Where do you use your social media?

I use my social media on many devices.

When I ask this question during one of my presentations – “What are the top two reasons why people buy a smart phone?” I often get the response for social media. While that is a good answer it isn’t correct.

I sit at a desk a good part of my day. I use my desktop for quite a bit of my social media updates etc. I often use my smart phone, a tablet, or a laptop.

One of the things that I have noticed all too frequently is that I don’t see the same thing in my Facebook feed on my mobile as I do on my desktop, tablet or laptop.social media - Facebook is slow

Quite often my desktop version of Facebook is very slow to react, so slow in fact that I often kill the tab and sometimes don’t reopen it. (See the picture.) Sometimes, I think Facebook is trying to push people to use mobile so they Social Media - Facebook Failmake the desktop version slower and slower. (Now it could be the fact that I have 20 tabs open at any one time and three browsers, but…)

Some platforms like Instagram don’t even let you use it from a desktop. Twitter is an on the go platform. Pinterest is a tablet and a glass of wine or cup of coffee type of platform. LinkedIn is often used on a phone or tablet, but has so much more functionality on a desktop or full laptop.

Where do you use your social media the most? Does it suit your need for speed, or is it more like the tortoise? If you are in business, do you have the right tools to use to enhance your process, are you keeping up with your audience, or better yet, is your audience able to keep up with you? Do you posts get seen? Better yet, are you getting the reactions you want from your posts?

If you were answering no to any of these questions, it may be time for us to have a chat about how you use your social media.

(By the way, the answer to the first question is 79% buy it for phone calls and 78% buy it to read emails.)

 

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Customer Service and Social Media

How does social media impact your Customer Service?

Recently, I ordered carry-out from a local Mexican restaurant. The customer service wasn’t the best. I want to show you the impact of social media as a result of my poor experience.

I have written about customer service before, as it relates to my life and social media. You can read one post here that is a great example of how it can be done. Another article is here.

Before the days of social media, if you were happy with what happened at an establishment, you might tell 2 people. If you were unhappy, you might tell 10 people. Your circle of influence wasn’t that large. If you were really unhappy, the time frame of your sharing might be longer, so the number might rise to 20 or 30 people who heard about your bad experience. Once social media came around, that number that you reach is as broad as your knowledge of how to post a review about a business on the variety of social outlets where they can be found, or haven’t found yet.

Let’s go back to my sad story. Early this year I chose to go gluten free on the advice of my wheat-995055_1280homeopath. That means that I avoid wheat, barley and rye. I have found that I do react negatively if I ingest one of those. There is this thing called cross-contamination where even if I don’t actually eat it, if it touches the food I do eat, it can cause me distress as well.

All of that back story to say this – I ordered enchiladas to go (corn doesn’t affect me). I got to the restaurant. I gave them my order number. The lady checked my ticket. There was only one order waiting. She grabbed it and bagged up my chilies, chips and salsa, and my dinners. I paid my bill and left. (Notice I did not check inside the container.)

When I got home, 20 minutes later, I unpacked my order, opened the container and saw burritos. (Made with flour tortillas – flour is bad for me!) I called the restaurant. They immediately knew who I was because I got another persons order that was very similar – two meals, chips and salsa. They told me I was welcome to come back to get my order. I said, I would prefer not to drive round trip another 40 minutes. I asked if they would provide a credit the next time I was in. The young man told me “We can’t give you a credit, because you would get free food.” I told the young man, I would probably not come back – EVER.

I posted in a Facebook group called What’s Happening in Elgin. I gave them a negative review on Yelp and Google. I am writing about it here on my blog and will share this on Pinterest, Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn.

Now, here are my observations.

  1. People can be rude and crude. You may use foul language in person, FB cs 2but it should not be used to make a point in a public forum. You never know who is going to read your post. If you don’t care how you sound to others, that is fine, but it can come back to bite you in the behind. Would you want your grandmother to read what you wrote?
  2. People stick up for the underdog – not always seeing both sides of a story.
  3. Arguing on social media never usually works out. If someone complains in a public forum and you are the business, you should always take it off-line as soon as possible. You can respond by saying, please call me at xx number at your earliest convenience, I would like to resolve this matter.
  4. There may be a cultural difference or a generational difference between how people perceive good customer service or good will. Many of the people in the Facebook thread thought that it was totally my fault for not checking my bag before I left OR the offer to come back and get my original meal was dealing with the situation properly. The fact that I should have been overjoyed at the chance to drive back to pick up my meal was what they considered good customer. Would they have made me a fresh meal or would I have been given the original meal (which by the time I got back home the second time would have been over an hour old).
  5. If you “react”, wait before you post. Apparently the owner’s wife posted a negative FB cscomment in the thread, changed her mind and deleted it, but not before someone got a screen shot and reposted it. AND refer to point #3.
  6. Sometimes,FB cs 5 apologizing is all that it takes to right a wrong. While the owner of the business never actually apologized, the owner of the sister business sent me a private message. Refer to #3 above. I responded to her as soon as I saw the message, assuring her, that her facility was not in question. While this did not make up for the fact that I never heard from the business itself, it gives me faith that some people do pay attention to social media and what it can do to their business. Perhaps if I hear from the actual business owner, I might go in and take down my reviews.
  7. Posting an opinion on social media does not mean you are trying to close a business down. Remember my comment from earlier about telling 10 people if you are upset? Now, posting to social media about your experiences is the norm. Peer recommendations fuel whether you are going to use a product or service. Peer recommendations get you FB cs3everything from a new dog groomer to a Mexican restaurant. Many people ask how to do things, where to find things, sell items, or buy items. This is evidenced in the decline of classified advertising in newspapers. When was the last time you bought an item because of a commercial you saw? When was the last time you ate at a restaurant because you saw that a friend of yours had checked-in. The power of social media to drive people to a business is growing exponentially.
  8. People care. One person made the comment that this isn’t Chicago, no one cares aboutFB cs4 my reviews. I advise people all the time to check their reviews. If they have a negative review about their business, they need to work on getting others to add positive reviews. If you are not concerned about what is showing up on the internet, then you aren’t concerned about your business. Google reviews show up in Google searches and Facebook reviews show up in Bing searches. Yelp has a growing following. Reviews on platforms like Urban Spoon or other new platforms, may be out there and you don’t know what people are saying about you.  My answer to that particular poster that no one cares about my review is – you don’t know who I know. You don’t know my level of influence – my Klout. You don’t know who might see my comment and change their mind based upon my words or someone else’s opinion of a business you are about to frequent. Just because the place is a small local establishment, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t care about what people are saying. “They don’t need you” as one poster says, may be right, but if enough of me’s get treated improperly, it will have an effect upon that business.
  9. One comment can go viral – be ready for damage control. Again, refer to #3 above. SM commentsThere was an incident a few years ago where a singer’s guitar was damaged by an airline. He wrote a song and posted it to YouTube. Over 15 million views later, this is a great example of what can happen if you don’t care of business. Now my small local post only garnered a fraction of that kind of response, but it is still a relatively significant number compared to when something goes right.

Does what people might say about your business on social media impact your customer service?

Overall, this was a good exercise to see how social media and customer service work together. As some of you know, I speak publicly. I tell a story about my experience with a “utility” provider. I tell this story at least once a month for the last 3 years. This story is going into my repertoire as an example of how to control your reputation. A little positive public relations can go a long way!

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Building a Blog Post

Blog posts add umph to your website!

Let’s talk about websites, the key to a blog, and what they can really do for you.

  • Websites are your on-line brochure.
  • Websites hold your photo gallery.
  • A website is the hub of your online marketing.
  • All of your social media points back to your website (or a landing page).
  • Your website is the repository for your blog articles.key to a good blog

The key to a good blog is to write one. Regularly. Let’s talk a bit about search bots. When your website is new and you first publish it, the bots come and scour your site to see what you have out there. They check out the keywords and all of the goodies that you put out there to make it bright and shiny. They come back in about 30 days to see what other new shiny stuff you added. If you added several things, the bots reprogram to come back more quickly than the last time. If you didn’t they wait till maybe 45 days to come back. The more frequently you add new items to your website the more often the bots return ranking your higher in organic search results. The less often you add new items or changes to your website, the lower your ranking becomes until one day…

Whenever I build a website for someone, I typically use a WordPress platform. If I do that, I always include the Yoast SEO plug-in. Here are the tips I give to my clients when they write a blog post:

Make your blog heading a continuation of your title with the keyword in the beginning. Highlight the text and make it a heading 2 from the WYSIWIG bar.

Make sure to employ the “Press this” option offered so that when you read another person’s article, you can use the handy dandy tool to add a post to your blog and write your opinion on what you just read.

If you do that, make sure that you include a link to the original. Like this: You can read the whole article here. Highlight the word here, click on the chain link in the WYSIWIG bar and add the link to the original article – Ensure that it opens to a new window.

Write your thoughts. Include an image. There are many resources for free images. Don’t use any images from a website with a UK extension. One resources to check is pixabay.com Read about more options here.

Make sure to write 270 to 300 words. Complete the Yoast SEO boxes that appear below the blog post content frame.

Your keyword should be in your title, heading, meta data and body text.

Select the category on your website in which you want your post stored.

Add additional tags, especially if you have a tag cloud on your website. If you mention an organization or a searchable term, add the tag.

Last but not least, make sure to share your just finished post on your social media!

Let me know if I can assist you in any way.

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It’s a Numbers Game

Do the Numbers Add Up?

Recently I was asked by a colleague to help her with a debate she was having with a coworker about posting frequency.  Here is the advice I offered:It's a numbers game
How engaged is your audience? The frequency that you post depends upon the engagement level that you see. It also depends upon the type of post you are making. If you are constantly pushing promotional items, the audience will disengage. For example, if you are a B2C business and you are sharing pictures of people you will probably build your engagement level. Videos these days are the rage on Facebook, especially if they are short and make someone laugh. Use it to your advantage.
My rule of thumb is 70-20-10.
  • 70% content in your industry from other sources
  • 20% content from your industry that you create
  • 10% promotional information
The exception to that rule is if there is an event coming up, that 10% may rise to about 25% especially closer to the deadline for registration or the event itself.
Here is the tricky part – the frequency. Because of the algorithms, the more often you post, especially on Facebook, the higher the likelihood of your audience seeing it. The algorithms have dropped to about 3% of the posts you put out actually make it to a followers news feed. That number, at one time, used to be 16% of your followers would see your posts. If you want higher engagement with fewer posts, you have to make sure that all of your posts hit! This won’t happen. Try to arrange some “ringers” who will like and share your posts. This could drive the engagement rate and up the % of your followers that will see the posts.
Here is what I suggest to the “average” business user:
  • LinkedIn – 3-5 times per business week
  • Google+ – 3-5 times per business week
  • Twitter – as often as you can, link from Facebook, Pinterest, and feeds from other sources
  • Facebook – 1-3 times throughout the day for your business week. If you are a restaurant, that might mean Tuesday -Sunday, for a CPA firm Monday- Friday
If you are following the 70/20/10 rule, you should build the engagement level as well as find out what kinds of posts are drawing the engagement.
If you use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can use the auto schedule features they offer to pick the best time for follower interaction.  But remember that as frequently as you post, you need to have someone checking to see if people are engaging with you. If they comment, you need to be able to respond, SOOOOO don’t post more frequently than you can manage to check back and follow-up if necessary.
It really is just a numbers game.
This 2014 article from FastCompany sums up more details that you can use as reference.
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Stay Connected, no matter who it is

How do you stay connected with your acquaintances?Connected to some new folks at my Alton High Redbirds reunion

A few weeks back I attended a high school class reunion. It has been about 15 years since the last one I attended.

I arrived after having looked through my high school yearbook, checking on a directory to see who from my class lived near or far. Needless to say, I didn’t recognize everyone. What did help is Facebook. I was able to be in contact with several of my classmates over the past few years, so recognition of those people came pretty easily.

After the reunion, I looked up a few people with whom I was able to spend a few minutes speaking on LinkedIn to connect there.  I am sure I will eventually look for others as time permits.

The whole point of this article is this:

  • Social media did not exist when I was in school. For that matter, neither did the internet, and computers were in their infancy.
  • Networking meant shaking a lot of hands and making a bunch of phone calls.
  • Your network is broader than you think.

How will you stay connected with all of those people, especially some with whom you may have lost contact? Using social media is probably one of the easiest answers. If you are trying to reach a particular person, look at your network to see how you might be connected to them. When I teach LinkedIn my adage is;

“It’s not about who you know, but who they know.”

Being able to leverage your network to your advantage is, what I feel, the entire purpose of social media. Get connected, build relationships, share useful information, pay it forward, and don’t over-sell.

Six degrees of separation 01Remember the theory of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It was originally created in 1929 and popularized in 1990 and has spurred things like the Bacon foundation at sixdegrees.org and the six degrees of the Dali Lama. If you aren’t familar, the theory says that you are connected by six steps to every person in the world. I think that with social media, the gap will decrease tremendously. If you need to learn how to close the gap on social media, give me a jingle.

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