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No: 3 Foursquare

Tool number 3 in my Top 100 Tools

Foursquare, the mobile location-based service, had a year of tremendous growth that paved the way for other location-based services, including Facebook Places. The service recently surpassed 5 million users

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Social Media tool no. 2 hold live events on Facebook

How are local government offices using Social Media

How Retailers can improve on their Social Media Strategy

It seems that retailers in the UK  have loads of room for improvement when it comes to using and embracing the ideas behind social media.

This summary of a report from e-consultancy and Auros Are you serious about social? study, looking at the top 25 retailers.

Facebook

  • Fewer (72%) of the 25 retailers had a Facebook page, but the average number of fans was higher, at 258,000.
  • Retailers responded to questions more promptly on Facebook, an average response time of 78 minutes, while 88% gave a helpful answer.
  • When it came to responding to positive or negative comments, the figures were different. Just 17% responded to a positive comment on their wall, taking an average of 112 minutes to respond.
  • Just 11% of brands responded to a negative comment left on the wall.

As with Twitter, there is plenty of room for improvement here, and again brands are missing opportunities to engage with customers.

Twitter

20 of the top 25 retailers actually had an account on Twitter, which does at least show that they are beginning to see the importance of Twitter. It can be an effective customer service channel, allowing for swift responses to customer questions, and offering the ability to demonstrate to other users that

The 25 companies followed in the report had an average of 69,000 followers, which shows that there is a decent level of customer interest.

  • Despite the researchers actively engaging with the brand and asking questions, none of the retailers followed them back. This means customers can’t get in touch to provide details to help get their problem sorted out, or to move the discussion to another channel.
  • Only 25% of retailers with a Twitter account responded to a question directed at them.
  • While 20% responded to negative comments which had been directed at them, compared with 10% that replied to positive ones.
  • For those that replied the average response time was 94 minutes, which isn’t bad. By comparison email response times were 10 hours on average, which says a lot about the quality of email service.

These results suggest that, though retailers are keen on a Twitter presence, they are yet to learn what users expect from them via this channel. That said, it should be very basic common sense (and good manners) to reply to a question posed directly at them.

Whether the question is positive or negative, this represents a missed opportunity to engage with customers, and also suggests that many brands are using Twitter as more of a push marketing channel.

 

YouTube

The study results suggest that retailers don’t place much importance on YouTube as a social media channel, despite its massive audience and social functionality.

  • Just three (12%) of the retailers studied had their own YouTube channel.
  • These retailers had an average of 1,514 fans.
  • None responded to any comments left underneath videos.

Blogs

52% of retailers had a blog on their websites, and though the report found that some of the content on offer was good, none responded to questions and comments left underneath blog posts, and there seemed to be very little interaction with any other blog readers.

Thank you to Graham Charlton who shared a report by Auros on econsultancy.

 

How to use Social Media tools and Manage your Time.

When I start to work for any new clients, Social Media always seems to be a little overwhelming, especially when you are a small business, and your time is often stretched anyway, so using tools is essential, and good time management will make a big diffrence, so I have attached a number of links to some great articles about these topics.

Enjoy them, and let me know what your top tips are for managing your Social Media Time

Simply Zesty – always a source of great articles and this one written by Lauren Fisher is no expectation, she looks at a full range of Social Media tools, with a few mentioned that I did not know about.

http://www.simplyzesty.com/social-media/your-complete-guide-to-the-best-free-social-media-monitoring-tools/

From Next Web

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/02/18/social-media-tools/

from practical e-commerce another comprehensive list of 15 Social Media Tools

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2688-15-Services-to-Manage-Your-Social-Media-Activity

social mouths wrote this fantastic set of articles about what and how to measure your social media metrics, really worth the read

http://socialmouths.com/blog/2010/05/24/snapshot-of-your-social-media-presence-part-5-dashboard-on-a-spreadsheet/

and an slideshare presentation by twenty feet about measuring your competitors activity on social media

http://socialmouths.com/blog/2010/05/24/snapshot-of-your-social-media-presence-part-5-dashboard-on-a-spreadsheet/

and a great article about how to manage your time to get all your activities completed, written by Beth Kanter, I think this is an issue for most of my clients when we first start building their social media strategies, how to fit it all into a working day, so great tips here.

http://www.bethkanter.org/time-manage-tip/

Make sure you tell us your best bits of advice!

A view on big brands and Social Media

A really good article on how big brands like Gucci are getting social media wrong.

http://web-self-service.tmcnet.com/topics/web-self-service/articles/147613-big-brands-not-so-good-social-media.htm

Have you had any experience of engaging with big brands on line, or how do you make sure you stay on top of comments on your Social Media sites?

 

Ban the Bomb, send in Twitter!

I have reading a great article in Time magazine about Tunisia and how the revelation really started.

In my words now, and in a very “keep it simple stupid” fashion, it gained momentum because the present  or now ex very corrupt leadership, did its citizens one huge favour, it educated them.  This meant inward investment from some very large players, jobs etc…. so the government could steal from the coffers, because people were busy.

When the credit crunch started to bite, those big American companies pulled out.

Now the Tunisian people really had a good look at its leaders, and thanks to the wonderful world of Social Media, the young generation  started to see its leaders through the eyes of the world.

They read about their massive corruption on Wiki Leaks and watched videos on You Tube, showing their excesses for all to see.

As I mentioned they did do a few things right, they educated people,  they also had more liberal laws this combined to create jobs and attract loads of tourists, Tunisia were a jewel in Africa’s crown.

But they didn’t allow freedom of the press, of course they didn’t want loads of questions asked, and they thought that the people of Tunisia didn’t mind being robbed.

But, the younger generation of Tunisia could not be kept away from up to date facts, even when the government tried to block certain sites,  they would break through the ban and have access to all the reviews and media on-line.

They used the sites to share their videos, and they use social media (especially Twitter)as a way to communicate where the next protest meeting is… that’s how its kept the revolution going.

And people ask about the power of Social Media?

Another related tale is the how mobile phones are changing Afghanistan. The Afgan people have access to them for the first time, and they love texting. So people want to be educated, and this is creating huge interest in people joining the police (they teach them to read and write).

In order to text  you need to read and write, and I heard the leaders are even talking about educating girls for the first time in ages..just brilliant.

So next time the likes of Tony and George feel like dropping a few bombs, think again, send in Social media and give everyone a phone.

 

 

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