Infographic-Social Media and Customer Service

Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not just for brand awarness or its promotion. These are 2-way communication tools. Customers who have issues or queries turn to social media sites for Customer Service. How quick are you in responding to their issues or queries?

Desk.com highlights the customer service opportunities that social media platforms offers in the infographic below-

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The Social Help Desk Revolution — Brought To You By Desk.com

Four Fundamental Rules To Deal With Social Media Crisis

Social media crisis can occur anytime. It can be caused by an unhappy employee, unsatisfied customer or incorrect postings or ads that may have hurt the sentiments of any one. It is imperative that you must have a social media crisis plan in place even before the crisis occurs. Having a social media crisis plan helps you to control the crisis before it spirals out of control. Here are few fundamental rules that one must follow while dealing with social media crisis.

1. Response Flow chart: you must prepare a social media response flowchart beforehand. This flow chart will ensure that all sources provide same information rather than different versions of handling crisis. Enlist your employees in crisis management.

2. Turnaround time: Time is the crux of handling any crisis. Be prompt to respond to any negative feedback before it goes out of control. Any social media crisis should be handled within 24 hours from the time crisis occurred.

3. Involve your top influencers: It is important that you monitor your social media pages and know your top influencers. Involve your top influencers in responding to negative feedback. These influencers are from your audience and no one can handle crowd better than the person from the crowd himself.

4. Create Facebook landing page: Facebook fan pages are likely to be full of criticism and negative comments in case of social media crisis. You must create a landing page that addresses the problem and your response to the same. Don’t play blame game while addressing the issue. Link this landing page to your Facebook business page so that audience sees your response before they see any negative criticism. Link the same landing page to all your social media pages including Google+.

Last but not the least, maintain your poise. The way your organization handles social media crisis will go a long way in making or breaking its reputation.

How to Tap the Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Are you often wondering, how you can use your LinkedIn account to generate more business or to make easy business decisions? Is your LinkedIn account just being idle and you visit it once in a while? If yes, then it is time that you unleash the power of professional networking. If you are a SME then, LinkedIn can be a great tool to aid your business.

You can use LinkedIn not only to connect to potential customers but also to develop your network of trusted suppliers. Well, don’t be surprised. LinkedIn can be used for channelizing your business. You can join groups of different suppliers that are essential for your business. Start interacting with these suppliers with a view of understanding their ability to support your business and the economic viability of your business relation. Next important step is to ask for endorsements and recommendations from your clients. Client endorsements add a boost to your image. They enhance your credibility and highlight your business strengths. Client endorsements are a great way to acquire business through self promotion and oral publicity. You can also sync your twitter account to your LinkedIn account with a view of consolidating updates and saving time. Self promotion can be a major help. Your clients must know you and the only person who knows you the best is only ‘YOU’. Highlight your achievements, product launches and new strategies in order to gain attention and increase visibility. This will help in acquiring new business. You can establish yourself as a business expert by linking your blogs and interacting in forums.

LinkedIn can also be used as a great place to learn. Join groups where you can learn new strategies about your weak areas. For example, if you are not technologically sound, you can join a group that discusses new technologies and keep yourself up to date about what is happening in the technical field. These forums can help you with numerous business trips and tricks. Cast the net of networking. It is important that you make conscious efforts to widen your network. Create a strong network of online connections. Be in constant touch with your important connections. This will help you to seek aid from them and use them for potential business. You might be surprised to know that you can also find potential investors and mentors on LinkedIn. Several small businesses have raised funds for expansion through their LinkedIn network. Another smart trick is to connect with your competitors or subscribe to their networks. This strategy helps you in keeping a close eye on the competition. These small tips can help you in tapping the underlying power of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Tips for Businesses

LinkedIn

Social media is a rage amongst the youth and the masses. When one thinks about social media, the first thing that comes to their mind is Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn etc. Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and MySpace are more of social networking sites which are also used by businesses for interaction. LinkedIn stands out as a professional networking site.

LinkedIn is extremely powerful tool to connect to people and enhance your business opportunities. Here are few tips that can help you in tapping on vast gamut of business opportunities through LinkedIn connections.

1. Update Profile Info: Your LinkedIn profile is your online identity. The first thing that people notice about you will be your profile information. It is crucial that you fill up all the relevant information about yourself and your business. It is important that this information is updated and reviewed periodically.

2. Add your expertise: Areas of expertise need to be highlighted in order to grab the potential visitor’s attention. Your area of expertise will also determine your networking circle. For example if you are a recruitment firm and your expertise is headhunting for top management then you need to mention the same in most appealing way. This will ensure that potential senior management individuals and companies that require your services will connect with you.

3. Participate in forums: LinkedIn groups have several forums. It is recommended that you participate in these forums and share your industry knowledge on the subject. Forum participation and answering questions about domain expertise add a lot of credibility to your profile.

4. Aim to be top influencer: Every group has statistics about top influencers of the week. People want to connect to top influencers because they are considered to be market leaders. It should be your aim to be one of the top influencers in your industry domain or industry related group.

5. Create your business page: Your business page is the mouthpiece of your business progress. It is recommended that you create a business page and update your recent achievement, changes and progress targets. This has a dual benefit. One that the business gets more visibility and second that the consumers and potential clients are constantly reminded about your presence.

6. Create online polls: Nothing can be as effective as online polls. If you are planning on launching a new product or diversifying your product mix, then you can create an online poll and get an instantaneous response and market pulse.

These simple tips can help you in unleashing your business potential and opening new doors of opportunities for you.

Tips for FMCG’s for optimizing social Media

It is hard to stay away from social media in today’s world. Almost major target audiences are available on social media networks. This makes it imperative for corporate and business houses to tap the potential of social media networking. While most of companies rely on one or two social media networks to create an online presence, it is extremely important that these companies leverage the potential of social media effectively. Corporate houses and businesses have accepted the power of social media and they have made an attempt at creating an online presence. The question is whether these companies are able to leverage the true potential of social media or are they just skimming the surface.

FMCG

FMCG

FMCG companies generally target their audience on social networking sites by creating fan pages. However only creating a fan page is not sufficient to boost the sales. FMCG companies should focus on adding value to their fan page by using the below mentioned tips

1. Increase customer interaction: FMCG companies have to deal with diverse consumer mindsets while introducing new products. Food and beverages like health drinks, breakfast cereals and snacks are often met with resistance from consumers. FMCG companies should use social media platforms as discussion panels and opinion boards with a view of understanding the consumer mentality. They can use this forum to clarify the consumer doubts with reference to different FMCG products. It is recommended that company should engage product experts and senior officials to handle these forums. Increased customer interaction can help FMCG companies in understanding the market pulse. It is a great idea to change customer’s perception in a favorable manner

2. Discount Coupons: Discounts coupons are one of the easiest ways of attracting the consumers towards your fan page. Discount coupons have a direct impact on store sales. Consumers are likely to buy the product because of the savings attached with the same. FMCG companies can also tie up with different websites that offer daily deals. Featuring the FMCG deal of the day on social networking site will help in pumping the sales and will also increase the number of fans

3. Online Competitions: FMCG companies can also roll out different online games and contests to attract the consumers. One can allocate goodie bags and other items as prizes for these contests. Consumers will definitely respond positively to such contests. E.g. Cadbury’s” meetha dinner contest” or Tide’s “batao apni tide story contest”. Responses from these competitions can help you in deciding your ad campaigns. These contests also help you in creating brand awareness.

These simple tips go a long way in establishing a strong brand identity online. Don’t miss out on these tips, if you are looking at exploiting the true potential of social media.

Social Networking Vs Emails

The Year 2010- 2011 witnessed a major boom in the field of social networking. Facebook and Twitter were the new buzz words. Google also entered the social networking domain with launch of Google+. Social networking has managed to bridge the gap between real life communication and virtual world. People find it easier to upload pictures of their personal moments, so that their friends can share their thoughts about the same. Social networking offers a real time communication platform to all its users. Even businesses have started to look at social networking as an opportunity to expand their business and reach the wider mass.

Social Networking Vs Emails

In this entire process of social networking boom, use of emails has declined considerably. Honestly think when was the last time you sent a personal email to a friend or relative. People would rather prefer to chat on different social networking sites or just post a message on their social networking Ids. Statistics by Comscore reveal that time spent on Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail and other e-mail services has declined in most Asia-Pacific regions, the most impacted are India and Malaysia. On the contrary, time spent on social networking sites has increased. There is a 40% increase in social networking users.

Emails are currently restricted to business use. Corporate giants like Coke and Dell are also utilizing the power of social networking to communicate with their customers. Social networking definitely offers a personal touch compared to emails, however social networking sites do not offer the privacy offered by emails. Social networking sites target the youth whereas emails have a larger target audience. Middle age adults still prefer to communicate via emails and telephone vis-à-vis social networking sites. Many middle aged adults find social networking sites complex to use. Considering the above mentioned scenario, one needs to rethink about Mark Zuckerberg’s statement that emails are dead.

Social networking sites are definitely the choice of today’s generation however speaking about the larger spectrum of audience, emails still exist. The question is whether emails would continue to be preferred form of communication in the coming years. If social networking site owners are able to counter the privacy issues on these sites then probably emails would be a history at least for personal communication.

It is too early to comment on extinction of emails as per statistics on business use of emails. Statistics reveal that typical business user sends and receives 105 messages daily. Around 49 per cent of e-mail users live in the Asia Pacific region. One cannot deny the fact that emails are safer and more legitimate way of communicating as compared to social networking. Only time will tell, if emails survive the social networking attack. Let’s wait and watch.

Social Media for Missing People

If you are a frequent Facebook user then you must have come across a page created for searching Arwa Korakiwala; a 5 year old, which went missing from her school in Santacruz on Saturday. Thousands of users on Facebook have liked this search page and have also posted the same on their walls. This is not the first time that netizens are coming together for a social cause. Thousands of people created awareness and shared Arwa’s family member’s details so that they could be contacted in case Arwa was found. Increasing number of re-tweets only indicates people’s concern over the issue.

A report in Indian Express dated 10th Jan 2012 stated that ‘by Monday evening, more than 13, 157 users on Facebook had liked the page and more than 1, 76,730 had shared it. Moreover on Tuesday morning I noticed that the number of likes increased to 17,000+ and was shared more than 2,00,000+ times!! That’s a humongous number!! This is not the first instance where social media has been used to create awareness and help in tracing the missing children. Few months ago, social networking sites saw flurry of wall posts and likes for karnit Shah, a five year old boy who went missing from Kandivali, Mumbai. Karnit was later found in Uttar Pradesh and was successfully re-united with his family.

The above two instances are definitely eye openers for social media critics. These instances prove that social media is an extremely powerful tool; provided one leverages its potential aptly. If used diligently, Social media pages can prove to be of great help in tracing the missing people. One must however be cautious of the fact that the social media search should not be endless. Parents/ Relatives or social networking page administrators must take appropriate steps in informing the netizens that the missing person has been found. One can also consider, deleting the page dedicated to search the missing person, once the person has been found and netizens have been notified. This will go a long way in preventing chaos and confusions.
One simply cannot ignore the role played by social media in tracing the missing people. This is just the start. Over a period of time, Social media will definitely play a larger role in handling the social issues.

Is Google+ plus better than Facebook?

google-plus-logo

The social networking war has begun. The new Google+ promises to be better than facebook. Several people have already started moving to Google+ and building connections there. The question in the long run is to see if Google+ kills the facebook craze.

Google+ beats facebook hands down on several aspects.  Considering the below mentioned aspects, facebook seems to face a bleak future.

  1. Privacy: Facebook has many privacy issues. People find their accounts hacked or hit by virus. Recent privacy breaches with facebook have forced users to look out for other options. Google’s reputation for data privacy is well known across the globe. Google has carefully planned the launch of its social networking application. Google assures maximum data privacy.
  2. Selective share options: Google+ has introduced wonderful feature called circles. It is not necessary that you add a person to your circle. You can create separate circles only for friends, family, co-workers or mere acquaintances. You can choose what you want to share with your circles. So now you can share a status update just for your family or for specific set of friends. This feature is not available on facebook.
  3. Easy upload of pictures: Google has smartly linked Picasa to Google+ therefore it is extremely easy to upload pictures or share your albums as per your choice. If you don’t want to share a particular Picasa album on Google+ then you need to just change the settings of the album to private.
  4. Group video chat: Google has gone a step ahead of facebook and introduced group video chats on their hangout section. What else can a savvy user ask for?
  5. Circles: Circles are the best feature of Google+ so far. On facebook you had to add people whom you really did not want to connect with; just to stay guilt free. However with Google+, you can label people in different circles and therefore restrict your data information for them. They would never know what you have labeled them as.

Looking at the way Google+ has taken off, it may soon be the “most happening and safe social networking site”

Social Media Predictions

Over the past years social media has become an imperative tool for internet marketers. It has gradually made a place for itself and is steadily changing the pattern of how individuals or corporate houses market, promote and maintain their present and potential customer base online. Listed below are the few predictions by avid online marketers.

2011 will see online marketers with more conversational tools to engage the clients. Instead of simply focusing on engagement of the end customer, the marketers will concentrate on technologies and ideas that will stimulate conversations. Like the QR code, the new technologies will be completely driven by data measurement as well.

As the paid search engines and ultimately conversion rates continuously decline and become expensive more and more companies are going to be engaging themselves in social media to reach the end customer through expansion of man power and budget.

Social media will not be called a new media any more. It will be a mainstream tool and will attract a lot more budget by the corporate marketing team. Internet users of all age groups who till now stayed away from online magazines, newspaper and journals will soon become avid users of the same including watching the short and the long videos. They will stay connected with family, colleagues and friends as they move from one geolocation to another on social media platforms. As letters were replaced by emails, soon emails may be replaced by Face book.

Profile security will be a cause of concern and a huge issue as the data on user and personalized sharing will be more emphasized than ever. Small time businesses will get a better chance of competing against big names on social platform.

The users of social media will demand much more from it. Businesses will want more proof to driving business; the regular users will look towards more quality substance while the regular practitioners will have to demand excellence from themselves.

2011 will see more success stories of social media marketing with many more corporate houses jumping the line with variety of campaigns on Face book, Twitter and other geo location networks. Creativity will continue to thrive with social media gaining support from evidence that it actually works.

Internet world is still not being used by more than four to five billion people from all over the world. The internet population may just double this year with new users from South Asia, Africa and South America. The social media should gear up to satisfy the needs of the growing internet population who are looking for quality information, specificity and education.

2011 will definitely be a year of integration. With one to one marketing being an idea for decades, we may finally see it taking shape this year. Individual promotional mails will be sent to clients who clicked a particular link on Twitter.

Social media pages will soon become promotional hubs with exclusive offers to a set of warm audiences.

Social Media and the Most Engaged Brands in 2010

Engagement in social media is indispensable for any reputed brand, as it enables them to reach their customers in just no time. However, it provides them a lot of flexibility and creativity. Apart from advertising cultivating an image, the loyalty of customers is earned through interaction. With the help of social media, you can actually get connected with your consumers and show your brand’s message and the feedback of consumers.
As per the recent reports, here are the brands of 2010 that are the most engaged in social media extensively to get connected with their consumers:
Starbucks:
Starbucks, a name that is widely held all over the world, has worked brilliantly on their web presence. This coffee giant has taken its name to every corner of the world using social media like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and mobile applications. Apart from this, they have their own social network called ‘My Starbucks Ideas’. The company is leading the way on the social platforms using the most engaging and attractive profiles. What’s more! Starbucks is going to dominate the place in social media for the coming years as well.
If you check out the twitter page of Starbucks, you will find over 1 million followers with a lot of active conversations. Starbucks makes a point to respond to every tweet they get, be it a complaint of an unpleasant experience, some mentions or just an interesting conversation.  Besides that, 15 million people have liked this brand on Facebook.
Coca-cola:
However, at the second place only, but Coca-cola is one of the most recognized brands of the world. With 142,000 followers on twitter and over 15 million fans following on Facebook, this soda company amplifies its brand message quite well.
In addition to that, they have active conversations on twitter and a lot of interesting activities for its fans on Facebook. Their YouTube channel is amazing and works astonishingly well with a viral video leading to the Twitter page of the Coke’s inventor, Doc Pemberton.
Oreo:
As per the reports of Famecount, Oreo occupies the third position in the list of the most engaged brands in social media. Running the business successfully since 1912 and with over 12 million fans on Facebook, this cookie making company has showcased its potential of being creative, flexible and real staying power. Additionally, it is focusing mainly on its YouTube channel with the DSRL’s videos.
Skittles:
Skittles work amazingly with their online presence with more than 12 million fans on Facebook. Even the website of the company works really well with its interacting features for the users like posting photos, voting opportunities etc. With its “Mob The Rainbow” feature, they engage the users with some activity related to a social good.
Red Bull:
This energy drink producing Austrian company offers a nice and interactive page on Facebook with more than 10 million fans. Along with an engaging and interactive Game page, the company runs creative contests from time to time that appeal the core consumers of the brand. Not only that, this energy drink producing company has done an excellent job with iphone applications, iPad and iPod.
Hence, social media is a great tool that enables the companies to interact with their audience give them an insight into who they are, how they feel and what they want.

Engagement in social media is indispensable for any reputed brand, as it enables them to reach their customers in just no time. However, it provides them a lot of flexibility and creativity. Apart from advertising cultivating an image, the loyalty of customers is earned through interaction. With the help of social media, you can actually get connected with your consumers and show your brand’s message and the feedback of consumers.

As per the recent reports, here are the brands of 2010 that are the most engaged in social media extensively to get connected with their consumers:

Starbucks:

starbucks-logo

Starbucks, a name that is widely held all over the world, has worked brilliantly on their web presence. This coffee giant has taken its name to every corner of the world using social media like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and mobile applications. Apart from this, they have their own social network called ‘My Starbucks Ideas’. The company is leading the way on the social platforms using the most engaging and attractive profiles. What’s more! Starbucks is going to dominate the place in social media for the coming years as well.

If you check out the twitter page of Starbucks, you will find over 1 million followers with a lot of active conversations. Starbucks makes a point to respond to every tweet they get, be it a complaint of an unpleasant experience, some mentions or just an interesting conversation.  Besides that, 19 million people have liked this brand on Facebook.

Coca-cola:

coca-cola2

However, at the second place only, but Coca-cola is one of the most recognized brands of the world. With less than 2 lac followers on twitter and over 21 million fans following on Facebook, this soda company amplifies its brand message quite well.

In addition to that, they have active conversations on twitter and a lot of interesting activities for its fans on Facebook. Their YouTube channel is amazing and works astonishingly well with a viral video leading to the Twitter page of the Coke’s inventor, Doc Pemberton.

Oreo:

Oreo

As per the reports of Famecount, Oreo occupies the third position in the list of the most engaged brands in social media. Running the business successfully since 1912 and with over 16 million fans on Facebook, this cookie making company has showcased its potential of being creative, flexible and real staying power. Additionally, it is focusing mainly on its YouTube channel with the DSRL’s videos.

Skittles:

skittles

Skittles work amazingly with their online presence with more than 14 million fans on Facebook. Even the website of the company works really well with its interacting features for the users like posting photos, voting opportunities etc. With its “Mob The Rainbow” feature, they engage the users with some activity related to a social good.

Red Bull:

Red Bull

This energy drink producing Austrian company offers a nice and interactive page on Facebook with more than 14 million fans. Along with an engaging and interactive Game page, the company runs creative contests from time to time that appeal the core consumers of the brand. Not only that, this energy drink producing company has done an excellent job with iphone applications, iPad and iPod.

Hence, social media is a great tool that enables the companies to interact with their audience give them an insight into who they are, how they feel and what they want.