I wonder how many of us may have a rather simplistic view of Social Customer Service. Do we think, “Oh, someone has posted something horrible about us! Better hose that fire down.” Well, maybe not in so many words, but perhaps most will know what I am suggesting here.
Social Customer Service really is about connecting with the customer’s emotions, drawing them in to either address their issues or, on the positive, more proactive side, to appeal to their more positive wants and needs and show how you are able to meet them. Brian Solis presents this message well in this short clip:
Time to engage.
So, you have been happily tweeting away on Twitter, engaging with other users and generally being involved in the world of Twitter, and now is the time to find out how effective you have been. For this you will need to make use of a tool that analyses and rates your Twitter ‘footprint’ and how effective it is, a Twitter analytic tool. There are many tools out there, but today I just want to take a quick look at the new ‘Grade Your Social’ tool that has been released by the HootSuite team.
I found this tool to be very easy to use, providing data in a clear and well explained way. From the launch page, after you have logged on with your Twitter account, you are presented with a rating in each of three categories, reach, engagement and profile branding, as well as an overall average rating.
The following screen capture is from a company that I have set up to tweet in relation to Social Media type topics:
Now, clearly I have some work to do on the engagement side of things, but that’s OK. I am still in the early stages of building this user and am not currently at the point of relying on it to attract customers.
If you click the green ‘Next’ button at the bottom left, the tool will step through why you received the score that you did and how you can go about improving it. I found these tips to be very useful and easy to understand. For example, in the Engagement section there is a subsection that asks “Are you responsive?” and gives statistics around how you respond to tweets you are mentioned in, comparing against the same for top Twitter users. The following is an example (and no doubt helps to explain my low score here).
At the end, you have the option of having the report emailed to you. I highly recommend taking this option as the report comes together with links to useful articles to help you in each area the report covers.
All in all I would recommend this tool as a useful guide, as it is easy to use and gives pointers on areas to improve, especially if you take a look at the email summary that is offered.
For reference, you can check out HootSuite’s own post about this tool here
I have recently decided to spend a little time focussing on Twitter. This was going brilliantly when I came across a hurdle that I was not aware of. I was happily following and being followed when all of a sudden I came smack bang across a limit I was not aware of. I have now discovered that there is an an initial limit of 2000 users I can follow. Once this limit is reached, a user is restricted to following 10% more than the number of people they follow. So, in order to follow more than 2000 users, I need to have more than 10/11 X 2000 people following me, so more than 1818 people following me. You can find out more about this from Twitter Support here.
So what to do about it?? This limit has been around for some time and much has been written about it. In my brief search, I came across many posts on the topic. I would say one of the best is Stacy Zapar‘s post, which you can find here. Stacy gives a good coverage on some steps that can be taken and some of the tools that can be used to clear the deck to be able to follow more people. I would suggest you take a moment to review this if have have reached or are close to reaching that 2000 mark.
To Cull or not to Cull – that is the Question
For some reason I find the idea of dropping people from my following very unappealing. It’s like saying, “I no longer care what you have to say” and I find this very hard to do. However, unless I want to wait for some 550 or so more followers to come on board, it is something I will need to do. So tell me what are your thoughts on this? How do you find the idea of letting people go?
The Path of Discovery
Recently I began a journey of discovery around the HootSuite application as part of obtaining a HootSuite Professional Certification. I had been using HootSuite for some time and this seemed like just a natural extension for me. I have found many useful tools and features that make managing personal or business social media streams so much easier. One thing I have experimented with of late is automating posting from an RSS feed. The result has been quite interesting and worth a closer look at.
So, what is an RSS Feed?
I am sure that many readers will be aware of this feature, and I don’t intend to go in to any great depth here. Let’s simply say that it is a method that content creators provide to allow content consumers to automatically capture updated or new material without having to return to the website manually.
HootSuite as an RSS Reader
Now for HootSuite’s part in the picture. In this case, HootSuite performs the role of an RSS reader, that is an application that reads the transmitted RSS feed and presents it in a way that is usable. HootSuite could be that, but in actual fact, it can also be a bit more like an RSS transmitter, taking the feed and re-distributing it to specified Social Channels. It allows you to easily distribute content you believe your followers would be interested in.
The following should be kept in mind when autoposting:
- If you are posting content from others, it is important that it is from a source you can trust. The fact that you are posting their material will be taken by many that you agree with the content, so be sure that is an association you are happy to be made
- If you use this method, it may post at a time that is not optimal for your target audience. You may want to schedule it to be posted as well in order to have better visibility
That’s about it
That gives a little snippet of using HootSuite to autopost from an RSS feed. If you want to know how to do it, check out the step by step guide here. I would be really keen to know if others use this function and if they have have been caught off guard at all. Please comment below and take a moment to answer the poll.
Regards and best wishes to all.
This may be just a little off topic for a social media topic, but I thought it was worth sharing.
Here is an email that landed in my inbox this morning. I thought it was worth taking a look at it. Note that I decided against downloading the pictures for obvious reason, though I suspect it was just a copy and pasted Westpac logo.
This clearly IS a spam (spoof is a very weird word) or phishing email in spite of their attempt to reassure you otherwise. Let’s dissect it and take a look at why that is.
- Firstly, and most obviously for me, I don’t have a Westpac account. If you have a Westpac account this does not apply, but do keep in mind that no bank will ask you to confirm your account details this way.
- Dear firstname.lastname@example.org – (This was my actual email address but you did not need to know that) Think about this for a minute. Has any bank correspondence you received been addressed this way? In spite of their reassurance, I don’t believe a bank would ever address you by your email, because they would have your actual name and not just your email address, as is the case with the phishing post.
- Before clicking on any link, hover over it with the cursor to reveal what the target web page is. In the case of the “Confirm your account” link, you will see a link that is clearly unrelated to Westpac in any way. I know that Microsoft Outlook has the ability to reveal target urls by hovering over links, and I am sure other email apps would as well.
- More on target links – Very interestingly, hovering over the other links (“Learn more about phishing”, “Where to Shop” (Really!! Why would this be on a bank email of this nature?), “How Westpac works” (Again, can you imagine this??), “Recover your Password or Email”, “Contact Us” and “terms and conditions” all appear to point to PayPal links. They have probably captured the footer from a PayPal email and updated some text to read “Westpac” instead of “PayPal” and did not bother to change the links.
- Take a look at the ‘copyright text’. Does it make sense as a copyright notice from Westpac? Apart from the weird characters (Â and ¢ for example) that are common in copying and pasting where source and target font types don’t match, does the copyright text make sense for a bank? Why is it talking about something not requiring the “Monetary Authority of Singapore”? Any text that a bank would use in such cases would be relevant to the situation and properly formatted.
- On a more obscure note, if I were to ask those who are familiar with Westpac, whether you have an account or not, what colour do you associate with Westpac? I am sure the answer would be red, right? On its own, this fact is not enough to rule the email out, but given the other issues, I would say it backs it up if nothing else.
There may be other things, and feel free to point them out. It is always worth considering whether something is right before clicking on the link.
It seems that these days we are hearing more and more of how businesses need to be more serious about establishing a presence in the world of Social Media. We talk of how they need to engage with their customers on the various platforms. This is true, but just for a moment let’s take a step back and look at what I find to be three very important reasons for my own journey in to the Social Media world which others may relate to.
My Three Pillars
I find I use Social media for one of the following three reasons:
- Knowledge sharing/gaining
- Seeking/giving Assistance
Nothing too earth shattering there but let’s take a little deeper look anyway.
Encouragement to me represents a key character trait. It is something that we should all do often and something I find I do not do nearly often enough. When talking about encouragement, I like to use a definition based on the components:
en – to cause to be in
courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face
difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear
So, armed with this definition, we see that when we encourage we cause someone to be in the quality of mind or spirit that enables them to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. Looking at it this way adds a whole new dimension to the word. When I look back at my interactions here in the social landscape, I surely have encountered times when I have received critical encouragement at just the right time and I hope that I have been able to provide some of the same.
This is a fairly straightforward one that I think needs little discussion. There is a wealth of information shared on the social platforms constantly and I enjoy learning and sharing information that I find interesting or that may be useful to others. I have learned much from my journeying in the Social Media world.
I have often turned to my network contacts here in the Social Media world when I have needed assistance with something, from potential job opportunities to things perhaps a little more insignificant, like how to remove a particular stain out of carpet. Occasionally I find great enjoyment from helping others with similar things. To me, to serve brings the most fulfillment and so to be able to help others helps in this respect.
Just in Closing
I hope that gives a little insight in to my approach to Social Media. I know, it is hardly rocket science but I hope it helps to give a filter for what I will share in future posts. I will end with one of my favourite quotes, from Marie Curie:
Until next time, collaborate and connect