Tag Archives: Facebook

Sharing is Caring

4 Apr

The age-old phrase “sharing is caring” has had both positive and negative connotations associated with it. In this instance, however, I’m using the words exactly as they are – sharing IS caring. In social media, it’s easy to fan a company, like a page, or follow a celebrity. On the surface, this is great – lots of likes, high numbers and positive analytics means someone’s doing something right. But digging deeper, it doesn’t always mean something great. Take for instance the multitude of Facebook posts you see asking users to like a page so my sister will see she’s beautiful, or how many likes can this veteran get, or even like this post, type the word cool and you’ll have 7 years of good luck. Now,  a lot of times these posts are real – but a lot of times they aren’t. Case in point – the recent article by the NY Times on how Facebook scammers are getting more and more information about you  – and what you can do about it.

I click on posts just like everyone else, but these days if something has 15,000 likes and I keep seeing it over and over again, I’m much less likely to click on it, because it’s probably not real. There are exceptions to that, however, like last week’s Supreme Court debate on gay marriage. My news feed lit up like a Christmas tree with photos of the red equality sign, the Human Rights Campaign’s visual support icon of gay marriage. Obviously, this was no scam – I was hearing about it on the news, around my neighborhood, the radio – everywhere. I jumped on the bandwagon because it was something I was passionate about, and knew was legit. I also shared a few pictures via the Human Rights Campaign.

Interestingly enough, I shared photos and messages even though I’m not a fan of the organization (on Facebook that is). This leads me to my next point – sharing things on Facebook is a much more powerful tool that actually liking a page. And I don’t mean sharing photo after photo of your kids (though I am guilty as charged) or what you had for dinner. Ad Week talks about it in an article this week – Brands Favor Social Shares Over Likes. Putting yourself out there to the world that you too are a fan of X, or love this ad campaign, news article or photo is bold and risky. You’re friend might not like it, you may get flack from your family, and/or your post could blow up in support. Alternative, nothing can happen. But, it takes much more effort to share a company’s post than it does to like their page.

What does that really mean? It means that the more people who promote a brand within their own social spheres are much more involved, supportive and invested in said company. And that is worth more than any amount of likes you can garner. It means that someone cares enough about your company, your message, your brand, and/or your cause to let other people know about it. There’s nothing stronger than a personal reference, and sharing online is as close to word of mouth as you can get without actually talking with someone. The more shares, the bigger the buzz, and the bigger the payoff.

Got a customer service problem? Social media can help

30 Sep

It’s interesting to think that in today’s day and age one of the main methods for dealing with problems comes from a technology that didn’t even exist 15 years ago. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and email have become the go-to places when one has a problem. Whether its a personal or professional issue, the internet is full of ways to help us deal with them.

For me personally, my social networks have become a second life of sorts. An online version of me without the 3D effects. And with that version comes the ability to get things done that I ordinarily wouldn’t have time for, wouldn’t know how to address or wouldn’t care to fix. But social media helps the world interact so much more efficiently that anything is possible.

Take Twitter and Facebook for example: there are a ton of companies on Twitter now and more people are joining each day. Facebook recently hit 500 million users and if it were a country, would be the fourth largest in the world. So now that I know where the people are, its a safe bet that many companies will have a presence there too. Go where the customers are – you don’t want people to be conversing about you, and not have any input when the option is there. That’s just bad business. Not to say that you should do it just to do it – that line of thinking doesn’t work whether we’re talking about business or life. You should engage because there’s a need – a need to connect with the world and have a conversation.

Earlier this month, I had 3 different interactions with 3 separate companies. The first one was with Sears. I bought a black grill cover earlier this summer and now its grey, bordering on white. Since I bought a black one, I was not happy that it was no longer this color. So I hopped online, found their account on Twitter and tweeted my disappointment. I wasn’t mean, out of turn or anything like that, just a simple not happy message. At the very least it made me feel better, and I figured at the very best, I’d get a coupon or something. One thing to note – I did make sure the Sears account was active before I engaged. Who wants to tweets to a dead account? So I tweeted, they responded, and we started a conversation – then the unthinkable happened – it moved offline. Sears customer service actually called me (on the phone!), and I talked to a REAL person. I was super impressed. The lady was extremely helpful, very nice and at the end of our talk sent me a gift card for the price of the cover. Just like that. It arrived a week later, and then Sears called me and tweeted at me to make sure everything was ok. Great customer service.

The second and third interactions were with Tiny Prints and Shutterfly. I had bought things from each of them previously so every once in a while I’m offered discounts and coupons. I hadn’t purchased anything from Tiny Prints since before Baby R, and the email I got was enticing me to stay in touch and I’d get a $25 coupon code. I signed up for the newsletter but no code came. I signed up again, and no code. So I tweeted at Tiny Prints about my experience, and a day or so later I had the $25 sitting in my Tiny Prints account. Perfect. I wanted to order Baby R some stationary but was holding off because it was rather pricey. Now with my code, she’s got her stationary, I saved some money, and Tiny Prints still has a loyal (and happy!) customer.

Lastly, Shutterfly makes great photo albums that you can design yourself (or have them do it) and then they print and ship to you. Unfortuantely it was taking FOREVER to load some pictures to their site, and I missed a free book deal by a few hours. Again, I took to Twitter, tweeted about it, and the next day ordered my free book because they extended the promo for a few more days.

Now I’m not saying every company works this way or engages their customers using social media. Some just tweet deals, press releases or offer tips without interacting with others. But the ones that do interact, and do work with their customers are doing so very effectively. Social media can work to help connect customers with businesses, and it doesn’t always have to be asking for something. Tiny Prints frequently retweets positive messages, Shutterfly responds to Facebook posts, and Petunia Pickle Bottom regularly chats with fans on their Facebook page.

Using social media to interact with customers is a smart, simple and economical way to strengthen relationships. It’s also a great way to make a customer feel good, and want to patronize a business next time they’re in the market for said product. And you know what, I’ve told my stories to a lot of people recently, and nothing is more valuable than friendly referrals.

Extra Post #1

18 Feb

Facebook’s Debacle – Will you really delete your account?

With all of the stories floating around the blogosphere and media over the past days, I feel the need to comment on Facebook‘s “term of use” debacle. I know I mentioned it in my previous post, however, I feel that it warrants a more in depth discussion.

I’ve been reading not only the articles and posts about Facebook’s issue, but also the comments from users, readers, and the general public regarding their feelings towards Facebook. Some are eye opening and some are just plain dumb. Others surprised me. For instance, on CNN.com, someone by the name of “Tom” posted the following comment:

“I definantly will be deleting my account, i don’t want some of my family pictures to be the right of the site to do what they want with, this really is disappointing. Not to meantion the ‘SPIN TACTIC’ that they just tried on the world, thats a real insult to my intellegence, and i think all the people on the site as well”

Obviously, “Tom” is not satisfied with the way Facebook has handled the situation – as well as the rest of the angered bloggersand reactors. But I wonder, will he really delete his account? His online social network? His only way (most likely) to communicate with his Facebook friends – most of whom he probably hasn’t seen or thought of in years? Much of the posting I’ve seen states similiar “delete thoughts;” but how many people will actually act on it? I know if I deleted my account, I would lose access to the gossipy, influential, entertaining aspects of a world that I have created for myself. My online virtual world of life. Sure, I only talk to about 25% (and that’s being generous) of the people I’m friends with, but I can assure you, I’m interested in all of them. Who hasn’t Facebook stalkedan old beau, friend, foe or co-worker? Sometimes on a boring day, Facebook stalking is a grand source of entertainment. I think it’s fun to look up past high school buddies and see where they are now. I might not want to talk to them or they to me, but it’s always interesting to see how lives have played out – who’s married, who’s had a baby, who went to law school, who got fat, who skinny, who knocked up the prom queen (true story!) etc. So I would like to pose a question to anyone out there who has stated they are deleting their Facebook account – did you really delete your Facebook profile? Or was it a heat of the moment, pissed off statement that you meant at the time, but were never planning on following through with?

Response Post #4

17 Feb

A digital Bill of Rights? Yeah Right.

You’ve got to be kidding me, a Bill of Rights for the internet? Who has this much time on their hands?! However, after reading through the short, and simple theory – I totally support it. It’s not complicated, touchy or weird – just plain simple statements. Things most internet users assume they have already. Because, really, who reads an entire “term of agreement” anyway? And if you do, do you really understand it if you don’t have the letters ESQ after your name?

While the Bill of Rights – as it relates to social media – was written more than a year ago, with the recent news regarding Facebook‘s privacy terms, it is more relevant than ever before (apparently someone did read the entire term of use agreement, otherwise I wouldn’t be bloggingabout it!). For example, while I’m pretty strict with what I post to my Facebook account, I have posted photos I would not want used without my permission, for instance, my wedding photos. Now, I highly doubt Facebook is interested enough in how I looked on my wedding day to use them for it’s own project, but I am protective of them enough that I would have a very big problem if I found them splashed around with out my consent. Yes, I uploaded them thereby agreeing to abide by Facebook’s terms of use, but that still doesn’t give anyone the right to pilfer or plunder someone else’s stuff. Electronic or not. It’s stealing – plain and simple – I can show off pictures of my family and friends to colleagues – or even photos of my home – but that doesn’t give them the right to break in and take the picture on my mantel because they liked it. That’s why I think the companies who use the Bill of Rights are taking a step forward in social media and digital decency. Much like Jet Blue‘s passenger bill of rights after it’s disastrous airport delay last year, the Bill of Rights that Scoble and others have created is definitely a step in the right direction. It won’t solve all the problems, and won’t be the silver bullet for all things wrong with the internet, but it is a basic and simple human nod to honesty.

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