How eBay Supports Buyers and Sellers on Social Media

eBay, the online marketplace, is in a unique position: It sells billions of dollars of merchandise each year, but none of it is their own. So when customers reach out on social media, they are either buyers or sellers on the platform, and eBay stands in the middle.

“We can’t be too biased on the buyer side and we can’t be too heavy on the seller side,” says Dallen McKee, Global Social Media Customer Care Team Leader at eBay. “We have to create a good experience for both.”

In general, disagreements between buyers and sellers are not specific to eBay – they occur in many other e-commerce transactions, McKee says.

“That’s what happens to e-commerce is buyers might have an expectation of exactly what a product is,  and in e-commerce you don’t have the luxury of seeing it, holding it, trying it on, whatever the case may be,” he says.

The eBay team aims to “set both parties up for success” by “encouraging the two parties to work together,” McKee adds, noting that “the vast majority of our sellers are very willing to correct the situation for a buyer.”

eBay’s goal is “to create experiences that make a difference” while balancing the need for a quick response. It is critical, McKee says, “to not allow social media customer care to turn into just any other channel… to really make it a different voice a different tone and to create an experience that can actually generate a positive brand perception.”

eBay has done that in two big ways:

First, the company takes user feedback seriously and because the Social Media Customer Care team is integrated into the rest of the organization, it can act on that feedback. After a recent mobile app release that wasn’t as well received as the company had hoped, McKee’s team quickly gathered both the negative and positive feedback and helped the product and technical teams make quick adjustments in a future release.

“Once our product team specifically understands that social media is a faster avenue to generate this type of feedback, they are more prone to ask us for assistance,” McKee says.

The product and technical teams now understand that social feedback is more immediate than sifting through phone call records, so they are now proactive about engaging the Social Media Customer Care team right at product launch.

“They come to us to say, ‘Hey we’re launching a product, can you get X amount of headcount positions to search for this feedback as it comes in, get it real-time, and we’ll make changes on the fly,’” McKee says. “And that’s the culture we’ve started to create here within eBay.”

Second, the company has embarked on a new Facebook Messenger bot to simplify the experience of searching for items on the massive site.

“[It’s] a feature with Facebook Messenger where you type in what exactly you’re looking for and it asks additional questions to really hone in on the specifics of what you want,” McKee says.

(Readers can try out the new bot, called eBay ShopBot, here.)

McKee acknowledges that messaging apps are the “wave of the future” and says the company is focused on messaging for both service and the buying experience.

Interestingly, eBay seems to be a victim of its own success in social media. The company is seeing a 20% increase in customer service inquiries year over year in both Facebook and Twitter.

“You generate your own volume,” McKee says. “The more you engage, the more you respond, the more questions that come in, the more customers start to realize that they can come here first and it’s not just a way to complain about not getting what you wanted out of a different channel.”

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

Key Tips for Creating Effective Visuals for Social Media

Creating visuals for your social media channels is more important than ever.

The internet is more driven by images than ever before, and this trend is only getting more pronounced. Image-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are challenging older social media sites, while Facebook and Twitter themselves contain more visual content than ever.

Given this shift, one of the best ways to reach your audience is to master a compelling visual style. Let’s explore some of the best techniques for creating visuals for social media.

Identify Content That Brings Results

While the idea that it’s best to create visuals that bring the best results is fairly obvious, it’s important to recognize the criteria for this.

The internet is full of funny and clever memes and images, and while many of these are entertaining, they won’t necessarily help you, as a business, promote yourself or your products or services.

For example, behind-the-scenes photos are very popular as they make your audience feel more involved. But what you’re seeking is not simply views or even shares (though these are nice, of course) but engagement with your brand and, ultimately, conversions.

To create visual content that helps you convert, it’s essential to make your images targeted, relevant and appropriate for the platform you’re using.

Creating the Ideal Images for Different Platforms

While visuals are popular throughout social media, it doesn’t mean the same image will work equally well everywhere.

Each platform has its own requirements, quirks, and user preferences.

  • Facebook – Research indicates that visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on Facebook than non-visual content. Some of the best image formats for Facebook include infographics, contest banners, and animated GIFs. Remember, Facebook users see images all day long, many of them boring stock photos. Differentiate yourself by creating custom photos and images that stand out.
  • Twitter – Although Twitter wasn’t created as a visual platform, it’s certainly evolved in that direction. The trick here is to combine a short tweet with an appealing image. Although you have 140 characters, it’s often best to make your tweets even shorter, especially when the goal is to highlight the image and create a tweet people can retweet..
  • Instagram – The meteoric rise of Instagram over the last few years is itself evidence of visuals rising in popularity – up until recently, Instagram, after all, was almost completely image-based. To succeed on this platform, it’s important to develop a unique style and to post frequently. Inspirational quotes work very well on Instagram, as do photos highlighting company culture. Another approach is to display photos of actual products you’re selling. Flat lays, where the product is resting on a flat surface and you shoot it from above work well on Instagram. And, using visuals in Instagram Stories is also highly recommended
  • Pinterest – Like Instagram, Pinterest is specifically a visual platform. Pinterest is now integrated with eCommerce services like Shopify, making it an ideal place to display product images, however it’s also good for other types of images, including exceptional photos and inspirational photos and quotes. Remember that you pin images to boards, so always target your images to followers of a specific board. If you have multiple themes, it’s easy enough to create more boards.
  • LinkedIn – The leading B2B social network, LinkedIn is often considered a mainly text-based platform. There remain many opportunities to showcase visuals here, though. Remember to convey a professional image as you’re reaching out to business people. It’s better, for example, to publish quality head shots rather than the more casual kind popular on Facebook. LinkedIn owns Slideshare, so slideshows are easy to integrate into your posts. Business-related infographics also work well on LinkedIn.

These are some guidelines for creating a visual strategy for different social media sites. It’s crucial, however, to identify the sites and visuals that work best for your own business. Some businesses, for example, get more out of Facebook while others do better on Pinterest or Instagram.

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

Teenage Bollywood actor faces vicious social media abuse and no one knows why

She’s 16, talented, newly famous. And unfortunately, facing vile abuse on social media.

Zaira Wasim, the young actor who dazzled audiences with her flawless debut in Dangal — India’s highest-grossing film ever — posted an inexplicable “confession/apology” on Facebook last night.

And then, she deleted it in no time.

Not before screenshots had been taken though.

Her note reeks of fear and coercion. And sadly, submission too. She says she is “sorry for what I did” and wants to “make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my foot steps or even consider me as a role model.”

What has she “done”? No one knows. Yet.

But there’s enough conjecture.

Going by the comments surfacing on social media, she’s either being bullied for meeting Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti or being criticized for her supposedly “un-Islamic” act of joining films.

Scores of abusive comments have flooded her Facebook page.

However, there’s a silver lining. Almost.

The hate comments have been outnumbered by the empathetic ones. All sections of Indian society from politicians and media-persons to film personalities and sportsmen, and of course, the masses have come out in loud support of the Kashmiri actor.

Noted among them is a comment from former Jammu & Kashmir CM and Mufti’s political rival, Omar Abdullah.

 

 

[Source:- Mashable]

 

How Social Media Has Changed the Game for Customer Service

To understand how some people just have an innate sense for great customer service, you need only look back at Shep Hyken’s job during college. Before Shep became a world-renown customer service expert and best-selling author, he worked at a gas station.

“One very, very cold day…a woman got out of the car to pump gas, an elderly woman,” Hyken explains. “I went out and pumped her for gas for her. My manager got upset with me for pumping this lady’s gas. He says, ‘we’re a self-serve station’ and I thought, well you know, ‘but she could have died, slipped piece of ice, I mean she looked frail’. So I helped her and he says, ‘What is she going to do the next time? She’s going expect the same thing.’ And I said, ‘well that’s fine because there’s three other stations, one on each of the corners [of] the intersection, and I think that I’d love her to come back and always do business with us.’”

Today, Hyken consults with many companies and teaches them how to employ this same mindset to what is becoming the ultimate competitive advantage.

“You’re going to compete on really one of two things: You’re either going to compete on price or something else,” he says. “If you’re not competing on price alone you’re competing on something else and that something else is always going to be part of the customer experience.”

So how has social media changed the game for customer service?

“Customers have a bigger voice than ever before and therefore I believe it raises the bar for every company to do an effective job,” Hyken says, adding that it’s critical that companies respond to every post, whether positive or negative. “That’s why they call it social,” he says. “Because it is. It’s a conversation.”

The other thing social media has done is raise customer expectations. The airline industry especially has set a really high bar for any brand in social media, with response times often in just a few minutes. (See Southwest Airlines, for example.)

“What’s happened is that customer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been, and that is outpacing the strides that some companies are making,” Hyken explains. “When I have a great experience on Delta Airlines and then I go to any other business, I say, ‘Why can’t they be as friendly as the people that took care of me on Delta Airlines?’ If I go to a restaurant and I’m treated well and then I go to a bookstore I’m going to compare the person who’s apathetic, introverted, not outgoing, barely talks to me, barely looks at me, to the friendly server that I had the night before.”

So in other words, that innate sense of great customer service is more important today than ever before. While social media has had a huge impact on overall customer experience, getting the basics right – online and offline – is still critical.

As Hyken looks to the future, he is excited about cognitive computing and how it will ultimately lead to a truly personalized experience.

“What [IBM’s] Watson is doing and some other artificial intelligence systems are doing is they’re not just retrieving information, knowing where to get it, how to assimilate it, and to make it sound good to a human,” he says. “They are actually thinking. They’re truly going to learn about their customers. And every time they interact with us they’re going to get even better and better.”

Hyken graciously talked with me for Episode 45 of the Focus on Customer Service Podcast.

 

Here are some of the key moments of the interview and where to find them:

1:17 How Shep’s childhood shaped his customer service expertise today

6:38 The cost of doing business and the cost of not doing customer service well

7:45 Managing customer expectations

12:06 Are all companies in the customer service and customer experience business?

14:57 Examples of great experiences that don’t cost a lot of money

18:30 How has social media impacted customer service overall?

20:41 Customer surveys and what it means to deliver “10” service

24:46 Why companies should respond to every single comment on social media

29:05 How companies can build relationships with customers in digital channels and raise expectations for everyone else

 

 
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

24 Predictions for Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2017

24 Predictions for Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2017 | Social Media Today

The end of the year is fast approaching, which means Christmas jingles, New Year’s resolutions and… prediction posts. And while the ever-shifting social landscape eventually renders many such prognostications invalid, it’s still worth analyzing what might be on the horizon as a means of trying to understand where we’re at, and where we’re headed, as we plan for the next 12 months.

Last year, my predictions mostly pointed in the right direction, so again, I’ve decided to get in early and put down a few of my thoughts on where each platform is going, before the upcoming onslaught of ‘looking ahead’ posts.

So here are my 24 predictions for each of the major social platforms in 2017, starting with the big one – Mark Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding giant.

Facebook

2016 has been another huge year for Facebook. They’ve added 197 million more monthly active users and recently crossed a billion mobile only MAU for the first time. The future of the network – as reiterated by Zuckerberg in their most recent earnings call – is video, with more emphasis to be put on live-streaming and 360 content in particular over the next 12 months. And that will cause a significant shift in the platform – here’s what you can expect.

Video first – Facebook’s been refining their focus on video for some time, and you can expect this to continue into next year. Just recently, Facebook announced a trial of a new camera option which Zuckerberg sees as eventually taking over from the text box as the default status update tool. The new camera will be easily accessible from the home screen and will appear with a Snapchat-style interface, including new visual features like masks and other interactive tools.

This new option – the latest in Facebook’s efforts to beat out Snapchat – is currently being trialed in Ireland and will likely be rolled out to all regions early in the new year. And, importantly, as you can see in the above video, it’ll include new visual enhancement features that go beyond those that are currently available on Snapchat.

The impetus here is obvious – Facebook sees that the next generation of users are gravitating towards this ‘camera-first’ style of interaction, and they want to appeal to those users to keep them on Facebook. A big driver in getting new people interested in Snapchat is their cool visual tools like Lenses – if Facebook can provide better, more innovative tools on this front, that might help them keep those users on Facebook instead. After all, most people already have larger established networks of their friends on Facebook, why not just use Facebooks ‘lenses’ instead?

And while this won’t kill Snapchat, it will slow their growth, which will increase the pressure on Evan Spiegel and Co. to innovate faster. And that could be good or bad, depending on how they’re able to execute.

You might not personally be that into selfies and broadcasting yourself, but this will become more and more common on Facebook, advancing the platform’s shift towards becoming ‘mostly video” by 2020.

NOTE: In mid-December, Facebook announced the global launch of new Snapchat-like camera tools for Messenger, continuing their efforts on this front.

Facebook Live – Live has seen major growth in the past year. According to Facebook, the number of people broadcasting via Facebook Live has increased 4X since May, while live videos are drawing significantly more engagement than other types of posts on the network. That said, the real money in live-streaming is likely to come via established broadcasters, as opposed to everyday users.

Nevertheless, expect Facebook to keep pushing the issue on Live and working to unseat Periscope (if they haven’t already) as the key live-streaming platform. Facebook’s already launched a new advertising push to get more everyday users broadcasting, and that focus will continue to be a priority into 2017. On top of this, expect Facebook to announce more live-streaming partnerships with major broadcasters and move to screen more exclusive content through Facebook. I’ve noted before, it wouldn’t be a surprise to one day see people tuning into the Facebook breakfast show, as opposed to Good Morning America and the like – in the next 12 months, that’s the type of premium content you can expect. Exclusive, Facebook TV broadcasts that draw a larger audience to Live – both in terms of viewers and creators.

But the real win on this front will be reaching people’s home TV screens. While more and more people are consuming content online, the TV set remains the primary viewing device – our homes are constructed around the TV being the key entertainment source. In order to really make Facebook a genuine competitor for traditional TV broadcasters, Facebook needs an easy way for people to connect Facebook to their TV set.

They’re already making moves on this – last month, Facebook released a new and improved way to stream Facebook content to your TV via Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

And that’s a positive first step, but it’s still only reaching a small percentage of the TV viewing audience (there are around 25 million Apple TV units in circulation and 30 million Chromecast devices). In order to really make a splash, Facebook will likely need to provide another alternative that makes it easier to everyone to connect their TV to Facebook.

They’re already working on this – a patent filed last year shows that Facebook is working on their own TV dongle that would act as a conduit between your phone and the TV set.

But that would mean Facebook would need to move into commercial hardware production, something that’s a big step to take. If the payoff is there, however, and it can significantly boost their viewing audience, I’d expect Facebook to do it – I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see the platform provide such connective devices for free, purely to drive future uptake.

If they can do this, that’s the next big threshold for Live, that’s what will take live-streaming to the mainstream in a big way, disrupting all aspects of traditional TV as we know it. It’s big, it’s ambitious, but no one is better placed to pull it off than Zuck and Co. Expect movement on this around the middle of next year.

Virtual Reality – But the next frontier for Facebook is virtual reality, and this will also become the thing everyone’s talking about next year. But don’t expect VR to have an all-consuming entertainment takeover effect right off the bat.

First off, the cost of a fully operative VR-enabled system is still fairly restrictive. An Oculus Rift headset will set you back $US599, and that’s without the Touch controllers – the combo of the two costs $US798, as per the Oculus website. You also need a high-end PC to effectively run Oculus content, so all up you’re looking at upwards of $US1,500 for an Oculus VR set-up, putting it out of the reach for most consumers.

The other element to consider is that while virtual reality will be the next big thing, at present, there’s not a heap of content out there. Anyone who’s ever used a Google Cardboard device knows this – while the experience is great, there’s just not enough good content to keep you engaged – and that’s not even next-level VR material. Because of this, VR is still a while off becoming an essential component, but momentum will continue to build in 2017, with new use-cases and opportunities showcased by Facebook and other providers (and worth noting, Google’s Daydream View headsets go on sale this week).

In order to boost the appeal of VR, however, Facebook will be ramping up those mid-step options, including 360 content. Facebook’s been quietly advancing the presence of 360 videos and photos on the platform, providing the ability for all users to upload 360 photos back in June.

In 2017, expect Facebook to provide more tools to help more users get on the 360 bandwagon, while also giving 360 material a reach boost in the News Feed, providing extra incentive for brands to create 360 content.

But the biggest shift next year, I’m predicting, will be the arrival of at least one 360 movie. That’ll bring 360/VR into the wider public consciousness in a big way, and will get people buzzing about the next level of communication. And Facebook will be right in the middle of it. After that happens – or a similar, significant 360 release – everyday users will be given more ways to create their own 360 content, and that will usher in the next stage of the evolution towards VR.

Also, expect Facebook to add new augmented reality elements to Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and their new camera option, highlighting the future of interacting in the virtual world.

NOTE: In December, Facebook announced the upcoming release of 360 degree video for Facebook Live, another step towards this next stage

Facebook Search – One lesser discussed aspect of Facebook’s evolution has been the growth of on-platform search. As noted by Zuckerberg back in June, Facebook’s now facilitating more than 2 billion on-platform searches every day, with search activity rising 33% in just nine months. The platform’s now working to actively boost this trend, introducing new recommendation and event tools to help users find more of what they’re after, as well as their new marketplace option to facilitate more common on-platform search activities.

This not only helps Facebook boost on-platform engagement, but it also keeps those users away from Google – if Facebook can provide more active options on this front, that’ll help boost their position as the only website users ever need to visit.

Facebook has tried to improve their search functionality several times, with Graph Search, then later with their improved, real-time search and discovery tools, which, as evidenced by the above stats, has obviously boosted on-platform search activity, but neither of these options has been able to take optimal advantage of Facebook’s full knowledge graph. On one hand, Facebook don’t want to provide too much data access, as it’s that knowledge graph that fuels their ad targeting system. But on the other, the more traffic they can take from Google the better.

Facebook is no doubt working on new, improved search tools, which will utilize their advanced machine learning to index more content, including images and video, and provide better, automated guidance tools. Expect to see them release something on this in the new year, combining more search capabilities via machine learning, based on what people are typing in their status updates.

You can read more about the potential opportunities of evolving search on Facebook here

Messenger Business – Facebook’s been working to build out Messenger as a new platform for direct connection with brands – Zuckerberg says that Messenger is in stage two of their three tiered app development framework. And while more than 33,000 automated bots are now active on the platform, consumer adoption of Messenger bots has been slow. Part of this is likely due to a perceptual shift – people are used to communicating with friends via Messenger, not brands, and they can browse products or find out information easily via other sources, like Google – the definitive use-case for Messenger business hasn’t yet been proven to the wider audience.

Facebook will continue to push Messenger bots, but in 2017, expect them to start providing more compelling use-cases from the business perspective – i.e. the use of Messenger bots to automate these simple interactions will save you money in labor costs. That may also mean Facebook needs to simplify the bot creation process to appeal to smaller brands who would see the most benefit from such cost reductions. If they can get businesses promoting Messenger and bots on their behalf, that’ll take a lot of pressure off Facebook to do all the pitching, and will lead to more people adopting Messenger for direct engagement with brands, boosting the the platform. The hard part, of course, is simplifying the bot creation process. Expect Facebook to provide a means for businesses to create their own Bot workflow, or provide a cheaper, easier way for smaller brands to work with Facebook and their development partners to do so.

Some of the current use case for bots are interesting – the platform’s recently added eBay and Shopify integrations, adding to what’s on offer via message. But in order to get people using bots, they need to get the businesses themselves advocating as to why people would want to connect in this way. That’ll be the next big push for Messenger bots.

Also, another interesting bot application – diagnosing medical conditions based on users inputting their symptoms. Technical processes like this may also provide compelling examples to drive increased adoption.

Reactions – There’s an interesting question around what becomes of Facebook’s Like alternatives – their expressive ‘Reactions’ emoji-set. Made available to all users back in February, the intention was to provide Facebook with more ways to express their responses more easily, but research has shown that adoption of Reactions thus far has been poor. A recent report found that Likes still make up almost 93% of all such responses on the platform, showing that most users haven’t changed their behaviors despite the new options being present.

Does this mean Reactions is a failure? Facebook has found other ways to spice them up, releasing custom, event-themed Reactions, including one to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and more recently, a Halloween set.

So while it does seem that Facebook could potentially use Reactions as an advertising tool, and boost interest in the option at the same time, there are additional considerations like this to keep in mind. Given this, it may be better for Facebook to just remove them – but then again, they do provide additional value within Facebook Live broadcasts, giving viewers a wider range of ways to express their appreciation as they watch.

Given this, I’d expect Reactions to remain, and I do expect to see more themed Reactions, including possibly a few promotional tie-ins – you can imagine movie studios would be keen to get in on this. But at the same time, I don’t think Reactions are going to become a significant part of the Facebook experience, nor would I expect them to be providing a new wealth of audience data, as originally expected. Facebook’s got other priorities, and the user response has been pretty clear.

Twitter

No platform’s future has been more discussed that Twitter in 2016. The micro-blog giant has faced all sorts of challenges and problems, and none of them, as yet, have been resolved. So what does Twitter do next? There are a few areas in which we’ll see Twitter increase their focus.

Live-streaming – It’s no secret that Twitter’s placing big bets on live-streaming. The platform recently reiterated this at their “#WhatsNext” event, with COO Adam Bain saying that live is the “purest embodiment” of what the platform is all about, enabling users to be part of what’s happening right now, at any given time.

As such, Twitter’s concentrating on making live content a centrepiece of the Twitter experience – and with research showing that one in two Twitter users are active on the platform while watching TV, that focus makes sense. But with Facebook also working to appeal to that same audience, the challenge is significant.

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

 

Iran rounds up 450 social network users

Facebook and Twitter are officially banned in Iran but applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp are available and v

Iran has “arrested or summoned” around 450 social media users over their online activities, a website linked to the powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Tuesday.

Gherdab, the cyber arm of the Guards, said the people targeted administered pages on social networks including smartphone applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp.

“These people were carrying out immoral activities, insulted religious beliefs or had illegal activities in the field of fashion,” said Gherdab.

It said the suspects would be put on trial without specifying how many exactly have been placed under arrest.

Isna news agency carried a similar report.

Iranian authorities have for years tried to impose curbs on its citizens using social media.

Facebook and Twitter are officially banned in the Islamic republic, although users can gain access with easily available and cheap software.

But applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp are available to Iranians and very popular.

More than half of Iran’s population of 80 million is online, with Telegram, an instant messaging app alone having more than 20 million users.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has repeatedly pointed to the ineffectiveness of measures to limit access to social media.

In May, state news agency IRNA reported that a committee headed by Rouhani had set a one-year deadline for foreign social media to hand over data on their Iranian users.

That same month, the head of Tehran’s cybercrimes court said on state television that authorities had arrested eight people for working in “un-Islamic” online modelling networks, particularly on Instagram.
[Source: Phys.org]

How Transport for Greater Manchester Utilizes Social Media

Public transport is a great invention, especially when it runs like clockwork. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the case – so how can transport authorities deliver customer service to their users where they want it and when they want it? I recently spoke with

Justin Clark of Transport for Greater Manchester to find out who they do social customer service.

Have a listen to the interview on iTunes, SoundCloud (below) or keep reading for a summary of our chat.

Tell us about the shift from traditional customer service to social customer service?

“It’s very difficult for an organization like ours. Unlike retailers and private sector companies, we don’t have a specific audience. If you think about who uses transport on a day-to-day basis, it’s school children up to OAPs in their 70s and 80s, so our customer service is very flexible. We need to offer traditional channels but Twitter is, increasingly, becoming our number one channel. We’ve seen that in the last year – in the last six months, especially. If you look at the statistics for our two Twitter accounts, they’re going up and up and up month per month. And we’re seeing a direct correlation between people contacting us on Twitter and a reduction in peewees in the phone line and the e-mail.”

Give us an example of a transport crisis and how you handled it?

“Yeah, sure. So about two months ago, our Metrolink tram network shut down across the network – it was a communications issue between the trams and the control centre. So these things happen with all transport systems but it meant that from 10:00am to 4:00pm there were no trams running across the entire network. The challenge for our customer service team is dealing with the fallout from that. So it’s responding to customers and it’s making sure that accurate information goes out. So from a statistic point of view, in two hours, our mentions grew by 1000% compared to a normal day. In response, I called in the whole team – so all eight people, plus a couple from the communications team, jumped on and actually, our response times increased during the crisis. We responded to, I think, 70% of mentions within four minutes.

And a real positive, from my point of view, is we actually had people on the trams educating other passengers because we were talking to them on Twitter. Because it was a communications issue, it was difficult to contact the drivers, to contact people around the network. So Twitter became our default communications channel.”

How do you approach people who are angry and upset and want to vent their frustrations?

“It’s very simple for me – we talk to people as people. We don’t treat people as customers. And one of the first things I did was write a playbook for the team which was called “You Are Not a Robot.” So the focus for me is to put yourself in that customer’s position. If you’re in a tram platform, it might be wet, you might be late for work, you might be stressed. Imagine that feeling. Respond accordingly. A lot of the time, when we get angry customers, if you talk to them like human beings, they respond in kind. So we see a lot of people venting, shouting at us. Ten minutes later, they’ll reply with apology saying, “I know it’s not your fault. It’s just frustrating.” We get that. We understand that. We’re just there to help. And yeah, if people are angry, that’s fine, you know. First and foremost, we need to sort their issue out. And again, it’s just talking to people as you would to any other human being.”

 

[Source: Socialmediatoday]

 

LinkedIn: The Number One Social Network for Entrepreneurs

LinkedIn co-founder and billionaire investor Reid Hoffman isn’t afraid to offer advice on how to improve your LinkedIn profile.

He’s also not shy about sharing his stance that entrepreneurs who are not using LinkedIn put themselves at a massive disadvantage.

“For entrepreneurs, more or less, if an entrepreneur is not using LinkedIn, I can nearly guarantee you that is not going to be a successful entrepreneur in this day and age,” Hoffman said during this video interview. “At this point, it’s almost a basic IQ test.”

Why LinkedIn Makes Sense For Entrepreneurs

Even putting aside Hoffman’s obvious bias toward LinkedIn, he does make a valid point.

“Part of how you succeed in an entrepreneurial business is you have to assemble a network of resources around the business at speed and at accuracy,” he says. “You need investors, you need employees, you need customers. How do you find them?”

With 450 million members in more than 200 countries – and with an additional 2 new members joining every second – LinkedIn boasts the biggest and most comprehensive database of the key players most entrepreneurs need access to.

And best of all, once you understand how to quickly search and scale 1-on-1 relationships inside LinkedIn, you can easily find, connect and engage with the key investors, partners and potential customers you need to grow your business.

Tools of the Trade

“LinkedIn is the most central tool for doing this,” Hoffman says. “It’s all about finding the right people associated with the right resources.”

Speaking of tools and resources, LinkedIn will be rolling more of both into the platform in the coming months after being purchased by Microsoft for $26.2 billion.

Expect to see new features like Skype-style video calls, deeper calendar, webinar, email and address book integration and other Microsoft-type features integrated into LinkedIn moving forward.

All the more reason to spend more time on the network, according to Hoffman.

“If you’re not heavily engaged with LinkedIn, your competitive advantage is so weak I would almost guarantee you are going to fail,” Hoffman says.

Sure, Hoffman is hardly an unbiased observer when it comes to using LinkedIn to grow your business.

But for busy entrepreneurs with limited time and resources online, it’s at least worth considering closely what he has to say about the network – and the opportunities it offers when used correctly.

[Source: Socialmediatoday]

All The Social Ladies Podcast: Nizzi Renaud

All The Social Ladies Podcast: Nizzi Renaud | Social Media Today

Sometimes the world connects you in the most mysterious ways.

When I went to interview Nizzi Renaud, the Chief Marketing Officer of Zazzle, I didn’t realize that we went to school together and graduated in the exact same year. Worlds definitely do collide.

I loved listening to Nizzi’s story: She’s been at some of the most successful startups in the world and is currently leading the marketing charge over at Zazzle, where she’s taken the marketplace ecosystem to new heights. Take a listen to her story, and hear what she’s been able to accomplish – you’ll be just as impressed as I was.

ON THIS PODCAST:

KEY TOPICS

  • The Story of Nizzi’s Career
  • How Zazzle Uses Social Media
  • What Demonstrates Success for Zazzle on Social Media

KEY ANSWERS

What is Zazzle, and what makes it different?

“Zazzle is an e-commerce marketplace, a technology company, and an ecosystem. Like any good marketplace and ecosystem, there are a few different ways to interact with us; but at our core we’re about the concept of customization and making products on demand.

We have more than 300 different products on our site that customers can personalize. It’s a place where designers can come and make a living by selling their designs on these custom products. Makers, manufacturers, and brands can also sell custom goods with us. A large proportion of those products are manufactured right here in the U.S, which is an unusual and unique thing. We’re in 16 domains and have approximately 30 million monthly visitors.”

How important is social media in Zazzle’s marketing plan?

“For us, social media grows in significance and importance every day. Right now, it best serves us as an engagement vehicle for customers and designers.

We’re investing heavily in user-generated content because it’s at the heart of what we stand for – customization. People reach out to us daily on social media with questions; it’s been critical in our ongoing daily dialogue with customers.

It also plays a role for us in terms of advertising across different platforms. Our social media employees sit with our merchandising team so they can provide direct feedback on current trends. This allows us to quickly adjust.”

KEY SOUNDBITES

  • “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
  • “Listening is a key part of our strategy. We look at what’s out there and the trends that are happening, so we can directly link it back to what we’re doing.”
  • “I can’t recommend enough starting your career with an agency or management consulting company. The discipline, work ethic, and exposure to multiple industries is a great training ground.”

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy | Social Media TodayIn business, we’re told to plan for every eventuality. And although this makes good business sense, when it comes to social media, all of the planning, strategy meetings, update meetings and brainstorming sessions can, at times, get in the way of us getting stuck in and actually achieving our key objectives. When considering the immediacy and rapid pace of the social news cycle, it may be worth taking a leaf out of Facebook’s book, whose mantra throughout it’s formative years had been “move fast and break things”?

WHAT IS “NOW-ISM”?

Simply put, “now-ism is the practice of jumping in and having a go without over excessive analysis and too much planning”. Businesses often get caught up in creating the perfect strategy and forget the importance of being reactive. This is where “now-ism” comes in, encouraging spontaneity, taking chances and real-time marketing.

WHY IS “NOW-ISM” IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?

Although a business can have the most carefully laid plans, it’s important to be reactive. This is even truer when it comes to social media marketing.

It’s easy to stay exactly where you are, to play it safe, or carefully plan and wait for everything to be perfect before you make your next move. But in 2016, is that the best approach? Technology’s changing at such a rapid pace that businesses need to run just to catch-up. Competition’s also getting stronger, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Sometimes, the best time to take action is now.

That’s not to say that planning’s not important – we don’t suggest for a minute that you should always jump in and give things a go without thinking it through first. In fact, Facebook’s mantra’s recently been refined to “move fast with stable infrastructure”. Although this might not have the same ring to it as their last one, it points out that moving fast is crucial to success, but it’s also important to have a solid strategy at the heart of your actions. Perhaps many other businesses could benefit from this approach too.

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy | Social Media Today

HOW CAN BUSINESSES EMBRACE “NOW-ISM” FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?

Small businesses are in a great position to be reactive, with much more freedom and flexibility. However, as businesses get bigger, in some cases, part of their spontaneity unfortunately dissipates. For example, social media posts may need to be created weeks in advance so that they can be approved by various people within the business, before being published to Facebook.

Here are some simple suggestions, to help you bring some “now-ism” to your own social media:

1. GET AGREEMENT FROM MANAGERS

Ensure you have backing from managers to be more reactive. You can still have an approved posting plan, but get permission to add to it, as required. To give more assurance, you could consider creating clear social media, branding and tone of voice guidelines, to follow when creating ad-hoc content.

2. JUMP ON THE BACK OF TRENDS

Whatever your business, make sure you monitor current trends. There may be something that your business can jump on the back of and create a post about (also known as ‘newsjacking’). Trending topics tend to have a very short lifespan though, so it’s important to react quickly. Twitter’s a great place to start looking for trends, but be careful – just because you can, doesn’t mean you always should. Ensure that anything you post is appropriate, relevant to your business and is creative. A good example of newsjacking gone wrong is when England’s royal baby was born and every marketer jumped on the bandwagon, which led to negative reactions from audiences.

3. BE ON STANDBY

Whether you’re running your own business event, or there’s a big event in the calendar, don’t leave your social media accounts unattended. Make sure someone is on stand-by (even out-of-hours), to research and react to the event, along with your audience. Oreo is the perfect example of this – they were quick off the mark with their clever blackout post during the 2013 Super Bowl.

4. TRY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OUT FOR YOURSELF

Although your company may not be happy for you to experiment with new social media features straight away on their business accounts, why not test out new features or ideas on your own personal channels? For example, you could try out Instagram’s longer 30 second videos, investigate Snapchat with your friends or experiment with Facebook Live. Test the features out and then if they could have benefit to your business, then pitch them to your boss.

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]