SXSW 2012 – Creepy or Creative Social CRM?

SXSW 2012

Where is the fine line between Creepy and Creative Customer Service?

For the 2012 SXSW Interactive event in Austin, TX on March 9-13, I am putting together a panel discussion with BJ Emerson of Tasti D-Lite and my colleagues from Engage121. We wish to dive deep into how brands can avoid the creep factor and make customer service a positive experience.

The limits are being tested as the competition is heating up for the hearts of consumers and brands contend for trust and ultimately loyalty. This interactive session will explore these boundaries and make you both squirm and cheer as we discuss both repulsive and responsive customer service. You’ll come away equipped with ideas for bridging the gap without burning the bridge when it comes to building and managing customer relationships online.  The panel will include answering questions such as:

  1. Do customers really want a personalized and consistent online/offline experience?
  2. How do we push the envelope without pushing them away?
  3. How does Location Based Marketing fit into Social CRM and providing a great experience?
  4. How do you keep from drowning in too much information?
  5. What are best practices for Social CRM?
We would appreciate your support and your vote in making this panel happen. Please vote here on the SXSW Panel Picker and we hope to see you in Austin!

Franchising Goes Social

Franchise Social Media

FranCamp 2011 is the first social media “un-conference” for the franchising industry and is happening this October in Nashville. All franchisors and franchisees are encouraged to attend to learn and share what’s working in social media marketing for franchise systems.

The format is simple: a low-cost, one-day event loaded with a fast-paced and aggressive agenda loaded with super-helpful content. After some sessions at this year’s IFA Convention, several IFA members and I discussed the need for a social media event for franchise systems that was more than just the typical “why use social media” discussion and really get down into useable, actionable takeaways.

I’m excited to be presenting on the topic of Twitter tactics and best practices for franchises. Some of the points we will be discussing are:

  • The dirty little secret of how your customers are actually using Twitter
  • Why Twitter requires completely different tactics than Facebook or Google+
  • 4 things to do if your Tweets are not driving business

Here’s the current lineup of speakers and panelists with franchise leaders who are making an impact with social:

Deb Evans, CEO, Computer Explorers

BJ Emerson, VP Technology, Tasti D-Lite

Timothy Nobles, Founder, Words Go Here SEO

Jack Monson, VP, Engage121

Paul Segreto, CEO, FranchiEssentials

Jennifer MacDonald, Online Community Manager, WIN Home Inspection

AK Stout, CEO, Saying it Social

Joe Mathews, Founder, Franchise Performance

Amy Olson, Director of Marketing, The Maids International

Kurt Schusterman, CEO, Verlo Mattress Factory Stores

Thomas Scott, CEO, Brand Journalists

This daylong event will take place October 22 at CoLab in downtown Nashville. Plus, there will be a Tweet-Up on Friday evening at a Tasti D-Lite location in Nashville!

Social Media for Insurance Companies

What’s the most important thing an insurance company needs to know in Social Media?

What are our own agents saying?!? 

This is a logical place for any marketing, operations, customer service or other unit within an insurance brand to start. 

  • Are their posts working against your messages?
  • Are their posts inconstant with your best practices?
  • Are their posts focusing on selling services instead of engaging?
  • Is their activity compliant with FINRA’s guidelines?

 It’s easy to find out with the right tools. It’s essential to do if your brand is going to use Social Media at all.

Using a Social CRM tool, you should be able to instantly see a snapshot of what your group of agents are saying right now, across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blog if they write one, and any other social network you’ve chosen to plug into your “corporate” interface. You should be able to view everything they are saying, or filter down by those posts specifically about the brand or other keywords.

Also, let’s not only look at this as a “gotcha” tool. After all you don’t want to play bad cop all day. There may be some great, appropriate content that your agents are posting. After all, your field agents are the front line, talking with customers face-to-face daily, and know your brand’s services better than anyone. Perhaps there’s some content they are posting that could be repurposed and shared to via your corporate fan pages or blogs.

Next week, we’ll take a look at repurposing and redistributing your agents’ content, as well as your clients’ content in a fast and effective way. 

Four Things To Do If Social Media Is NOT Increasing Sales

I won’t pretend to have some secret formula for Social Media ROI for franchises or any other types of organizations. I’ll leave that to the software companies who have recently popped up and discovered how huge the franchising industry is and want to build your Facebook page…

What I will tell you is this: you need to measure Social Media activity against your bottom line.

Is there a correlation? Is SM making an impact on sales, leads, customers, or your other most important metrics?

Social Media ROI
Is Social Media Making an Impact on Your Sales?

If Social Media engagement is increasing your numbers, then keep going!

If not, then you need to do one of these four things: 

1. Increase Social Media activity

2. Change Social Media tactics

3. Improve the content

4. Stop using Social Media

I don’t advocate #4, but it may be the right thing for some organizations. Let’s focus on the other three.

1. Increase Social Media Activity

How often are you engaging in conversations with consumers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and all of the others? How often are you updating your blog(s) with something other than marketing materials and ads? 

Too many organizations rely on the Field of Dreams method of social media places: build it and wait for them to come. Sure there are 600 million users of Facebook, but how many actually run to your fan page once a week?

Best Practice: Post engaging content to your pages three times per week to set a cadence. 

2. Change Social Media Tactics
Maybe you’ve been posting to a Facebook Fan Page but getting no conversion of fans to customers. Perhaps your targeted consumers aren’t “living” on Facebook; they may be more apt to engage you on Twitter, a blog, or a LinkedIn group.  You must cover all bases and try all avenues to find your community. 

Best Practice: add a new platform or channel every 60 days for the rest of 2011. And, try setting up individual Fan Pages, profiles, or blog sites for each store, location, or franchisee.

3. Improve the Content

Is there value for others? Or is there value in this content for only you and your organization?

Here’s a good test: Take a quick look right now at the content on your blog(s), Facebook pages, or Twitter account. Is it all press releases, announcements about your company, promotions, and broadcasts about products and how you’re better than the other guys?  Guess who’s going to engage with you over this content? No one (except your co-workers and maybe some current customers who are being kind). 

Best Practice: include marketing content in one out of every ten posts. The other nine will draw consumers into the conversation about the industry, lifestyle, or other information in which they see value.


Social Geek Radio

Social Geek Radio

Please check out
Social Geek Radio this Thursday night at 9pm ET / 8pm CT. I am thrilled to be the guest on the show’s first episode of 2011!

The show is co-hosted by Deb Evans and brand new co-host AK Stout and focuses on the use of social technologies and connecting with others via various social platforms.

You can join us live or catch the stream afterwards here. Or you may pick it up on iTunes here.


Listen Here!