is an incredibly smart social media marketing strategy and idea for Century 21 in a growing real estate market where new companies seem to be springing up over night. This game creates good will and a like factor that would encourage players to contact Century 21 and their virtual/real life agent if they needed to buy or sell a house. That’s what real estate is all about right? Creating relationships and trust with vendors so that the real estate agent can make some money! Century 21 hasn’t done a lot of advertising of their brand as far as I am aware and this is a modern and innovative step.

Good job Century 21!

Have you ever been sold to through gamification channels?

Social Media – How to deal with complaints and negative feedback.

5 Jun

I love social media. My high school teachers would get mad at me for spending copious amounts of time checking my emails, reading webpages, building useless geocities/gurlpages websites (early 2000’s people) and generally racking up more internet usage than the schools system network administrator. Hey, thanks school! I actually taught myself things during those periods of boring classes, even though by the end of my time at school it was difficult to search many key words because my diligent searching of certain topics got them banned. Good luck writing an essay on Hanson everyone! haha.

Anyway i’m getting off topic. So when I moved to America in 2006 for university everyone was talking about Facebook. My roommates forced me to sign up to it in my first night with them because apparently I couldn’t function at an American college without a Facebook page. At this stage nobody in Australia had a Facebook page because it was restricted to college students only. What a different world it was.

So blast forward to now, 2011. What the heck has happened? Every man and his grandma and local chicken shop is doing this social media thing. Social Media is a critical part of a brands identity.

We are all so well connected, and in some cases actually entertained by social media campaigns. That is a whole other topic and today I’ll just focus on the scary part of social media. COMPLAINTS. Very public airing of the horrors of customers annoyance.

The key to responding professionally to complaints made on social media is to:

  • Turn negatives into positives to build loyalty and customer satisfaction
  • Always be transparent and reply with an empathetic, caring comment.
  • Never ignore a comment.
  • Never give an angry tone in your response.
  • Always show that you are working to improve the situation.
  • Ask the person complaining to contact you directly through email or phone so that you can sort out deep issues privately and address them personally.

So what do you do when a customer visits your companies Facebook page and leaves a comment with such venom that every single person visiting your page can see and may put them off your company. Panic? Yes good answer but don’t. Social media encourages users to participate in conversation whether it be good or bad. How do we deal with a bad comment?

Well it depends on the comment. Feedback can either be negative feedback or constructive criticism. It is important to reply to the complaint in a positive manner and thank the customer for their ideas if it is constructive criticism. If it is negative feedback eg: faulty product, bad service, reply to the customer and thank them for bringing this issue to your attention and that you will look into how to deal with it. Try and understand the customer and make them feel listened to and understood.

One of the most important parts of social media is to be transparent. Social media is all about personal service and a face for the company.

It is important to reply to comments as quickly as possible. The worst thing to do is leave it a few days as others will then see this comment and word travels in social media. Being positive and constructive in response to a negative comment can work to create positive experiences for the people who complained. A well handled complaint can result in a person feeling a deep connection and respect for a company. Even those who have not complained but have seen the conversation being resolved will feel respect for the company.

I recently saw a good case of this on a Facebook page where a customer commented that they received their order with some wrong products in it. The customer service person responded and apologised for the inconvenience, asked them to contact their personal email account to sort out the finer details out of the watchful eye of the social media space and then commented “can anyone think of any recipes for Kathy to make use of this excess butter and milk”. PERFECT! I saw another one on a different site complaining about delivery timing issues. The service person responded and asked them to contact their personal email to discuss the problem in more detail, and to probably offer them some form of compensation.

Most customers just want to know that they have been heard in most cases of constructive criticism. Those that give constructive criticism obviously care enough about your brand to have taken the time to contact you so again, be positive and thankful.

Ignoring and deleting comments is a no no generally. Social media is like a giant conversation. If the person called you on the phone or was standing in front of you making a complaint you would not ignore them, you would respond to them. Social media is no different. Deleting a comment should only occur in extreme cases such as bullying, rude language and so on.

So remember to embrace complaints even though they probably hurt your feelings. You can do something to turn this bad experience around and turn it into a good experience that will be appreciated!

Just for a funny example of how social media can turn on you. (sourced from lamebook.com)

Note to self: Send direct emails to the company if I ever have a complaint so as not to air dirty laundry through social media.

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