Keep Your Social Media Home Grounded

Your social media campaign is like a house. The foundation and the base of it all, is your website or other place where you convert visitors. Each channel has it’s own theme, feel, culture, and rules. Every time you want to share a piece of content, you’ll need to know which “room” of your house it belongs in. Many people think it’s all about gaining likes or followers on social media. It’s not. It’s about what affects your bottom line.

Before you pick a channel, before you get fancy with the tools and toys, do this:

  1. Establish what makes you money.
  2. Increase opportunities for your customers to spend money.

Social media tools are slippery slides that smooth the path for your prospective and current customers to spend said money. Social media isn’t THE POINT. It’s a vehicle. Continue reading

Short Video Social Media Tools

Both Twitter and Instagram have recently introduced short video format. Twitter’s Vine videos in 6 seconds and Facebook/Instagram quickly countered with 15 second long videos.
I was doubtful on how benefit could be derived from such a small product. So when read this article by Hootsuite on who was doing a great job with it,  I found a neat example of how you can teach science in a short time. Check out General Electric on Vine. (Download the app to your mobile device and use the Explore feature to find the brand.)
Do you have a favorite brand or example of use with either of these two?

Keep Your Twitter Account Safe with Log in Verification

There have been many high profile Twitter account hacks recently such as the Associated Press hack that effected stock prices, Jeep and Burger King, and the British newspaper the Financial Times. Most of these were the Syrian Electronic Army but Twitter account hijacking has been a problem for some time. The company finally decided to enact two way authentication in order to combat this issue.

The process is pretty simple. You will need your mobile phone to set this up. The safety feature is that every time you log into your Twitter account, you will receive a text with a temporary verification. If someone steals your phone and hacks into your Twitter, you’ve got a bigger problem but this will protect you should your account information be compromised.

Twitter created a short video that shows you how to set it up. I personally had to register my phone with Twitter before I could complete but it really only took 1.5 minutes for me.

Frustrated with the Speed of Real Life

Me on my morning walk. Glamorous!

I am sunsetting an old email system and was going through a folder of writings I wanted to expand upon and I found this:

“I realize that I’ve become frustrated with the speed that life works at in the physical realm. When I have to physically be somewhere, the amount of time it takes to get there and do that is painful. The internet has spoiled me. Instantaneous action, activity, and results is what I expect and the physical world frequently disappoints me.”

This was actually recorded in my car on an audio file. I could hear the frustration in my voice as I listened to it. I was speaking really slowly like I was trying not to wring the steering wheel dry. Like the very idea was painful and I was trying not to go postal.

What I know is that the pace you *can* work at is different than the pace a human *should* work at. I took my first real vacation in 6 years recently. By real, I mean in a hotel, without the kid, in a beautiful place where I actually wanted to be. I came back a changed woman. I thought so and now hearing my voice from about 8(ish) months ago, it’s even more obvious.

Just because the world runs at such a furious pace, doesn’t mean you have to. You don’t have to use every tool, read every book, watch every show, go to every event, or know everything. You simply can’t. Give yourself a break and go take one. Get a massage. Get adjusted. Take a nap. Relax.

7 Ways To Ace Calling Customer & Technical Support

My Magic Solution

When my clients have me come in to solve a problem for them, it frequently involves calling technical support or customer service. People HATE calling and ending up in the on-hold limbo. I am an expert at these kinds of calls. Let me give you some tips on how to turn a painful situation into a productive endeavor.

  1. Make sure you have AT LEAST a half hour of uninterrupted time to devote to waiting plus the time it takes to solve the problem.
  2. Wear a headset so that you can continue to type and work while you are on hold. This really makes the time fly. If they offer you the option to hold with no music, you don’t need me to tell you to take advantage of that. I frequently forget that I’m on hold until I hear someone say hello in my ear. Surprisingly, you can get a lot done while forgetting what’s really going on.
  3. Have all of your notes out and ready to go. If possible, write down the issues/problems/questions to speed up the process and make sure you don’t forget anything. This also prevents further calls.
  4. On that same note, have yourself logged into the website or account. Not having your password available is the biggest sucker of time. Get it out BEFORE you call.
  5. If you are upset while making the call, remember that the person that answers is likely not the person who made a mistake (if that’s why you’re calling) and try not to take it out on them. If need be, let them know you are upset and that you don’t want to unload on the wrong person and it would be a good idea if they sent you along to a manager.
  6. Let’s say there are some basic steps you’ve already taken to try and solve your problem but they didn’t work. Inform the customer service agent of those steps and what the outcome is. I’ve saved hours by letting them know, “YES, the computer is plugged in.” (80% of the time the problem is solved at the power source i.e. plug it in!).
  7. Contact the vendor using social media.

Number 7 is magic, I’m telling you. Have you tried to find a phone number to contact customer service recently? They are burying that information (or simply not providing it at all) because it isn’t cost effective to have reps on the line with customers anymore. Heck, it was never cost effective but it’s REALLY not anymore.

Don’t believe me? Test it out for yourself. I’ve tested Paypal, Vertical Response, Hootsuite, Comcast and Involver to name a few. Yes, they are all involved in technology but did you hear about airlines booking flights for people via Twitter during the recent snowstorms on the East Coast? Every time I’ve asked for help or complained via Twitter (and Facebook for that matter), I’ve had a speedy response from customer service that helped me solve my problem. I also feel like I got better service than via phone. I think it’s because of the layers we have to work through to even reach a person makes me feel distanced from the individual that’s helping me. With social media, that distance is minimized. If you have an Xbox, you might want to reach out to Microsoft on Twitter as they are monitoring activity to make platform and technology changes.

Be prepared, reach out in multiple ways, and you can slay the beast that is technical support. Oh! And they can hear you when they turn off their microphone, so don’t talk smack.

Who Are All These People Following Me?

You are now officially on the Twitter map. You probably said or tweeted practically nothing so far but WHO ARE ALL THESE  PEOPLE FOLLOWING YOU? The people that are following you are one of two categories.

1) You followed them first and they are reciprocating. It’s generally considered nice manners to follow back but you aren’t technically rude if you don’t. I say Quality over Quantity!!!

2) They are “Follower Hunters”. They will follow huge amounts of people everyday. They either believe that higher amounts of followers are the way to be successful on Twitter or it makes them feel bigger/badder/more popular to have a high amount of followers. They followed you to get you to follow them back. Most likely you don’t yet have enough information or tweets on your page for them to be truly interested in you and your message yet. Continue reading

Twitter, The Cocktail Party

My clients say this to me this all the time, “Tell me why I need to be on social media.” You don’t.

I liken Twitter to a cocktail party. It’s full of people and everyone is talking away. You need to decide if you even want to be at the party, sometimes you are simply too busy or the party isn’t the right venue for you. Of course, there are boring/obnoxious people at every event, you steer clear of them. Everyone has different uses for it. I use Twitter as a personalized newspaper/periodical. I keep my follower list very small (I’m quality not quantity) and read my stream from my phone throughout the day. (FYI, I use Twitter for iPhone and Hootsuite <–affiliate link) I am mostly in listener mode. Continue reading

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